The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 19 of 207
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#19.  BEWARE.
An important parenthesis examined (2: 5-7).
pp. 82 - 87
We now approach the distinctive feature of the epistle to the Colossians. While it
shares with Ephesians the glory of making known "what is the dispensation of the
mystery" and traverses much of the same ground, we have observed that the apostle
condenses the truth into a smaller compass, as though anxious to get to his main point.
Already the warning note has been sounded in the first chapter:--
"Whom we preach, WARNING every man, and teaching every man . . . . . that we
may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1: 28).
The twofold reference to "presentation" (Col. 1: 22 and 28) makes it clear that the
apostle entertains no doubts as to the believer's standing in Christ. His conflict and
prayer have to do with their "perfecting". Satan does not employ useless energy in
attacking the believer's life, for that life is hid with Christ in God. Only in the realm of
growth and reward is there any element of contingency, and it is along this line that the
Satanic attack must be expected. Hence, in Col. 2: 18 the apostle sums up his warning
in the words:--
"Let no man beguile you of your REWARD."
The attack upon the believer comes along the line of  "humility",  "worship",
"abstinence", "observance" and "neglect".  Throughout the passage (Col. 2: 4-23)
there is not one allusion to vice or immorality. The Colossian saints would have been
proof against any attempt upon the part of the Evil One to have led them into gross sin.
The wiles of the Devil are skillfully adapted to their end. The apostle reveals that in the
latter times the apostacy that is introduced by demonic doctrines will come under this
same guise of sanctity. Instead of the gross immorality that soiled the fair name of the
Corinthians, we have the other extreme:--
"Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath
created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth"
(I Tim. 4: 1-4).
From a religious point of view, respect for holy days and sabbaths makes a fair show.
The worshipping of angels, the observance of prohibitory commands and the neglect of
the body, make a "show of humility". Yet all is vain and false. Anything, however
sanctified it may seem outwardly, that leads away from Christ and His fullness is not of
God, but from beneath.
The apostle warned, but he also taught:--
"Warning every man and TEACHING every man in all wisdom" (Col. 1: 28).