Verse: Colossians 2:1-5
For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.  That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 

Sometimes I read passages like this (often from Paul) where I feel like saying what the Ethiopian said to Phillip in Acts after Phillip asked him if he knew what he was reading.  He said, “How can I unless someone explains it to me?”  We can read the words as they are written to the Colossians but we might benefit from some context.  

There were false teachers during this time called the Gnostics that believed that there was a great mass of elaborate knowledge necessary for salvation.  This knowledge was set down in the books that they wrote.  In these passages from Colossians, Paul is telling them how concerned he is for them that they not fall into this deception from the Gnostics.  

What can we learn from this for today?  First, we need to remember that the road to salvation is clear and straightforward.  It is through believing all that Jesus did for us; that he died for our sins and then defeated death by coming back to life.  Paul wanted everyone to be clear on that.  Jesus died for everyone, not for a select few who have special wisdom or knowledge.  

The other thing that we can learn is that we need to be diligent in watching for people who are persuasive but are not preaching from the truth of the Bible or people that may be preaching a section from the Bible but not the whole Bible truth.   

Do you see this happening today?  I often hear people try to bring religion into their cultural issues and say that I’m not a real Christian if I don’t believe their way.  

The hard question for all of us is how do we know when this is happening?  How do we distinguish between true Biblical teaching and deceptive teaching?  The first thing we should do is pray for wisdom and to ask the Holy Spirit to make it clear to us.  If there is still some confusion or doubt, talk with Christian or another mature Christian person who can give you perspective.  

Paul cared for each of the believers in Colossae.  The leaders of CityLight Vineyard Church care about everyone who comes to church there.  We want each of you to be walking in the truth and not to be burdened by false notions.  As Paul says in this scripture, all wisdom and knowledge are in God the Father and in Jesus.  Seek God today in all things.

Dear God, help us today to not be deceived by the things of the world but to always look to you for all wisdom.  Give us clear minds to discern your direction for us today.  

Author: Brad Dunn