Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 2

Teachers who taught dangerous lessons about the spirit world

Colossians 2:18

In the first Christian churches, it was common to say that certain people were ‘judging’ the Christians. In other words, those people were saying that the Christians were wrong. Paul has given an example of that in verses 16-17. Often, it was one group of Christians who accused another group of Christians in this way (Romans 14:1-12). Of course, those people were not really judges, so their words had no real authority.

Paul contrasts that with the much worse behaviour of some teachers in the churches. In the original language (Greek), he compares them to judges in sport. Those ‘judges’ are also not real judges, but their words have real power. In particular, they have the power to take away the prize that someone has won. In the same way, those teachers could, by their words, spoil a Christian’s relationship with God.

Those teachers were so dangerous because they claimed to have special knowledge of the spirit world. They said that they could teach people how to pray to the angels, God’s powerful servants in heaven. The Bible teaches us not to do that (Revelation 22:8-9) – but those teachers proudly claimed to know about things which the Bible does not teach. The Bible is the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16); so church leaders must only teach what the Bible says. Any special knowledge that does not agree with the Bible, is wrong.

Really, those wrong teachers knew little or nothing about the spirit world. Their instructions, which seemed so impressive, were in fact dangerous for the Christians to follow. It is right to be humble when we accept and believe God’s word (1 Peter 5:6). It is wrong and dangerous humbly to accept what is false (2 Corinthians 11:20).

Next part: Christians depend completely upon their connection to Christ (Colossians 2:19)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.