Colossians 2:8 ESV
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
We, as followers of Christ, are to see to it that we are not victimized (that we do not become a casualty), like the prey of a predator, by a love of secular wisdom, raising up human wisdom over the wisdom of God. This can also include preferring one’s own thoughts to the wisdom of God, too.
I see so many “Bible studies” in churches that are not Bible studies at all but are studies of books written by mere mortals, not divinely breathed. They may refer to the Scriptures, and they may give the appearance of teaching the Scriptures, but many of these are based largely in human psychology.
Many of them are teaching a false gospel of salvation, too, which appeals to human flesh, and which comes from human wisdom, and not from the wisdom of God. Some of these books also include worldliness, denial of the Lordship of Christ, and encouragements to continue living in sin.
As well, some of them also incorporate teachings from other religions and new age philosophy, and so they push the agenda of the coming one world religion where all religions join together in harmony and agree together not to try to convince others of their beliefs.
But this human wisdom also comes from Bible colleges and seminaries and secular schools of higher learning, too, many of which are teaching what is contrary to some of the teachings of Scripture, and some of which are teaching pastors how to market their churches (businesses) to the world.
Human wisdom has overtaken the church in these last days with the turning of the house of the Lord into a marketplace and thus patterning the church gatherings after the world and its way of doing things in order to attract the world to those worldly gatherings.
So, the gatherings of the church have largely become Christianized versions of what the world is offering in the way of entertainment, socialization, community involvement, recreation, fun, and inspirational talks and motivational speaking.
In fact, the church has become so much like the world, it is barely distinguishable between the church and the world anymore. They blend in together, and their followers are those who are also becoming one with the world and are raising human wisdom above the wisdom of God.
Circumcision of the Heart
Colossians 2:9-12 ESV
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
Under the Old Covenant Relationship God had with his people, he required them to circumcise their males at 8 days old.
But this is not the circumcision required of us under the New Covenant. For ours is not physical but spiritual. Ours is not done with human hands but by the Holy Spirit. Theirs was the cutting away of physical flesh. Ours is the cutting away of self and of sin, for ours involves death to sin.
For, when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, we are reborn of the Spirit of God to new lives in Christ Jesus, and now empowered of the Spirit of God we are walking in obedience to our Lord in surrender to his will for our lives (Rom 8:1-17).
Our physical baptism with water, especially by immersion, symbolizes what took place spiritually in our hearts when we were baptized with the Holy Spirit in dying with Christ to sin and in being resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
For Jesus died on that cross to put sin to death in our lives. He died to free us from our slavery to sin so that we now, empowered of God’s Spirit, are able to live as slaves of God and of his righteousness and no longer as slaves of sin under the control of Satan. Amen! Glory to God!
You WERE dead, Now Alive
Colossians 2:13-15 ESV
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
So, before we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are dead in our trespasses (sins) and the uncircumcision of our flesh. We are still in slavery to sin, under the control of the flesh and Satan, without God, without hope, and headed to hell.
But, praise be to God, because of what Jesus did for us on that cross, we can be delivered from our slavery to sin and we can now walk in purity of devotion to our Lord in obedience to his commands, according to the Holy Spirit and no longer according to our sinful flesh.
But by faith in Jesus Christ we must be circumcised of the heart and of our sinful flesh in death to sin so that we can be reborn of the Spirit of God in newness of life in Christ and now live no longer for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. For this is what the gospel is all about.
And we do receive forgiveness of sins, but this forgiveness is not free license to continue living in sin. For, if we walk according to the flesh in the darkness and sinful practices, we will not inherit eternal life with God and we will not be saved from our sins (Gal 5:16-21; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
For, again, the whole purpose of why Jesus died on that cross was that we might die with Christ to sin and live to God and to his righteousness. It was that we might now be free from our slavery to sin and we might now be slaves of Christ’s righteousness.
For, the grace of God, which brings salvation, instructs, and trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return.
For God’s forgiveness of our sins is conditional on us no longer living in sin but now walking in his righteousness.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8]
So, don’t take God’s grace for granted. Don’t take his forgiveness of sins lightly. If we live in sin we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God, no matter what we profess with our mouths or say we believe in our hearts.
When in The Stillness
An Original Work / September 26, 2011
When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.
While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.
Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.