The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 23 of 207
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Eph. 4: 14, Col. 2: 22, I Tim. 1: 10, etc.  We have already noticed that the apostle
combined "teaching" with "warning" (Col. 1: 28); the same two words come together
again in Col. 3: 16: "Teaching and admonishing one another." In contrast with the
baseless traditions of men, the apostle urges the brethren at Thessalonica to "stand fast
and hold fast the traditions" which they "had been taught" (II Thess. 2: 15).
Although the three verses we have been considering in this paper (Col. 2: 5-7) are a
parenthesis and hold up the main sequence of the apostle's argument, they are fraught
with meaning, and will repay all the attention we can give to them. Their burden is that
the solid basis of our faith is in Christ, received and held as Head and Lord. Let all our
practice flow from that blessed doctrine, and the wiles of the Devil shall leave us
unharmed. Our standing is in Christ. Let our state but manifest this and we need not
fear. Bring all to this touchstone, and life, service, walk and worship will be acceptable.
More than this we cannot attain to in this life; less than this means a falling short of the
"perfection" of which the apostle speaks (Col. 1: 28).
#20.  BEWARE.
Philosophy and its two supporters,
tradition and the rudiments of the world (2: 4-8).
pp. 123 - 129
Having considered the parenthesis of Col. 2: 5-7, we can now take up the teaching of
Col. 2: 4-23 which constitutes the great distinctive note of the epistle. It is a solemn
warning uttered in all faithfulness, with the object that every man may be presented
"perfect in Christ Jesus".  Three words must first claim our attention:  "beguile"
(paralogizomai); "enticing words" (pithanologia), and "spoil" (sulagogeo).
The story of man is interwoven with deception. From Gen. 3:, where the Serpent
beguiled Eve, until the last act of the Deceiver, recorded in the Book of the Revelation,
deceit has taken its dread toll. No dispensation has been free from its attack; and no
protection against it has been provided apart from the revelation of truth, the Word of
God. So long as we hold fast to all that is written, so long as we obey the injunction
rightly to divide the Word of truth, so long as we refuse to go one step beyond what is
revealed, we are safe and at peace. To do otherwise is to mistake darkness for light, to
heed the voice of the Serpent rather than the voice of God, to sow the seeds of error and
reap the harvest of shame.
Deception is many-sided. We can be deceived, as in Eph. 5: 6, with "vain words".
Here the word "to deceive" (apatao) means "to seduce" or "lead astray", and occurs in
another form in Col. 2: 8. We can also be deceived by wandering, or being caused to
wander, from the path of truth, as in Eph. 4: 14, where the word used is plane, from
which comes our word "planet", a wandering star.