Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
Col 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
Col 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
You know it is empty deceit when it doesn’t include Jesus, when it is not about Him. If it is only about men and, nature or the thoughts of men, you know it is the world, the flesh, and the devil, and empty. It possibly has no eternal significance and is not going anywhere but leads to death. ‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but it leads to death’.
You have to know Christ as He is in the Bible. The God man Jesus, the Son of God,’ who has the words of eternal life’, for us. Jesus is the Messiah, the one who came to save us. He is Immanuel, ‘God with us’. In Him is all the fullness of Deity in bodily form. I can’t express that enough it is so awesome. Only God is awesome. He is the only one who can make us complete. He does- we are more simple beings we don’t need a lot to be fixed- a little love and blessing and to be on the right path. We are headed to something, the reason for our search.
Vs. 11 and He wants us to be changed into a spirit-man. If we are ruled by the Spirit we are spirit men. We are not to be controlled by the flesh, but to deny the flesh. Choose not to be grumpy, or to produce the works of the flesh, like murder, disobedience and immorality. We have committed these things in the past but now we are made alive through the forgiveness we have received and continue to receive. When we are forgiven the sin is gotten out of the way and the Holy Spirit can come in and with HIM He brings eternal life and we are ‘alive to God and dead to sin’.
Paul further protects the Colossians with these words and from being further diluted from the purity of the Gospel. It is so simple, hard but simple. He tells them about people pushing rules and things that are a shadow of the truth. They only show something small, an outline, but Christ is the substance. He is the real thing, the way, the truth and the life. The Judaizers wanted all Christians to follow rules about the new moon and the Sabbaths and the festivals. But in Christ they had freedom from the letter of the law. The law is important don’t get me wrong. Jesus said a new law I have for you. LOVE. Love God and Love your neighbor. Other rules the legalists wanted followed- the worship of angels, and if a person was making a point about his visions we don’t have to follow them if they don’t agree with Jesus and Paul. If a man is overly inflated without cause because of a fleshly mind, that doesn’t take Jesus humility into account- go elsewhere.
These are some of the things the cults would try to cause division over. God hates division, even in divorce. The Colossians were baby Christians. They didn’t know any better. Satan could have taken the seed out of their hearts at any time. It was only stopped by prayer. Or the seed could have fallen on rocky ground or among thorns and not borne any fruit. God protected them and Paul informed them, educated them, so did Epaphras. They knew the basics and now they knew what to beware of from false teachers and prophets and false Jews.
Christianity doesn’t hit like a ton of bricks, like drugs and alcohol do. It makes an impression but has to be reinforced. It does lead to deterioration of the spirit and mind and get you sick. Those are good things to stay away from. But being saved will get you away from that stuff will lead you to a healthy spirit and body. It is the right path to be on and it leads to heaven – a reward for your trouble and not eternal death. I like being straight much better. It’s a good life, Jesus is good, life gets better and better. Live it and see. Jesus Loves You.