The Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Colossians 2:4-10

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.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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