We Need Nothing beyond Christ
Christians have everything they could ever want: They have Christ Jesus himself, in whom the fullness of God dwells, living in them through the presence of the Holy Spirit who birthed them to new life. They have direct access to the Father by his intercession that through prayer they may enter into the very work of God in the world. They are empowered to walk in newness of life and most of all have the promise of an eternal home.
Still, believers are sometimes easily deluded into thinking that they need something more, something beyond that makes faith more, well…exciting. In the first century, what went by the name of “philosophy” was a system of belief about hierarchies of angels and powers and dominions and rulers which all encircled the earth in layered realms of authority leading up to God or whatever name they happened to give him (the “pleroma,” “Being,” or some other impersonal designation). Human beings are fundamentally religious creatures who enjoy theorizing about such matters. And so they imagine a universe of superhuman beings who involve themselves in human affairs for good or ill, perhaps even fighting among themselves for dominance. In its more primitive forms, such thinking has more in common with comic books.
This was the primary problem at Colossae and why Paul spent some time in the beginning of his letter discussing the preeminence of Christ. He warns them not to be taken in, not to be taken captive by these vain deceits which are the product of human imagination. Today’s analogies would be astrology (which never goes away), the New Age Movement which is closely tied to astrology, and the darker “literature” that captivates our youth (Harry Potter and similar trash). And whether the origin of these “philosophies” were pagan or Jewish was irrelevant to Paul. What mattered to him was to remind these Colossians (and us) that we have the real thing: In the fullness of time, the Son of God assumed bodily form, lived our life without sin, died our death, and conquered the grave. Through faith in him, we receive forgiveness of sin and are reborn and made citizens of heaven. In the meantime, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are to be discovered in him. In this faith we are to walk with all thanksgiving and rejoicing. So stop looking beyond the one who is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). Draw closer unto Christ and delve deeper into the word. You’ll never exhaust those riches.