Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 2
Wrong teachers were coming into the church at Colosse. They tried to persuade the Christians there to follow their traditions, or to believe their new ideas. However, a true Christian needs none of these things. Paul insists that the traditions were of human origin, not from God. He calls the teacher’s ideas ‘empty lies’, in other words, lies that have no value (2:8).
Paul then contrasts those ‘empty’ things with what should fill a Christian’s life. It is Christ who should fill the Christian’s life, not false ideas or human tradition. No tradition and no false, human wisdom can ever bring God into a person’s life. A strict religion with careful rules about behaviour cannot do it (2:20-23). Those things depend on human effort – but no amount of human effort can earn for us a right relationship with God (Romans 4:1-8). Only Christ can give us a right relationship with God. He will give us that relationship if we put our trust in him (Romans 1:16).
The wrong teachers argued that Paul was emphasising Christ too much. Instead, they wanted Christians to accept their authority and to follow their rules. Paul replied that those teachers had not in reality understood about rule and authority. Christ is fully God (2:9). Therefore, all rule and authority properly belong to him (1:15-16).
So, we must never allow anything else to replace Christ’s rule over our lives.
Next part: The meaning of circumcision (Colossians 2:11)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.