Key Verses: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
ALTHOUGH IT IS UNLIKELY that Paul ever visited the church at Colossae, which was probably established by Epaphras, he desired the brethren to have their hearts united in love and to appreciate that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge stem from God and Christ alone. (Col. 1:4,7; 2:1-3) “And this I say,” Paul continues, “lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”—vss. 4,5
Our Key Verses emphasize that Christian character will flourish through obedience to the Word of God, assimilating his precious promises and being more and more filled with the Holy Spirit. By carefully scrutinizing the teachings set forth by human instrumentalities, followers of Christ would avoid the corrupting influence of the false doctrines and human philosophies which were being promulgated at the time.
Throughout his ministry Paul reminded the brethren that consecrated believers whose faith was in the efficacy of our Lord’s ransom sacrifice had no need of anything additional to have a standing as children of God. For example, circumcision of the heart was effected by baptism into Christ’s death. (vss. 10-14) Many of the Colossian believers were Gentiles who had not been physically circumcised, nor were they required to do so. Under the influence of certain Judaizers there was an attempt to enforce the rite of circumcision upon Gentile converts to Christianity. This was one of the matters previously discussed at the Jerusalem conference.—Acts 15:1-6
“When there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”—vss. 7-10
Under divine guidance, the matter was resolved. A message of encouragement was sent to believers who had never been under the bondage of the Mosaic Law with a recommendation to maintain the spirit of unity in the bonds of peace.—vss. 23-32
During these last days in which perilous times have come, we should use the Scriptures to “prove all things,” and “hold fast that which is good.” (I Thess. 5:21) The infallible Word of God should be our guide as opposed to human speculations. Our Lord’s words are equally applicable now as they were during his earthly ministry. “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is empty, because they teach human rules as doctrines.” (Matt.15:8,9, International Standard Version) Heeding this counsel will help to guard us from error and keep us rooted in Christ Jesus.