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Colossians 2:4-7 Commentary
Colossians 2:4 I
Amplified: I say this in order that no one may mislead and
delude you by plausible and persuasive and attractive arguments and
I do not say this without a purpose. I wish to warn you against anyone
who wants to lead you astray by specious argument and persuasive
NLT: I am telling you this so that no one will be able to
deceive you with persuasive arguments. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
I write this to prevent you from being led astray by someone or
other's attractive arguments. (Phillips:
This I am saying in order that no one may be leading you astray by
false reasoning in the sphere of specious discourse. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and this I say, that no one may beguile you in
I SAY THIS
IN ORDER THAT NO ONE: Touto lego (1SPAI) hina medeis:
Paul explains why he has made
this great claim for Christ at this point in his discussion. The
treasures of genuine spiritual wisdom are in Christ and, therefore, to
allow oneself to be deceived about this can produce profound disorder
in the Christian’s life. We leave ourselves open for conquest by the
persuasive speech of heretics. On the other hand, the conviction that
all spiritual wisdom is found in Him dispels the false teaching.
Paul’s burden is that the Colossians must not surrender to the glib
and sometimes convincing arguments of false teachers, but remember
that in Christ they have all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
The heresies of the present century seem to be no less convincing to
the ignorant and unwary!
S. Lewis Johnson
comments on "I
apostle has just expressed his anxious concern for the Colossians
(Colossians 2:1, 2, 3), and he now enlarges upon the reason for it. The
touto lego (AV, “this I say”) makes the connection, the
“this” referring to that which has preceded. The treasures of
genuine spiritual wisdom are in Christ and, therefore, to allow
oneself to be deceived about this can produce profound disorder in the
Christian’s life. We leave ourselves open for conquest by the
persuasive speech of the heretics. On the other hand, the conviction
that all spiritual wisdom is found in Him dispels the false teaching."
(Bibliotheca Sacra: Dallas Theological Seminary. page 309, 1962)
What is the great danger?
illustrates the danger
of delusion and persuasive words writing
''There once was an old
church in England. A sign on the front of the building read ''We
preach Christ crucified.'' After a time, ivy grew up and obscured the
last word...''We preach Christ.'' The ivy grew some more, and motto
read, 'We preach.'' Finally, ivy covered the entire sign, and
the church died. Such is the fate of any church that fails to carry
out its mission in the world.''
And such is the fate of any church
that is deluded by persuasive arguments or taken captive by
philosophy. And such a fate happened to the church at Colossae who
"faith in Christ Jesus and...love for all the
saints...in the Spirit". (Col 1:3, 8-See note
The Colossian church clearly manifested Christian love, but Paul is
concerned about their ability to discern, something that seems to be a
frequent thought in his mind for all the churches, writing for example
to the church at Philippi "
this I pray, that your love may abound
still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you
may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and
blameless until the day of Christ." (Php 1:9, 10-See notes
Ph 1:9; 10)
Some Christians are more affectionate, and
less knowing; others are more knowing, and less affectionate; it is
well when love and knowledge go and keep pace together"
is true that we must manifest love and approach the Word of God with a
non-critical spirit and an open mind, we also must recognize that
God’s truth provides absolute boundaries.
As G. K. Chesterton once
“Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening
the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something
Paul would agree.
Calvin adds that
knowledge of Christ is of itself amply sufficient. And,
unquestionably, this is the key that can close the door against all
base errors...those are out of danger who remain in Christ, but that
those who are not satisfied with Christ are exposed to all fallacies
and deceptions...it is a passage, certainly, that ought to be
singularly esteemed. For as he who has taught men to know nothing
except Christ, has provided against all wicked doctrines"
humas paralogizetai (3SPMS): (Mt
24:4, Ac 20:30, Ro 16:18, 2Cor 11:2, 11, 12, 13, Gal 1:8, 2:4, Ep
4:14, 5:6, 2Th 2:9, 10, 11, 1Ti 4:1, 2Ti 3:13, Titus 1:10, 11, 2Pe
2:1, 2, 3, 1Jn 2:18, 26, 4:1, 2Jn 1:7, Rev 12:9, 20:3,8,
Torrey's Topic "False Doctrine")
from para = beside, alongside +
= to reason, to count) is literally to reason beside or
alongside (think about it as reasoning with words "alongside" or
"beside" Truth), to beguile by mere probability that something is true and so
to mislead. It primarily means to reckon wrong, then to reason
falsely, and so to deceive by false reasoning. Note the
which Wuest renders "may be leading you astray".
Paralogizomai is translated deceive, lead from truth to
error, beguile, elude by craftiness. The preposition para
conveys the idea (when combined with logizomai) of counting "beside" or counting "aside" with the
idea of "miscalculating". If the target is the truth, there is
something alongside it that looks very much like the truth, and these
men focus upon that, rather than the truth. We've all met some artful
person who initially deluded us with their false appearance and words,
only later to be exposed.
From para, beside, contrary to, and
logizomai, to reckon, and hence to conclude by reasoning. The
deception referred to is, therefore, that into which one betrays
himself by false reasoning — reasoning beside the truth.
the only other NT use of this word...
But prove yourselves doers of the
word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
Comment: The idea of paralogizomai is that
of incorrect reckoning or reasoning, often including the idea of
deliberate false reasoning for the purpose of deceiving. In
mathematics, the meaning is that of miscalculation. Professing
Christians who hear the Word without obeying it make a serious
"spiritual miscalculation", which causes them to delude themselves.
Such a man does not delude anyone but himself! They are self-deceived.
An old Scottish expression speaks of such false Christians as “sermon
tasters who never tasted the grace of God.” Any response to the
gospel that does not include obedience is self-deception. See
discussion of the
of faith and obedience.
If a profession
of faith in Christ does not result in a changed life that hungers and
thirsts for God’s Word and desires to obey that Word, the profession
is only that—a mere profession. Satan, of course, loves such
professions, because they give church members the damning notion that
they are saved when they are not! He is still their spiritual father
and not God. See discussion of Jesus' stern warning that "not
everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven"
Mt 4:21, 22, 23-see notes
Mt 7:21; 22;
is one of the favorite weapons of the old serpent, the devil, who
"was more crafty than any beast of the
field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed,
has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" (Gen
To be deceived like Eve was is to think you know or are doing
something right, but it is really wrong. A perfect illustration is
seen in the 300+ year of the judges in Israel --
"In those days
there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own
eyes." (Jdg 21:25-note)
Truth and error
may be made to look almost the same, but one is a counterfeit. In
these days when we have so many counterfeit and imitation things
around we are used to be being deceived and not even be alarmed at how
easy we are "suckered". Plastic looks like metal. Flowers are made of
silk. We are daily touching things that are imitations of the real
thing. But imitations have limitations and if you start regarding them
as real you are in trouble. That is why Paul is "struggling" for
believers he has never seen. The specific delusions Paul has in mind
are alluded to in the specific warnings that follow.
when he reproached Laban for refusing to live up to his bargain with
him concerning Rachel, saying,
“What is this thou hast done unto
me? did I not serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou
beguiled (Greek translates the Hebrew with paralogizomai) me?” (Ge
was used in secular Greek writings of a keeper of a state library who
had shown a willingness to "make a wrong use of" certain
documents. Paul uses it to point to drawing an erroneous conclusion
from the reasoning submitted. That which is logical after having
reasoned about something. So they come alongside you with their very
logical sounding reasoning and they cheat their hearers by the use of
this false reasoning. These false teachers were seeking to mislead the
mind or judgment of the Colossians in regard to Who Christ was and who
they were in Christ. Nothing much new here! These heretics sought to
deceive the Colossians so thoroughly with their false logic that the
truth about Christ was obscured.
Clarke adds that paralogizomai
"deceive by sophistry or subtle reasoning, in which all
the conclusions appear to be fairly drawn from the premises, but the
premises are either assumed without evidence, or false in themselves;
but this not being easily discovered, the unthinking or unwary are
carried away by the conclusions which are drawn from these premises."
Guzik comments that
taught these dangerous things among the Colossian Christians were very
persuasive. The lure of "hidden" and "deep" wisdom and knowledge can
be strong, but still deceptive. Many today deceive with persuasive
words by quoting a whole bunch of Bible verses. But the Devil himself
quotes Scripture. We must compare everyone's teaching against all of
God's Word. We should all have the spirit of the Bereans (Acts 17:11-note;), who compared even the teaching of Paul with
Scripture...It might sound simple, but deceivers are deceivers. They
won't announce their false doctrine as false doctrine, and it will
often be similar enough to the truth to be dangerous."
Paul gives a parallel warning in
his letter to the Corinthians warning about
"such men (who)
are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as
apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as
an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also
disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be
according to their deeds." (2Cor 11:13, 14, 15)
PERSUASIVE ARGUMENTS: en pithanologia:
from peitho = to convince by
argument, true or false [the stem "peith-" or "pith-"
has the basic meaning of trust] + logia = logic, related to the
logos, the "word", which is not just the
word but the "reason", the "intelligence") refers to enticing words
and is practically equivalent to the expression ''To talk someone
into something.'' It refers to the art of persuasion which is the height of oratory,
but it easily degenerates into trickery and deceit (which is how Paul
uses it). The one speaking uses plausible but false arguments (another
good reason to know the Truth!)
Paul claimed on
the other hand that
"my message and my preaching were not in
persuasive (pithos = persuasive also from peitho) words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit
and of power" (1Cor 2:4).
Paul warned his young
protégée Timothy that
"the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their
ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in
accordance to their own desires and will turn away their ears from the
truth, and will turn aside to myths." (see notes
2 Timothy 4:3;
Pithanologia was used in secular Greek of the law court
and refers to the lawyer’s persuasive speech and its power to
influence an audience towards an unjust verdict. In Classical Greek
the word referred to the use of probable arguments as opposed to
demonstrable arguments. Paul’s point is that even though the arguments
seem to make sense (sound reasonable), they are in the end false and
the Colossians must not surrender to the glib, sometimes convincing
arguments of the false teachers, but remember that, in having Christ,
they have all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The heresies of
the present century seem to be no less convincing to the ignorant and
unwary. Paul is not arguing against the study of philosophy or serious
thinking, but is arguing against the uncritical adoption of a
philosophy that is at odds with a proper view of Christ and the ethics
of the Christian life.
Barclay adds that pithanologia
was a word of the law-courts; it was the word used for the persuasive
power of a lawyer’s arguments, which could enable the criminal to
escape his just punishment. The true Church should have such a grip of
the truth that it is unmoved by seductive arguments.
J. I. Packer warns that the
Sad experience shows that bad theology
infects the heart with misbelief and unbelief, the spiritual
equivalents of multiple sclerosis! Many who ran well have been
progressively paralyzed through ingesting bad theology, and the danger
remains. Theological expertise can feed intellectual pride, turning
one into a person who cares more for knowing true notions than for
knowing the true God, and that is disastrous, too.
So these false
teachers will use "persuasive logic" as they come alongside. Wayne
Barber tells about how he formerly got into the trap of "confessing
his righteousness". He realizes now that you don't need to confess
your righteousness because you are by His doing in Christ. The
challenge for every blood bought, heaven bound believer is to discover
and re-discover WHO YOU ARE in Christ and then in His power to conduct
yourself thereafter on the basis of "WHOSE" you are! The reason Wayne
got trapped in this subtle false teaching was that their was a lot
about it which was RIGHT. (cp
2 Peter 2:1 "secretly introduce destructive heresies"
see note) Wayne
was thinking that he could confess himself into the reality of being
what he was confessing. It sounded so good and so much better than
having to "go to the cross." Don't you hate to think about sin in your
life? The false teaching was that he didn't have to deal with sin
anymore. That was before the Cross. Now I can confess my
righteousness. It's a trap. Look out when they tell you about a "new
TEACHING" that they have. If you ever get away from your total
sufficiency in Christ and His Word, then you're going to have your
mind kidnapped by these people who so cleverly know how to come
alongside you and bring the false doctrine and ease it in. So Paul
prayed that they would be strengthened for the battle, the BATTLE OF
><> ><> ><>
illustration of the delusion by "persuasive
They constructed pasteboard look-alikes of tanks and
airplanes to deceive the Germans. From the air this fake
equipment looked real enough to fool reconnaissance
personnel, and it could be easily moved. Satan, whom
Jesus referred to as "the ruler of this world"
(Jn 16:11), is a master deceiver. He was the driving force
behind the teachers who were trying to persuade the Colossians to
accept heresy as truth (Colossians
of Christ today are in a similar battle. How do we defend
ourselves against deceivers? Paul used military terms in
his comments to the Colossians that can help us to know
what to do. First, he commended them for their "good
order," which refers to being battle-ready, disciplined
soldiers. Second, he spoke of the "steadfastness" of their
faith in Christ, which refers to having a solid front.
They had an unshaken commitment to their Lord and the
advance of His kingdom. Don't be fooled by Satan's lies.
Know the truth of God's Word, and be battle-ready through
a disciplined life and an unswerving commitment to Jesus
The shield of
faith protects us
From Satan's fiery darts;
And he cannot deceive us
With God's Word in our hearts. --Sper
is the best protection against Satan's lies.
with you in
For, even if I am absent from you in the body, I am with you in
spirit, happy when I see you maintaining your ranks and the solid
bulwark of your faith in Christ. (Westminster
Lightfoot: For I am not an indifferent spectator of your doings. I am absent
from you in my body, but I am present with you in my spirit. I rejoice
to behold the orderly array and the solid phalanx which your faith
toward Christ presents against the assaults of the foe.
NLT: For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you.
And I am very happy because you are living as you should and because
of your strong faith in Christ.
- Tyndale House)
For though I am a long way away from you in body, in spirit I am by
your side, watching like a proud father the solid steadfastness of
your faith in Christ. (Phillips:
For if, as is the case, I am in fact absent in my flesh, yet I am with
you in my spirit, rejoicing and beholding your orderly array and the
solid front of your faith in Christ. (Eerdmans)
Young's literal: for if even in the flesh I am absent -- yet in
the spirit I am with you, joying and beholding your order, and the
stedfastness of your faith in regard to Christ;
THOUGH I AM ABSENT IN BODY NEVERTHELESS I AM WITH YOU IN SPIRIT: ei
gar kai te sarki apeimi (1SPAI) alla to pneumati sun humin eimi
5:3, 4, 1Th 2:17)
For (gar) gives the reason for
something. In context Paul is explaining how even though he was
unknown (by face) to the Colossians he was still able to give such a warning.
I am absent
in body - How? Where? Obviously in prison in Rome. As Beet
While the weak and mortal flesh of
Paul lingered in prison at Rome, the eye of his spirit was fixed on
the Christians at Colossae. (Beet, J. A. Beet's Commentaries:
Colossians. Ages Software)
I am with you
in spirit - Paul's attitude of concern and in this case rejoicing
is interesting considering that he may never have even seen the
Colossian assembly face to face. This statement also underscores the
living, dynamic aspect of the church, the body of Christ with one Head
and many supernaturally inter-connected members.
Lest any one should object that the
admonition was unseasonable, as coming from a place so remote, he
says, that his affection towards them made him be present with them in
spirit, and judge of what is expedient for them, as though he were
present. By praising, also, their present condition, he admonishes
them not to fall back from it, or turn aside.
a virtually identical description in his first epistle to the
For I, on my part, though absent
in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who
has so committed this (see 1Co 5:1,2), as though I were present.
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with
you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his
spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1Cor 5:3, 4, 5)
And again in a similar phrase in
his letter to the Thessalonians Paul wrote that
we, brethren, having been taken
away from you for a short while—in person, not in spirit—were
all the more eager with great desire to see your face. (1Th
SEE YOUR GOOD DISCIPLINE: chairon (PAPMSN) kai blepon (PAPMSN) humon
Literally the Greek reads
"rejoicing and seeing"
(chairo) means to be glad or delighted in something. It was
also used as a greeting (and so is rendered greet, greeting or hail in
some passages, Mt 26:49, 27:29 contrasted with Mt 28:9). The
indicates that this Paul is continually rejoicing in their spiritual
discipline and stability ("walking in the truth" - see below). Anyone
who has discipled young men as I do understands the joy that Paul is
describing (cp 2Ti 1:3, 4-note).
It's a joy that literally brings tears to your eyes because you know
it is another testimony of the faithfulness and supernatural power of
a great God who desires to see His children continually growing in
grace and the knowledge (and likeness) of His Son (cp 2Pe 3:18-note).
And so we see John's similar exclamation writing...
I have no greater joy
(chara) than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. (3Jn
Remember that in
his second letter John warned...
= commanding a continual awareness to take heed to avoid spiritual
potholes, snares, etc) yourselves, that (purpose clause - John
explains why he command continual spiritual perception) you might not
lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full
Comment: There is a future
day of recompense (cp Re 22:12-note),
the of Christ, when all believers will be assessed individually as to
their works whether good (endure the fire) or bad (thrown out), this
assessment even including a "motive check" (Woe! 1Cor 4:5) in addition
to the "fiery judgment" described in 1Co 3:11, 12, 13, 14, 15).
his letter to the Romans expressed a similar sentiment for a
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your
eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the
teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men
are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by
their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the
unsuspecting. 19 For the report of your obedience has reached
to all; therefore I am rejoicing (chairo - again in the
over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in
what is evil. (Ro 16:17, 18-note,
74x in 68v (An interesting mini-study - observe [and/or make a list
of] what is associated with rejoicing or causes one to rejoice - note
some verses as stated use chairo as a greeting) - Matt. 2:10; 5:12; 18:13; 26:49; 27:29; 28:9; Mk. 14:11;
15:18; Lk. 1:14, 28; 6:23; 10:20; 13:17; 15:5, 32; 19:6, 37; 22:5;
23:8; Jn. 3:29; 4:36; 8:56; 11:15; 14:28; 16:20, 22; 19:3; 20:20; Acts
5:41; 8:39; 11:23; 13:48; 15:23, 31; 23:26; Rom. 12:12, 15; 16:19; 1
Co. 7:30; 13:6; 16:17; 2 Co. 2:3; 6:10; 7:7, 9, 13, 16; 13:9, 11;
Phil. 1:18; 2:17f, 28; 3:1; 4:4, 10; Col. 1:24; 2:5; 1 Thess. 3:9;
5:16; Jas. 1:1; 1 Pet. 4:13; 2 Jn. 1:4, 10f; 3 Jn. 1:3; Rev. 11:10;
renders chairo as am glad(1), glad(7), gladly(1), greeted(1),
greeting(2), greetings(3), hail(5),joyfully(1), rejoice(33),
rejoiced(8), rejoices(2), rejoicing(10).
(5010) (taxis from
to set or arrange in order) described the orderly
array of soldiers with the line being unbroken and intact. In context,
the idea may be that a few
stragglers had been swayed by the persuasive arguments, but there
was no panic, no breach in the line.
As an aside, we
do well to remember that the spiritual war against our inveterate,
mortal enemies (the
devil) is not so
much a power struggle but a battle over Truth and the "battlefield" is
our mind and heart!
definitions of taxis are a summary of the nuances in the NT
(adapted from BDAG)...
(1) an arrangement of things
in sequence, fixed succession or fixed order (Lk 1:8 - describing the
arrangement for Temple service, the fixed succession of the course of
the priests) ("an arranging, arrangement, order" - Vine);
(2) a state of good order,
order, proper procedure; regular arrangement, proper setting and thus
order. (Col 2:5, 1Cor 14:40 = order in contrast to confusion in the
gatherings of the local church. Let it be Lord. Amen!);
(3) an assigned station or
rank, position, post (one has a responsibility in an ordered scheme of
(4) an arrangement in which
someone or something functions (Heb 5:6, 10, 6:20, etc) ("A
distinctive class" - Mounce). (In other words taxis described "a
distinctive class characterized by fixed appointment and position."
tasso primarily means arranging things in proper order or an
orderly manner - There are a number of related words in that are
derived from tasso - anatássomai (392), to compose in an
anupotasso (506) unruly;
(498), to resist; apotásso
(657), to set in its proper category away from oneself; átaktos
(813), disorderly, irregular; diatásso (1299), set in order,
issue orderly and detailed instructions; epitásso (2004), to
order; prostásso (4367), a specific command for a specific
person; protásso (4384), to foreordain; suntásso (4929),
to arrange or set in order together; tágma (5001), an order,
regular method; taktós (5002), arranged, appointed; táxis
(5010), an arrangement;
(5293), to place under. (From Zodhiates - The Complete Word
Study Dictionary, New Testament).
emphasizes the military uses of taxis:
1. a drawing up, the order or
disposition of an army, tactics (Xenophon - "Phalinus professed to
be an expert in tactics.")
2. battle array, order of battle,
(Herodotus = "Since the Hellenes fought in an orderly
fashion by line, but the barbarians were no longer in position and
did nothing with forethought, it was likely to turn out as it did.")
3. a single rank or line of
soldiers, to be drawn up a few lines deep, (Plato = "when the
Spartans came up to the men with wicker shields, they were not willing
to stand and fight against these, but fled; when, however, the Persian
ranks (taxis) were broken, the Spartans kept turning round and
fighting like cavalry, and so won that great battle."
4. a body of soldiers, a squadron,
Soph.: at Athens, the quota of infantry furnished by each nation, Lys.:
of smaller bodies, a company, cohort, Xen.; so of ships, a squadron,
Aesch.:-generally, a band, company, Id.
5. a post or place in the line of
battle (Herodotus - "During the drawing up of battle formation
there arose much dispute between the Tegeans and the Athenians, for
each of them claimed that they should hold the second wing of the
army, justifying themselves by tales of deeds new and old.")
and apocryphal uses of taxis...
And the Elder said this also: Mark,
having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately
everything that he remembered, without however recording in order
what was either said or done by Christ. (Papias -The Apostolic
Since, therefore, these things are
now clear to us and we have searched into the depths of the divine
knowledge, we ought to do, in order, everything that the Master
has commanded us to perform at the appointed times (Clement 40:1)
For God, the Master and Creator of
the universe, who made all things and arranged them in order,
was not only tender-hearted but also very patient. (7) For God, the
Master and Creator of the universe, who made all things and arranged
them in order, was not only tender-hearted but also very patient.
(Letter of Diognetus)
(Apocrypha) The temple singers, the
sons of Asaph, were in their place according to the arrangement
made by David, and also Asaph, Zechariah, and Eddinus, who represented
the king. (1 Esdras 1:15)
(Example of BDAG meaning #4 above)
The basis of the foot on the ground consisted of a ruby and measured a
hand’s breadth high all round. It had the appearance (taxis) of
a shoe and was eight fingers broad. Upon it the whole expanse of the
foot rested. (Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament)
transferred directly into English (taxis) where in rhetoric it
refers to the arrangement of the parts of an argument.
The Greek verb which is translated
"order" is tasso, and another form is taxis. This family of
words is seen in such English terms as "taxidermy" (literally,
"ordering the skin" of an animal so it looks lifelike and "taxonomy"
(literally "ordering names," as this is the science of
classification). In secular Greek the word (tasso) referred to
appointing an officer. It also was used to describe the mustering of
soldiers for battle. In civilian life it was used to describe the
delegation of jobs to various people. Socrates found a larger meaning
in this word, and he spoke of man in his proper place before God.
Plato took this to mean that there was a divine order in the world. He
thought that people filled certain roles in society by divine design.
(New Testament Words in Today's Language)
9x in 8v- Lk. 1:8; 1Co. 14:40; Col. 2:5; Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:11, 17
and is rendered by the NAS as good discipline(1), order(7), orderly
Luke 1:8 Now it happened that while
he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed
order of his division,
1 Corinthians 14:40 But all things must be done properly and in an
Comment: The Christian life is
(or ideally should be) orderly, for God
is a God of order (as is everywhere evident in His physical creation,
see also 1Cor 14:33).
So the body of believers in a given locale should be orderly
for this reflects God's nature. God is not out of control, so a church
that is being led by His Spirit should not be "out of
control." Paul's exhortation to "let all things be
done properly and in an orderly manner"
alludes to the the order and regularity with which an army is drawn
up. Undoubtedly most of his readers had witnessed the strict discipline
and order that characterized the Roman army and thus they were able to
comprehend this vivid word picture of
the church as an orderly array of soldiers.
Colossians 2:5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am
with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline
and the stability of your faith in Christ.
Hebrews 5:6 just as He says also in another passage, "YOU ARE A PRIEST
FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK." 10 being
designated by God as a high priest according to the order of
Comment: In each of
reference to the priesthood the word means a particular group or
class. The writer's point is that Jesus’ priesthood is classified not
as Aaronic but in the division or order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:20 where Jesus has
entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
BDAG comment: The reference
is not only to the higher ‘rank’, but also to the entirely different
nature of Melchizedek’s priesthood as compared w. that of Aaron
Comment: This verse presents
a great word picture of Jesus as our "forerunner" or
prodromos (see great word picture
drawn by this great Greek word),
which is the word Prodromos which A T Robertson says is "old word for
a spy, a scout, only here in NT Jesus has shown us the way, has gone
on ahead, and is the surety (egguos Heb 7:22)and guarantor of our own
entrance later." (As Heb 9:15 adds we have "the promise of the eternal
inheritance"). In point of fact, our anchor of hope with its two
chains of God's promise and oath has laid hold of Jesus
within the veil and beloved if you are struggling with your eternal
security in Christ, you must know that this "divine rope" will hold
fast and bring us safely into the "harbor" of the next life in
eternity with our Forerunner and Friend Christ Jesus. Amen! Let us
hold fast the confession of our faith firm until the end (Hebrews 3:6,
Hebrews 4:14). Jesus is also a “forerunner” sets Him apart from the
Levitical high priest who entered alone as the people waited outside.
Jesus in contrast has gone before us to open up the way for His people
to follow Him. And all God's people shouted "Hallelujah! Amen!"
Hebrews 7:11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood
(for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further
need was there for another priest to arise according to the order
of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of
Aaron?...17 For it is attested of Him, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER
ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK."
9x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Nu 1:52; 1Ki 7:37; Job
16:3; 28:3; 36:28; 38:12; Ps 110:4; Pr 31:26; Hab 3:11. One use is
quoted often in the book of Hebrews...
Psalm 110:4 The
LORD has sworn and will
not change His mind, "You are a priest forever According to the
order (Hebrew = dibrah; Lxx = taxis) of Melchizedek."
Taxis - 10x in the Apocrypha
- Jda. 5:20; 1 Esd 1:5, 15; 2 Macc 1:19; 8:22; 9:18; 10:36; 13:21;
Odes 4:11, 19;
When these attractive but false
arguments intrude into the Christian life, they destroy its
orderliness and stability. (Colossians: A Study Guide to Paul's
Epistle to the Saints at Colossae)
Paul in Col. 2:5 shows concern for
the order and firmness of the faith of the Colossians. As the term
taxis suggests a military division drawn up in ranks, so
stereoma hints perhaps at a castle or bulwark (cf. Col 1:23; Col 2:7).
Again faith gives the terms their content. Believers are under
assault, but they can stand fast in the stronghold of their faith.
Grounded in Christ, they are enabled by faith to stand firm in their
conflict with the world. (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the
New Testament. Eerdmans
Lightfoot feels that both "order"
(taxis) and "steadfastness" are military terms. He suggests for the
former "orderly array" and for the latter "solid front" or "close
phalanx" (p. 176). Apparently this is the basis for the popular
translation "solid front" (TCNT, Weymouth, Moffatt). For the two
terms NEB has: "your orderly array and the firm front." (Earle, R.
Word Meanings in the New Testament)
Vine on the good
discipline of the Colossians...
(Paul is) rejoicing in what he
knows of them and his experience of being with them in spirit, and at
the same time beholding their order (taxis, a military metaphor), that
is to say, their freedom from disquiet, discord and disruption, their
readiness to be subject to those whom God has set over them as
spiritual overseers and to be subject to one another.
STABILITY: kai to stereoma:
Stability in the Christian life was
important to Paul as seen in his command to the saints at Corinth
(in the midst of gross paganism, idolatry and immorality - sounds like
modern day America! This command is therefore clearly applicable to
all believers today.)...
Therefore, my beloved brethren,
in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your toil (kopos
= to the point of exhaustion) is
Lord. (1Cor 15:58)
Comment: Note believers
toil (our responsibility) but it is "in the Lord," ultimately in
His strength, in the sphere ("atmosphere") of His omnipresent
omnipotence! This "divine synergism" is indeed a mystery, but it is
repeatedly taught in Scripture. The point is that believers can only
toil successfully as they abide in the Vine (Jn 15:5) and lean
on the power supplied by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Eph 3:16). Dear
ministering saint, if you miss this vital truth that Jerry Bridges
refers to as "dependent synergism", you may just flame out or
Be on the alert, stand
firm in the faith,
act like men, be strong.
Comment: All four verbs =
- calling for and showing the
need for these spiritual attitudes and actions - They are to be a
believer's lifestyle which is only possible in the saint who
continually depends on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
And to the saints at Thessalonica
Paul again emphasized spiritual stability...
for now we really live, if you
stand firm in the Lord. (1Thes 3:8-note)
(stereoma from stereoo = to strengthen,
confirm, in turn from stereos = solid, stable - used only in
this verse in the NT; Verb stereoo = to make solid) is used
only here in the NT and refers to
a solid body that has been made firm, strong and unchanging, and in
describes the Colossian church's steadfastness despite
the blustery winds of false doctrine (cp Ep 4:14-note,
cp 1Cor 14:20, God speaking to Judah = Jer 4:22)
Stereoma - Firmness;
steadiness; that which is solid and firm; figuratively as in Col 2:5
descriptive of a state of firm inner strength; steadfastness;
constancy. Stereoma is used in the Septuagint in the creation
story (Ge 1:6, 7, 8) where it describes the firmament. David adds "By
the Word of the LORD the heavens were made (Lxx uses the
related verb stereoo = made firm)." (Ps 33:6).
The related word
is used by Peter...
= Do this now! Don't
delay! This command is like a commander in chief barking orders to the
soldiers under him in the midst of the heat of the battle which is
raging around them! This is urgent!) him, firm (stereos)
in your faith (Ed: Note what stabilizes us in times of
suffering = our faith which comes by hearing and obeying
the Word - Ro 10:17-note)
- If you are not in the Word and the Word in you, that might explain
your instability in various trials), knowing that the same experiences
of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the
world. (1Peter 5:9-note,
also used in 2Ti 2:19-note
= "firm", Heb 5:12-note,
stable (firmly established),
steadfast or solid like a foundation. In a physical sense this word
describes something as firm, hard, solid and compact like a rock. It
is used of food adults eat (solid) rather than milk, the former
referring to advanced or deeper doctrine.
The idea Peter is conveying is that his readers as Christ
followers are to be steadfast (firmly fixed in place, not
subject to change) immovable (not moving or not intended to be
moved) in their faith.
Why were they orderly
and stable? For one thing their hearts had been "knit together in love"
(Col 2:2-note) and they had full assurance that came from a understanding of
the full knowledge of what they possessed in Christ Who was in them.
And of course they were stable because their faith was laid on a firm
foundation of "in Christ", the unchanging Rock of our salvation (cp Ps
The writer of Hebrews uses the related adjective stereos
to describe "solid (stereos) food" (Heb
= "solid") which provides spiritual stability (but only if it is
"eaten" and heeded or obeyed - cp warning of James 1:22-note)
because it gives us Truth to counter the lies of
intake of solid food
will lead to a solid faith!
Stereoma - 23 uses in 21
verses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Ge 1:6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 17,
20; Ex 24:10; Dt 33:26; ; Esther 9:29; ; Ps 17:3-note;
Ezek 1:22, 23, 25; 10:1; 13:5; Dan 3:56
Genesis 1:6 Then God
said, "Let there be an
expanse (Lxx = stereoma = firmament - Webster's
Dictionary defines "firmament" as "the vault or arch of the sky") in
the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the
waters." Genesis 1:7 God made the expanse, and separated the
waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were
above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse
heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
(Expanse = stereoma in all these uses in the LXX).
The LORD is my rock (Lxx = stereoma "firm support" -
This begs the question - Is He
your firm support? He is. Do you believe it? Are you acting on this
truth when affliction, trials, temptations, etc come at you?
Spurgeon writes "The Lord is my rock and my fortress.
Dwelling among the crags and mountain fastnesses of Judea David had
escaped the malice of Saul, and here he compares his God to such a
place of concealment and security. Believers are often hidden in their
God from the strife of tongues and the fury of the storm of trouble.
The clefts of the Rock of Ages are safe abodes.") and my fortress
and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield
and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse (KJV =
firmament; Lxx = stereoma).
Spurgeon - Praise him in the
firmament of his power. It is a blessed thing that in our God holiness
and power are united. Power without righteousness would be oppression,
and righteousness without power would be too weak for usefulness; but
put the two together in an infinite degree and we have God. What an
expanse we have in the boundless firmament of divine power! Let it all
be filled with praise. Let the heavens, so great and strong, echo with
the praise of the thrice holy Jehovah, while the sanctuaries of earth
magnify the Almighty One.
Stereoma - 7 uses in the
Apocrypha - 1 Esd 8:78, 1 Macc 9:14, Odes 8:56; Sir 43:1, 8; Dat.
3:56; 12:3; Wuest notes that "First Maccabees has the verb; “he
solidified the battle, massed his lines."
Barclay comments that taxis
present a vivid picture, for they are
both military words. The word translated order is taxis, which
means a rank or an ordered arrangement. The Church should be like an
ordered army, with every man in his appointed place, ready and willing
to obey the word of command. The word translated firmness is
stereoma, which means a solid bulwark, an immovable phalanx. It
describes an army set out in an unbreakable square, solidly immovable
against the shock of the enemy’s charge. Within the Church there
should be disciplined order and strong steadiness, like the order and
steadiness of a trained and disciplined body of troops.
James Alexander said
The study of God's Word, for the
purpose of discovering God's will, is the secret discipline which has
formed the greatest characters.
FAITH IN CHRIST: tes eis Christon pisteos humon:
(Ps 78:8,37 Ac16:5 1Co 15:58,
16:13 1Th 3:8 Heb 3:14 1Pe 5:9 2Pe 3:17, 18)
Vincent comments that...
Faith is represented as a host
solidly drawn up: your solid front, close phalanx.
It is clear that the Church as a
whole remained true to the doctrine it had been taught. (Colossians -
Expositor's Greek Testament)
with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything,
but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's
relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included
idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it.
The Christians at Colossae held
their position as good soldiers: and their faith in Christ enabled
them to present to every enemy an immoveable line of battle.
The military tone of this verse
suggests that looseness in faith exposes Christians to disastrous
overthrow. The phrase
rendered faith in Christ is not found elsewhere in the N.T.:
but we have faith towards God in 1Th 1:8-note;
Philemon 1:5; and a similar phrase believe in God or in
Christ in Ro 10:14-note;
and frequently in the Fourth Gospel.
The truthfulness of Paul compels us
to accept these words as complete proof that the Christians at
Colossae had not yet been actually led away by the delusion against
which he now warns them. If so, this verse is not only a courteous,
but a necessary, recognition, in view of the warnings which follow, of
their loyal adherence to the truth. (Ibid)
that saves one's soul includes at least three elements (1)
firm persuasion or firm conviction,
surrender to that truth and
(3) a conduct emanating from that
surrender. In sum, faith shows itself genuine by a changed life. (Click
for W E Vine's definition)
William Barclay notes that...
Faith begins with receptivity. It
begins when a man is at least willing to listen to the message of the
truth. It goes on to mental assent. A man first hears and then agrees
that this is true. But mental assent need not issue in action. Many a
man knows very well that something is true, but does not change his
actions to meet that knowledge. The final stage is when this mental
assent becomes total surrender. In full-fledged faith, a man hears the
Christian message, agrees that it is true, and then casts himself upon
it in a life of total yieldedness.
Wayne Grudem defines faith
that saves one's soul...
Saving faith is trust in
Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and for
eternal life with God. This definition emphasizes that saving faith is
not just a belief in facts but personal trust in Jesus to save me...
The definition emphasizes personal trust in Christ, not just belief in
facts about Christ. Because saving faith in Scripture involves this
personal trust, the word “trust” is a better word to use in
contemporary culture than the word “faith” or “belief.” The reason is
that we can “believe” something to be true with no personal commitment
or dependence involved in it. (Grudem,
W. A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
The psalmist description of the OT
Jews (most of whom were not saved!), speaks of the danger of a
faith that is not stabilized...
Psalm 78:8 And not be like their
fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a
generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit
was not faithful to God... 37 For their heart was not steadfast
toward Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant.
Comment: Note the adjectives
that characterize unbelief - stubborn, rebellious, unprepared heart,
unfaithful spirit, heart not steadfast, unfaithful to covenant. These
are still some of the characteristics of unbelievers, whether they are
Jew or Gentile.
Spurgeon: A generation that
set not their heart aright. They had no decision for righteousness and
truth. In them there was no preparedness, or willingness of heart, to
entertain the Saviour; neither judgments, nor mercies could bind their
affections to their God; they were fickle as the winds, and changeful
as the waves.
And whose spirit was not steadfast with God. The tribes in the
wilderness were constant only in their inconstancy; there was no
depending upon them. It was, indeed, needful that their descendants
should be warned, so that they might not blindly imitate them. How
blessed it would be if each age improved upon its predecessor; but,
alas! it is to be feared that decline is more general than progress,
and too often the heirs of true saints are far more rebellious than
even their fathers were in their unregeneracy. May the reading of this
patriotic and divine song move many to labour after the elevation of
themselves and their posterity.
For their heart was not right
with him. There was no depth in their repentance, it was not heart
work. They were fickle as a weathercock, every wind turned them, their
mind was not settled upon God.
Neither were they steadfast in his covenant. Their promises were
no sooner made than broken, as if only made in mockery. Good
resolutions called at their hearts as men do at inns; they tarried
awhile, and then took their leave. They were hot today for holiness,
but cold towards it tomorrow. Variable as the hues of the dolphin,
they changed from reverence to rebellion, from thankfulness to
murmuring. One day they gave their gold to build a tabernacle for
Jehovah, and the next they plucked off their earrings to make a golden
calf. Surely the heart is a chameleon. Proteus had not so many
changes. As in the ague we both burn and freeze, so do inconstant
natures in their religion.
Christ (See discussion of what it means to be
in Christ Jesus)
Christ is the object of a faith that saves and stabilizes the soul of
HOW TO ESCAPE DECEPTION- I
am...rejoicing the see your good order and the steadfastness of your
faith in Christ.
Deception has always been part of military strategy. The British put
it to good use during World War II in North Africa against German
forces led by General Erwin Rommel. They constructed pasteboard
look-alikes of tanks and airplanes to deceive the Germans. From the
air this fake equipment looked real enough to fool reconnaissance
personnel, and it could be easily moved.
Satan, whom Jesus referred to as "the ruler of this world" (John
16:11), is a master deceiver. He was the driving force behind the
teachers who were trying to persuade the Colossians to accept heresy
as truth (Col 2:4,8).
Followers of Christ today are in a similar battle. How do we defend
ourselves against deceivers? Paul used military terms in his comments
to the Colossians that can help us to know what to do. First, he
commended them for their "good order," which refers to being
battle-ready, disciplined soldiers. Second, he spoke of the
"steadfastness" of their faith in Christ, which refers to having a
solid front. They had an unshaken commitment to their Lord and the
advance of His kingdom.
Don't be fooled by Satan's lies. Know the truth of God's Word, and be
battle-ready through a disciplined life and an unswerving commitment
to Jesus Christ. -- David C. Egner (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
The shield of faith protects us
From Satan's fiery darts;
And he cannot deceive us
With God's Word in our hearts. --Sper
God's truth is the best protection against Satan's lies.
Colossians 2:6 Therefore
I entreat you therefore not to abandon the Christ, as you learnt from
Epaphras to know him, even Jesus the Lord, but to continue to walk in
him as you have done so far.
NLT: And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord,
you must continue to live in obedience to him. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so go on living in him -
in simple faith. (Phillips:
In the same manner, therefore, as you received the Christ, Jesus, the
Lord, in Him be constantly ordering your behavior (Eerdmans)
Young's literal: as, then, ye did receive Christ Jesus the
Lord, in him walk ye,
YOU HAVE RECEIVED: hôs oun parelabete (2PAAI):
(Mt 10:40, 18:5, Lk 9:48, John 1:12, 13, 13:20 Jude 1:3)
The warning against defection
through delusion is followed by exhortation to advance in the life of
faith and the "therefore"
marks the transition.
from para = beside + lambano = receive)
means to receive to oneself what is imparted or delivered over. Paul
is saying that at some point the Colossians by faith laid hold of and
took possession of the Truth presented.
to receive something transmitted,
as spiritual instruction or truth (1Cor 11:23, Gal 1:9) or a ministry
The saints at
Colossae had received the living Christ, just as the saints at
Thessalonica had received God's living Word (He 4:12-note,
And for this reason we also
constantly thank God that when you received (paralambano)
from us the word of God's message, you accepted (dechomai)
it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God,
which also performs its work in you who believe. (1Th 2:13-note)
- 49x in NT - Matt. 1:20, 24; 2:13f, 20f; 4:5, 8; 12:45; 17:1; 18:16;
20:17; 24:40f; 26:37; 27:27; Mk. 4:36; 5:40; 7:4; 9:2; 10:32; 14:33;
Lk. 9:10, 28; 11:26; 17:34f; 18:31; Jn. 1:11; 14:3; 19:16; Acts 15:39;
16:33; 21:24, 26, 32; 23:18; 1 Co. 11:23; 15:1, 3; Gal. 1:9, 12; Phil.
4:9; Col. 2:6; 4:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 4:1; 2 Thess. 3:6; Heb. 12:28
THE LORD: ton Christon Iesoun ton kurion:
This is the only occurrence of
the specific name "Christ Jesus the Lord" in Scripture, which is no
Vine notes that
the historic person, who, as His name signifies, is Jehovah the Savior
by reason of what He accomplished by His expiatory death, and as Lord,
the One whose authority and control of the life are joyously
therefore appears to address two forms of heresy about the Person of
Christ. First, "Jesus"
in His humanity stands opposed to Docetism (dokeo
= to appear) the heresy that Christ’s human body was an illusion and
His death was a dramatic “appearance”. They said that
He suffered He was not God; if He was God He did not suffer.”
Docetism was popular among Greeks since its dismissal of
Christ’s body helped remove the scandal Hellenistic thinkers found in
the Incarnation. Second, the identification of Christ or Messiah with
the historical Jesus countered the heresy Cerinthianism
(ca. A.D. 100) separated Jesus from Christ. He taught that the Christ
spirit came on the man Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary, at His
baptism and empowered His ministry, but left Him before His
crucifixion. Thus Cerinthus taught the heresy that only the man Jesus
died and rose again, rejecting the doctrine of the Incarnation and
negating the Christian teaching of the atonement.
Paul’s point is that the Colossians had “received Christ Jesus as
Lord” and that they would remain safe from spiritual seduction
(apostasy) if they continued to walk in submission to him. We too will
be resistant to the gnosticizing influences around us if we walk in
the reality of “Christ Jesus as Lord.” The reason the major cults are
cults is because they have defective doctrines of Christ. The Mormons,
Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, etc., say, like the Gnostics,
that they believe in Christ—but what kind of Christ? Certainly not the
Christ of the Scriptures. This is also true of virulent forms of
legalism and some of the extreme forms of the “prosperity gospel”
which eat away at the fringes of evangelicalism. The safeguard against
this is a perpetual bowing before Christ Jesus, the Lord, in line with
our initial awareness that we are Christ’s and our sins are forgiven.
en auto peripateite
4:2 Ro 6:4; 8:4; 13:13; 1Co 7:17; 2Co 5:7, 10:3; Gal 5:16, 25; Eph
2:10; 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15; Php1:27, 3:16, 17, 18; 1Th 2:12; 4:1, 12;
1Jn 1:6; 2:6; 2Jn 6; 3Jn 1:3, 4,
Exposition of Related Passage:
(see discussion of what it means to be
in Christ Jesus).
A supernatural "walk" is only possible "in Him"! If you don't believe
this, then try to do it on your own and in your own power. Then watch
God send you a "pop test" and listen to the words that fly out of your
mouth before you can even "catch them"! We cannot walk as Christ
walked (1Pe 2:21-note)
in our own strength, but must continually (even moment by moment)
maintain an attitude of humility manifest by a continual dependence
upon the Spirit of Christ Who alone can enable us to walk (Php 2:12-note;
Ezek 26:27) as more than conquerors (Ro 8:37-note)
in the face of the struggles, temptations or tests God allows in our
(4043) (peripateo from peri = around +
pateo = walk) (Click
word study of
peripateo) literally means to walk around and figuratively
to live or pass one’s life, "walking" in either the sphere of truth ("in
Him") or darkness.
Present tense calls for a habitual walk or way of life and
imperative mood signifies a command (present
imperative). The metaphor of a walk merely
consists of two simple steps, repeated over and over again and thus
Paul is commanding not a complicated thing but a necessary thing in
order to be able to resist delusion.
As A T
Robertson puts it
to your first lessons in Christ."
Barnes adds that
object here is to induce them not to swerve from the views which they
had of Christ when He was made known to them...Continue in those views
of Christ; live in the maintenance of them; let them regulate your
whole conduct...they should live and act wholly under the influence of
the conceptions which they had of the Savior when they first embraced
him.... and do not permit yourselves to be turned aside by any Jewish
teachers, or teachers of philosophy"
Other expositors explain the passages as if Paul were saying
received Christ by the initial exercise of faith; now continue your
Christian life by a trusting in Him."
Paul had prayed that spiritual
knowledge would lead the Colossian saints to walk (peripateo)
worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects bearing fruit in
every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col
In exhorting the Colossians to live out Who was in them, Paul reminded
them they "also once walked (peripateo)"
in the things that are bringing the wrath of God (Col 3:7-note)
Paul uses peripateo the fourth time in Colossians exhorting the saints
yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the
opportunity." (Col 4:5-note)
To keep from being deluded keep
walking the way you began. You are on a pilgrimage called
"sanctification" heading for the land of glory. We need to continually
walk in the sphere of the truth that is found only in Christ Jesus the
Way. God did not just give us the map. He also gave us the Spirit of
Christ, the Guide for our journey called life (Jn 16:13).
The Guide knows
where you are headed, Paul recording that
who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."
reminds us that disciplining our walk means that first
we need to "stay in bounds" and "walk in Him". Think of a sporting
event without rules and the chaos that would result. Similarly
is a saint is not walking in His will (according to the rules) then
his mind is wide open for deception.
Barber says we need to be trusting totally in Christ.
"As you therefore have received Him" Do you remember when you were
saved and how you felt knowing you could not do anything to save
yourself except to trust Christ. Now, how do you "walk in Him"? You
stay in bounds. You love His Word ("the Shepherd's voice") You need
the attitude of total trust in one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul reminded the saints at Philippi that he
confidence in the flesh" (Php 3:3-note).
What if we would all have Paul's attitude in our daily walk, simply
allowing the Spirit of Christ to do in and through us what we know we
cannot do in our own strength. When you see someone who has stopped
thinking about what God can do and started thinking about what he can
do for God, he has entered out of the sphere of "in Him" and in
essence into the sphere of "in Himself", walking in legalism. Be very
careful in this area. It can be very subtle and sound very spiritual
to say "I'm going to DO something for Jesus."
point is that if it's not Jesus in you initiating the deed, empowering
it and anointing it, you can "hang it up!" It may look like a "good"
work in your eyes and the eyes of others, but will not bear fruit for
eternity (Jn 15:16). We call many things "good" that God calls "evil". Through Isaiah God
warned faithless Israel
to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness
for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and
sweet for bitter!" (Isa 5:20).
initiates is righteous and it all flows out of a continually dependent
attitude which says...
I can't. You never said I could. You can and You always said You
That's when you
are walking daily in the same faith that saved you.
Paul commanded the saints at
"be imitators of God, as beloved children and walk
in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an
offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
(Eph 5:1, 1-notes,
cp Ep 4:1-
Writing to the church at
Philippi Paul exhorted them to
yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that
whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that
you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together
for the faith of the gospel." (Php 1:27-note)
John says our lips should match
our life declaring that
the one who says he abides in Him ought
himself to walk (peripateo) in the same manner as He walked.
(peripateo) (1Jn 1:6)
This is a wonderful rule for Christian living. We cannot perfect in
the flesh what was begun in the Spirit (Gal 3:3), so just as you received Jesus,
walk in Him in the same way. The simple things of the Christian life
provide continually the reliable spiritual fuel for growth. We always
have to be reminded of the things we have been taught. The Colossians
were in danger of having started in the simplicity of Jesus, but
thought they could be perfected by the search for hidden wisdom
offered by the dangerous teachers among them...Paul uses a curious
combination of metaphors. As Christians, we walk, but we are also
rooted, and we are also built up. The metaphors are somewhat mixed,
but the message is clear: be established and keep growing.
><> ><> ><>
The life of faith is
represented as receiving-an act which implies the very opposite of
anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift. As the
earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as night
accepts light from the stars, so we, giving nothing, partake freely of
the grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells, or streams,
they are but cisterns into which the living water flows; they are
empty vessels into which God pours his salvation. The idea of
receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality.
One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is
substantial: so is it in the life of faith, Christ becomes real to us.
While we are without faith, Jesus is a mere name to us-a person who
lived a long while ago, so long ago that his life is only a history to
us now! By an act of faith Jesus becomes a real person in the
consciousness of our heart. But receiving also means grasping or
getting possession of. The thing which I receive becomes my own: I
appropriate to myself that which is given. When I receive Jesus, he
becomes my Saviour, so mine that neither life nor death shall be able
to rob me of him. All this is to receive Christ-to take him as God's
free gift; to realize him in my heart, and to appropriate him as mine.
Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf
receiving hearing, the dead receiving life; but we have not only
received these blessings, we have received CHRIST JESUS himself. It is
true that he gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin; he
gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things, but we
are not content with them; we have received Christ himself. The Son of
God has been poured into us, and we have received him, and
appropriated him. What a heartful Jesus must be, for heaven itself
cannot contain him! (Spurgeon: Morning and Evening)
><> ><> ><>
WALKING IN CHRIST
If we have received Christ himself
in our inmost hearts, our new life will manifest its intimate
acquaintance with Him by a walk of faith in Him.
action. (See also Gal 5:16
exposition) Our religion is not to be confined to our closet; we must
carry out into practical effect that which we believe. If a man walks
in Christ, then he so acts as Christ would act; for Christ being in
him (Ed: In the form of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ,
see Ro 8:9-note),
his hope, his love, his joy, his life, he is the reflex of the image
of Jesus; and men say of that man, "He is like his Master; he lives
like Jesus Christ."
Walking signifies progress.
"So walk ye in him"; proceed from grace to grace, run forward until
you reach the uttermost degree of knowledge that a man can attain
concerning our Beloved.
Walking implies continuance.
There must be a perpetual abiding in Christ. How many Christians think
that in the morning and evening they ought to come into the company of
Jesus, and may then give their hearts to the world all the day: but
this is poor living; we should always be with Him, treading in His
steps (1Jn 2:6, 1Pe 2:21-note)
and doing His will.
Walking also implies habit.
When we speak of a man's walk and conversation, we mean his habits,
the constant tenor of his life. Now, if we sometimes enjoy Christ, and
then forget Him; sometimes call Him ours, and anon lose our hold, that
is not a habit; we do not walk in Him. We must keep to Him, cling to
Him, never let Him go, but live and have our being in Him.
"As ye have received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk ye in him"; persevere in the same way in which ye
have begun, and, as at the first Christ Jesus was the trust of your
faith, the Source of your life, the principle of your action, and the
joy of your spirit, so let Him be the same till life's end; the same
when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and enter
into the joy and the rest which remain for the people of God.
O Holy Spirit, enable us to obey
this heavenly precept. (Spurgeon: Morning and Evening)
><> ><> ><>
CHRIST-CENTERED FAITH - Some
Christians try to live from one dramatic mountaintop experience to
another. Their relationship with the Lord is based on their feelings
at the moment. They go from Bible conferences to seminars to Bible
studies, trying to maintain an emotional high.
Author Creath Davis, referring to his early Christian life, wrote
I felt that if something
spectacular was not transpiring, my faith was weakening. As a result,
I missed most of what was going on in the valleys, waiting to get back
to the mountain.
What's an effective antidote for a feelings-centered faith? According
to the apostle Paul in Colossians 2, being Christ-centered is the
answer. Having received Christ Jesus by faith, we are instructed to
continue to "walk in Him" by faith (Col 2:6) through both the highs and
lows of life. By walking in close fellowship with Him each day, we
become "rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith"
(Col 2:7). We grow steadily into maturity as we focus on Christ and what
He has done for us, and not on our feelings. (Ed comment:
Feelings can be and often are deceiving!)
Mountaintop experiences can be beneficial, but nothing is more
profitable than an ongoing, Christ-centered life of faith. —Joanie
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
With faith in Christ we walk each
Accepting all that comes our way;
So let us view each task at hand
As being His divine command. —D. De Haan
True faith needs no feelings to rest upon
><> ><> ><>
LEARNING TO WALK - Walking
is just one step away from falling. That's why venturing out on two
unsteady legs can be frightening to a very young child. Yet children
keep at it until walking becomes second nature.
This is similar to learning to "walk" as a Christian. We put our faith
into practice one step at a time. Pastor and author F. B. Meyer
"We received Jesus into our hearts by faith. . . . In the
same manner we must live always and everywhere, receiving from Him, by
faith, grace upon grace, and allowing what He works in to work out in
all manner of godliness, tenderness, and Christlikeness. This practice
of looking to Jesus for grace in every circumstance of life tends to
become more and more habitual."
Paul urged believers to live by faith so they would become firmly
established in their walk with Christ (Col. 2:6, 7). We do that by
focusing our thoughts on Him: what He has done, what He is doing now,
and what He will do for us. We take a risk by depending completely on
Him, obeying His commands, and putting His teaching into practice.
Walking with Christ may sometimes be frightening, but it is the only
way to make progress in our spiritual development. Are you walking
by His Spirit today? (Gal 5:16) --D J De Haan (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
It is our Father's will,
And precious in His sight,
That Christians learn to walk
In wisdom, love, and light. --Hess
You cannot run the race until you learn to walk.
><> ><> ><>
MY sixteen-month-old granddaughter
and I were walking along the wide concrete channel in Muskegon,
Michigan. I was trying to hurry, but Kelsey was not. She had seen a
six inch-high ledge that ran the length of the walkway. Slowly and
carefully she climbed on top of the ledge.
After standing there triumphantly for a moment, she cautiously
stepped back down. It was quite an accomplishment for a little tyke.
Then, perhaps to convince herself that she had mastered the skill,
she tried it again. A few feet farther down the walk, she climbed back
onto the ledge. I waited for her each time because I knew this was an
important phase of her learning.
I also realized that I had something to learn from her.
Scripture portrays the Christian life as a process of growth in which
we advance from one stage to the next: from spiritual infancy to
maturity; from milk to strong meat; from being rooted in Christ to
being firmly established. We may want to be grown up all at once, but
we must learn to take one step at a time. That's how spiritual growth
Like Kelsey, I need to be sure I've mastered one discipline before
proceeding to one that is more advanced. Allowing spiritual growth to
occur one step at a time will keep me from becoming discouraged in my
climb to maturity.—D C Egner (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
><> ><> ><>
F B Meyer - Our Daily Homily
- When we were first brought to Jesus, we received Him into our hearts
by faith. Throwing open the door, we bade Him be welcome; and He came
in never to depart again. Though he was viewless as the wind, and
silent as light, He came. And there was a perfume as of myrrh, aloes,
and cassia; like that which fills the ivory palaces of eternity.
Now the apostle says that all our after Christian life is to be lived
on the same principle. The holy life is not an attainment, but an
attitude. Holiness is not an acquirement of which we may make a boast,
but an openness of soul towards the Lord Jesus, as of a window
unshuttered and uncurtained to the light. The believer is never
independent of Jesus; but at every moment he is receiving out of his
fulness, and grace upon grace. He does not receive his qualities and
attributes as things apart from the Lord Jesus; but receiving Him, he
obtains them. The holy man is he who has learned the art of receiving
Jesus; the holier, who has a greater capacity, through humility and
faith; the holiest, he who can receive most of the life of the Son of
Our daily life is here compared to a walk. We cannot choose it. There
is no alternative but to take what God has marked out for you; though
you may choose your atmosphere, or, to use a modern word, your
environment. Every step may be taken in Christ; rooted in Him as a
tree in rich soil; builded up as a house on a rock; inhaling his very
breath as the life of life. And whatever the need may be which the
exigencies of the path suggest, there is always an abundant supply in
the Lord Jesus, in whom all treasures are hid. He teaches us that we
may know; He indwells that we may be.
><> ><> ><>
WALKING WITH JESUS - THE
DAILY walk of the Christian soul is so absolutely important because it
is our witness to the world. Our character, as exemplified in our
behaviour, is the world's only Bible and sermon (2Co 3:2, 3-note). Let us
learn to walk so as to please God, and to bless mankind. To walk is at
first a Matter of considering every little step, but afterwards it
becomes the habit of the soul (Col 1:10-note).
We received Jesus into our hearts by faith. He entered through the
open door and became our Lord and Master. In the same manner we must
five always and everywhere, receiving from Him, by faith, grace upon
grace, and allowing what He works in to work out in all manner of
godliness, tenderness, and Christlikeness. This practice of looking to
Jesus for grace in every circumstance of life tends to become more and
more habitual--and this is what the Apostle means when he says,
"Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith."
But such a walk is only possible when we have learned to "crucify the
flesh with the affections and lusts" (Gal 5:24-note;
Editorial caveat: I believe this crucifixion is a past tense
action - at the time of belief we were co-crucified with Christ [cp Ro
That is our position forevermore. Now however we are to work out our
salvation daily by "killing" the fleshly impulses - eg, Col 3:5-note). The flesh is the
assertion of our self-life, whether in lesser or grosser forms, but
whenever self intrudes it exercises a baleful influence on our behavior and
conversation. Just as the iron of the steamer will
deflect the needle of the compass, so the intrusion of our self-life
will act as a drag upon our character and walk. (Ed: It will
"deflect" us away from the Spirit filled/empowered life. What is the
antidote? Only one way - Walk by the Spirit [Gal 5:16-note]
and then, and only then, you will not carry out the desire of the
flesh. Never try to defeat the powerful flesh by using fleshly means
such as rules, resolutions, restrictions, self-effort, etc. Only the
Spirit can defeat and negate the effects of the flesh. Learn to walk
with the Spirit of Christ daily for that alone is the path of victory
over the flesh.)
How can we crucify the flesh? Only by allowing the Holy Spirit to have
supreme control. He makes the Cross every day dearer and more
effective. He will conquer evil habits in us and for us, while we
stand by as more than conquerors through His grace. If we will be led
by Him, there will not only be deliverance from the self-life, but He
will produce in us the fruit of holy living (Gal 5:22-note,
Gal 5:23-note) which will please God
where "God Who is at work in" us is the Holy Spirit) and
PRAYER - Let Thy Holy Spirit be continually with us, and may we feel
the powerful effects of Thy Divine Grace constantly directing and
supporting our steps.
AMEN. F B Meyer. Our Daily Walk.
Andrew Murray (from Abide in
Christ) has these devotional thoughts on Colossians 2:6-7...
IN THESE words the apostle teaches
us the weighty lesson, that it is not only by faith that we first come
to Christ and are united to Him, but that it is by faith that we are
to be rooted and established in our union with Christ. Not less
essential than for the commencement, is faith for the progress of the
spiritual life. Abiding in Jesus can only be by faith.
There are earnest Christians who do
not understand this; or, if they admit it in theory, they fail to
realize its application in practice. They are very zealous for a free
gospel, with our first acceptance of Christ, and justification by
faith alone. But after this they think everything depends on our
diligence and faithfulness. While they firmly grasp the truth, "The
sinner shall be justified by faith," they have hardly found a place in
their scheme for the larger truth, "The just shall live by faith."
They have never understood what a perfect Saviour Jesus is, and how He
will each day do for the sinner just as much as He did the first day
when he came to Him. They know not that the life of grace is always
and only a life of faith, and that in the relationship to Jesus the
one daily and unceasing duty of the disciple is to believe, because
believing is the one channel through which divine grace and strength
flow out into the heart of man. The old nature of the believer remains
evil and sinful to the last; it is only as he daily comes, all empty
and helpless, to his Saviour to receive of His life and strength, that
he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God.
Therefore it is: "As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk
ye in Him: rooted in Him, and established in the faith, abounding
therein." As you came to Jesus, so abide in Him, by faith.
And if you would know how faith is
to be exercised in thus abiding in Jesus, to be rooted more deeply and
firmly in Him, you have only to look back to the time when first you
received Him. You remember well what obstacles at that time there
appeared to be in the way of your believing. There was first your
vileness and guilt: it appeared impossible that the promise of pardon
and love could be for such a sinner. Then there was the sense of
weakness and death: you felt not the power for the surrender and the
trust to which you were called. And then there was the future: you
dared not undertake to be a disciple of Jesus while you felt so sure
that you could not remain standing, but would speedily again be
unfaithful and fall. These difficulties were like mountains in your
way. And how were they removed? Simply by the word of God. That word,
as it were, compelled you to believe that, notwithstanding guilt in
the past, and weakness in the present, and unfaithfulness in the
future, the promise was sure that Jesus would accept and save you. On
that word you ventured to come, and were not deceived: you found that
Jesus did indeed accept and save.
Apply this, your experience in
coming to Jesus, to the abiding in Him. Now, as then, the temptations
to keep you from believing are many. When you think of your sins since
you became a disciple, your heart is cast down with shame, and it
looks as if it were too much to expect that Jesus should indeed
receive you into perfect intimacy and the full enjoyment of His holy
love. When you think how utterly, in times past, you have failed in
keeping the most sacred vows, the consciousness of present weakness
makes you tremble at the very idea of answering the Saviour's command
with the promise, "Lord, from henceforth I will abide in Thee. " And
when you set before yourself the life of love and joy, of holiness and
fruitfulness, which in the future are to flow from abiding in Him, it
is as if it only serves to make you still more hopeless: you, at
least, can never attain to it. You know yourself too well. It is no
use expecting it, only to be disappointed; a life fully and wholly
abiding in Jesus is not for you.
Oh that you would learn a lesson
from the time of your first coming to the Saviour! Remember, dear
soul, how you then were led, contrary to all that your experience, and
your feelings, and even your sober judgment said, to take Jesus at His
word, and how you were not disappointed. He did receive you, and
pardon you; He did love you, and save you--you know it. And if He did
this for you when you were an enemy and a stranger, what think you,
now that you are His own, will He not much more fulfill His promise?
Oh that you would come and begin simply to listen to His word, and to
ask only the one question: Does He really mean that I should abide in
Him? The answer His word gives is so simple and so sure: By His
almighty grace you now are in Him; that same almighty grace will
indeed enable you to abide in Him. By faith you became partakers of
the initial grace; by that same faith you can enjoy the continuous
grace of abiding in Him.
Colossians 2:7 having
been firmly rooted
being built up
just as you
Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him,
fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming
increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you
were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
Lightfoot: I want you to be firmly rooted, once for all, in him. I desire to
see you built up higher in him day by day, to see you growing even
stronger and stronger through your faith, while you remain true to the
lessons you have been taught, so that you may abound in it, and thus
abounding may pour our your heart in gratitude to God, the giver of
Grow out of him as a plant grows out of the soil it is planted in,
becoming more and more sure of the faith as you were taught it, and
your lives will overflow with joy and thankfulness. (Phillips:
having been rooted with the present result that you are firmly
established, and constantly being built up in Him and constantly being
established with reference to the Faith, even as you were instructed,
abounding in it in the sphere of thanksgiving. (Eerdmans)
Young's literal: being rooted and built up in him, and
confirmed in the faith, as ye were taught -- abounding in it in
FIRMLY ROOTED: errizomenoi (RPPMPN): (Col 1:23; Eze 17:23,24;
Ro 11:17 18; Eph 2:21, 22; 3:17; Jude 1:12)
Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him,
fixed and founded in Him] (Amp)
been rooted with the present result that you are firmly established (Wuest)
rooted (4492) (rhizoo
from rhiza = root) means to become stable, be rooted,
strengthened with roots and figuratively to be firmly fixed,
thoroughly grounded. The verb is in the
indicating that this rooting has been done to you by God's act of
sovereign grace. The
tense indicates past completed
action with continuing effect and thus pictures the initial "rooting"
the moment we trusted Christ with the result that we continue to be
rooted because nothing can separate us from the love of God which is
in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ro 8:39-note).
The only other
NT uses of rhizoo is in Ephesians in the context of Paul's
so that Christ may dwell in your
hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and
grounded in love, (Ep 3:17, context = Ep 3:14, 15-note,
Ep 3:16, 17-note,
Ep 3:18, 19-note,
Ep 3:20, 21-note)
The Lord did the rooting when they were saved, Paul recording a
similar truth in Romans declaring that
we have become (perfect
tense = past completed action with ongoing result) planted
together in the likeness of His death (Ro 6;5-note).
The verb rhizoo suggests stability,
nourishment and life derived from contact with Christ ("in
Him"). As a trees
roots sink deep into the earth for stability and nourishment, so too
our faith should strike deep into the sound doctrine and solid food
respecting the Messiah -- these strong roots will hold you forever and
Scripture frequently alludes to saints as "plants", the psalmist
recording that he whose
delight is in the law of the LORD and in
His law he meditates day and night...will be like a tree
firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit
in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does,
he prospers. (Ps 1:2-note,
Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in
the courts of our God." (Ps 92:13 -note)
In Jeremiah God promises
is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD for he
will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends
its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its
leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought
nor cease to yield fruit. (Jer 17:7, 8)
Comment: Don't read over this passage too quickly - especially
if you wrestle with fear or anxiety. Take some time [see
to see God's "antidote" for these spiritual maladies.
Isaiah describes the purpose of
those who are
called oaks of righteousness, the planting
of the LORD, that He may be glorified. (Isa 61:3)
We should grow
in order to glorify the Name of God...
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Thy name give glory
because of Thy lovingkindness, because of Thy truth. (Ps 115:1-note)
I lived in a certain vicarage for
fifteen years which had a pear tree in the garden; but never a
respectable pear did it yield me all that time. I am no gardener; but
my successor was - and, strange to relate, he had a bumper crop his
very first year! Why? He went at the roots, which I was too ignorant
to do. That's it! take care of the roots, the secret connection with
the Soil - the Quiet Time with GOD, and the use of His appointed means
of grace - the Word; the Footstool; the Table; the Worship; the Work,
"that ye may grow thereby," I Peter 2:2, and "that He might be
glorified": not we, but He! (Colossians 2:1-10
His Advice on Advance)
UP IN HIM: kai epoikodomoumenoi (PPPMPN):
(Lk 6:48; Jn 15:4, 15:5; Jude 1:20)
"being in process of being built up" (Literal)
being built up in Him" (Wuest)
takes a turn from an agricultural/horticultural metaphor to a
discussion of importance of recognizing & assessing "terms of
Built up (2026) (epoikodomeo
from epí = upon, Vincent says it indicates the
placing of one layer upon another +
[from oikos = house + domeo = to build]
= build a house)
literally means to build upon something already built, "adding to the
foundation of a building" (Friberg-Analytical Lexicon), "to build
further" (TDNT), to erect a superstructure (an entity, concept, or
complex based on a more fundamental one) which is the metaphorical use
in 1Co 3:10, Ep 2:20). Epoikodomeo is used figuratively meaning
to build up spiritually, to edify or to promote the growth of
Christian character (Col 2:7, Jude 1:20).
afford the following example, “build on it (a sound foundation)
your firmness and unshaken resolve” (Moulton and Milligan).
epoikodomeo in Ancient Greek writings (from Liddell-Scott)...
Upon this foundation was built
a wall of brick, fifty feet in breadth and a hundred in height; and
the circuit of the wall was six parasangs (parasang = an ancient unit
of about four miles). (Xenophon in Seven Volumes, 3)
And when the king had built
an idol altar upon God’s Altar, he slew swine upon it,
(Josephus Ant. 12, 253)
(of a tower) the building of
it was to be continued (Hermas Similitude)
here in Colossians (and Acts 20:32) the idea is "to engage in a
building process of personal and corporate development."
To finish the structure of which
the foundation has already been laid, to give constant increase in
Christian knowledge and in a life conformed thereto.
on the semantic domain consisting of oikodomeo, epoikodomeo, oikodome
says the idea is...
to increase the potential of
someone or something, with focus upon the process involved—‘to
strengthen, to make more able, to build up.’ (Greek-English Lexicon of
the New Testament : Based on Semantic Domains)
‘to finish the structure of which
the foundation has already been laid,’ i.e. in plain language, to give
constant increase in Christian knowledge and in a life conformed
thereto (Acts 20:32)...with the pass., in fellowship with Christ to
grow in spiritual life, (Col. 2:7)....Jude 20, where the sense is,
‘resting on your most holy faith as a foundation, make progress, rise
like an edifice higher and higher.’
Webster's says edify means to "To instruct and improve the
mind in knowledge generally, and particularly in moral and religious
knowledge, in faith and holiness."
- 7x in 6v - 1Co 3:10, 12, 14; Eph 2:20; Col 2:7; Jude 1:20 and is
rendered by the NAS as building(2), builds(2), built(4). (Note Textus
Receptus uses epoikodomeo in Acts 20:32)
WORD OF GRACE
Acts 20:32 (Paul is
addressing the Ephesian elders) And now I commend you (paratithemi
= entrust you to care and protection) to God (Always first to
God!) and to the Word of His grace, which is able (dunamai
able) to build you up (epoikodomeo) and to
give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Comment: Note that in the
NASB (from NA27) the verb is oikodomeo, but in the KJV
which uses the Textus Receptus the verb is epoikodomeo.
Either way, the principle is powerful.
What has the inherent power or
ability to build up a saint?
(in context Paul was addressing the elders at Ephesus but clearly the
application is to all Christ followers) The "Word of His grace",
a beautiful and poignant description of the precious and powerful
logos from the lips of God to undeserving sinners like us! It
bespeaks of His great grace. The logos speaks grace into our lives! No
wonder grace is so amazing! Grace is a multicolored word with the
divine blessings generally falling into one of two categories, either
His privileges to saints or His power for saints, the
power to live and grow in Christlikeness (transforming power as in 2Ti
and 2Cor 12:9-note
where the "power" is
= inherent ability to accomplish some task;
dunamis describes resurrection power
[Ep 1:18, 19], the very power that is available to every
believer through the "Spirit of grace" [Heb 10:29] Who indwells us [Ro
8:9] in order to give us power for living and ministry just as He did
for Jesus in Luke 4:14!). So we are continually built up with
His Word and thereby grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and
Savior Christ Jesus. (2Pe 3:18-note,
cp 1Pe 2:1-note,
1Pe 2, 3-note)
John R de Witt once said -
The sermon which is the richest, most profitable, instructive and
edifying is the one which is fullest of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Henry Law - Eternal love
devised the plan; eternal wisdom drew the model; eternal
grace comes down to build it.
1Corinthians 3:10 According to the
grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid
a foundation, and another is building on it. But
each man must be careful
(blepo in the
= command to continually keep looking with the idea in this context of
taking heed regarding one's Christian works or ministry) how he
builds on it....12 Now if any man builds on
the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay,
straw,...14 If any man's work which he has built on it
remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up,
he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through
Comment: Here we see the
vital truth that all our Christian work and ministry must be "built
upon" Christ. Paul emphasizes the importance of the correct "building
code" and the consequences of utilizing "cheap" building materials.
While addressed primarily to preachers and evangelists, the principle
is applicable to all believers and their work for the glory of the
Lord. If our work is not built upon Christ, we will not be
rewarded by Christ at the
The truth of future reward was one a great motivation for Paul and
should be for us as well. MacArthur qualifies this by noting
that "It was not that he wanted glory or honor for himself, or
wanted to prove himself better than other Christians, showing them up
in Christian service. He wanted the Lord’s highest reward because that
would be the most pleasing to the Lord Himself, and would most
graphically demonstrate his grateful love." (See
The Judgment of the Believer's Works)
What does it mean to
build on Christ? If we
are abiding in the Vine (Jn 15:5), filled with, controlled by the
Spirit of Christ (Eph 5:18-note),
and walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16-note),
the Spirit will help us, lead us and guide us (Jn 14:16, 26,
into those works which were prepared beforehand (Ep 2:10-note)
and which will glorify Jesus Christ (Jn 16:14). Works that we do must
point to Christ, elevate Christ, glorify Christ.
(God's household ~ a family) having been built on (past
completed action) the
foundation of the apostles and
prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone (akrogoniaios)
Comment: Writing to the Ephesians Paul
reminded them that the church was not a physical building but a body
of individuals "having built upon (epoikodomeo) the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner
stone (akrogoniaios), in
Whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing
into a holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built
together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Ep 2:20-note,
Eph 2:21, 22-note)
Fred Beck - You can't build
a church with stumbling blocks. (Which
are you in you to the body of Christ - an edifying block or a
Donald Grey Barnhouse - (The
household of God) The church of Jesus Christ is not a building where
people come together for a religious service, but it is a gathering of
people who come together in order to worship God and to build each
other by mutual faith and strength.
D L Moody - The best way to
revive a church is to build a fire in the pulpit.
Colossians 2:7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him
and (continually being) established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and
overflowing with gratitude.
Comment: Note that firmly
rooted is in the
which describes past completed action with ongoing effect. They were
"rooted" in Christ in the past and remain rooted in Him! The perfect
tense speaks of permanence of their "rooting" which should encourage
you if you wrestle with the teaching (with which I do not believe is
Scripturally sound doctrine) that you can lose your salvation.
Jude 1:20 But (Jude
believing readers with false
teachers) you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy
faith, praying in the Holy Spirit
Comment: Building up is in
signifying continuous "edification" and the active voice identifies
this as a choice we must make. The verb tense pictures the building as
a process (not an arrival in this lifetime!), i.e., sanctification,
progressive growth in Christ-like character. Note also our body is a
"temple" of the Holy Spirit 1Cor 3:16. "Faith" in this context is not
the faith we personally exercised in our salvation but "the
faith" or Gospel teaching about Jesus and His gift of the
Spirit, the truths were once for all delivered to the saints in Jude
1:3. This is the foundation upon which they [we] are building
Regarding the description of the faith as "holy" Mayor says “The
faith here is called ‘most holy’ because it comes to us from God, and
reveals God to us, and because it is by its means that man is made
righteous, and enabled to overcome the world.” In the Holy
Spirit - contrast the description of false teachers as "devoid of
the Spirit" Jude 1:19. In this lifelong "construction project",
believers are in continual need of the help of the Helper, the Holy
Spirit (Jn 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7), and one aspect of praying in the
Spirit is crying out to Him in times of seemingly overwhelming
trials/temptations. Remember that He is for us in the moments of great
temptation - don't forget about His presence and His power to help you
whether the "storm"! See
notes on Heb 2:18 specifically
the phrase "come to the aid of")
Being built up
present tense which pictures a continuous process (which
would equate with "sanctification" or "present tense salvation" ~
being saved every day). The
("divine passive") pictures the
effective force that brings about this "building up" as
coming from without, specifically implying as from God's Spirit Who
transforms us from glory to glory (2Cor 3:18-note). Don't misunderstand - this truth of
God growing us does not justify the phrase "Let go and Let God." It by
no means liberates the saint from daily making "holy" decisions. This
basic principle which regarding spiritual growth in grace and Christ
likeness is summed up in the letter to the Philippians where Paul
So then (based upon the truths in (Phil 2:1-11) , my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence
only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation
with fear and trembling (man's responsibility) for it is God
who is at work in you, (God's role) both to will and to
work for His good pleasure." (Php 2:12, 13-see note
Jerry Bridges refers to the
spiritual dynamic in verses such as Philippians 2:12-13 as "qualified
synergism": The Bible teaches that the Spirit applies his power to
our lives in two different ways. The first we call his synergistic
work, which refers to occasions that combine our effort with his
enabling power. But this isn’t a pure synergism, as if we and the
Spirit each contributed equal power to the task. Rather, we work as he
enables us to work, so we use the expression qualified synergism.
We’re 100 percent dependent on his power in order to participate in
the work, as the psalmist illustrated: “Unless the Lord builds the
house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over
the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1). Two
activities are mentioned: building a house and watching over a city.
The Lord’s involvement isn’t one of helping but of building the house
and watching over the city. At the same time, the builder builds and
the watchman watches. The verse’s message is that the Lord doesn’t
merely help the builder and the watchman; he’s totally involved with
them in this qualified synergism. He supplies all the enabling power,
and they do all the tangible work. There are many such examples in the
New Testament. We’re to “put to death the deeds of the body” —the sin
that remains in us—yet we do so “by the Spirit” (Romans 8:13). We’re
to use the spiritual gifts we’ve received to serve God and other
people, yet we do so “by the strength that God supplies” (1Pe 4:10,
11). Perhaps we see this qualified synergism most clearly in
Philippians 2:12–13...In this sentence, Paul refers to work three
times. We are to work—to apply ourselves with utmost seriousness and
vigilance. But we’re to do so with the recognition that God provides
us with both the motivation (the will) and the power (the work) to
obey. Toward the end of this letter, after describing how he’d learned
to be content in any and every circumstance, Paul summed up the
concept of qualified synergism with a sweeping, dramatic statement: “I
can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians
4:11-13). We’re fully and wholeheartedly engaged in the work as the
Spirit’s enabling power works in us. (from
The Bookends of the Christian Life [ebook]
Hardcover co-authored by Jerry
Bridges and Bob Bevington -
I highly recommend this excellent book which deals with the
practical Christian life in easy to understand language which is also
Jesus used a similar metaphor
of building in the conclusion of His "Sermon on the Mount" declaring that
everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be
compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the
rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst
against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded
upon the rock. (Mt 7:24, 25-notes)
C S Lewis - Never, never pin
your whole faith on any human being; not if he is the best and wisest
in the whole world. There are lots of nice things you can do with
sand; but do not try building a house on it.
Peter reminded the saints
undergoing various trials that they had come
to Him (Jesus) as
to a Living Stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the
sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up (oikodomeo
- being, action or power for building up coming from outside source,
the Spirit of God) as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual
sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is
contained in Scripture: "BEHOLD I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A
PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT BE
DISAPPOINTED." (1Pe 2:4, 5, 6- notes
In Him -
Christ is the solid rock, the firm foundation. (Related Resource:
Scriptures & chart - Christ, the
Rock, the Stone) In
Him not "upon
Him" as might have been expected. In this and in Ephesians
(Eph 2:20), Christ is represented as the sphere within which the building
goes on. (See comments
in Christ Jesus)
the main ideas are stability and
growth—the root, “in Him,” beyond the possibility of eradication; and
the growth that of a symmetrical structure, which, “in Him,” has its
unshaken foundation." (Commentary on Gk
Text of the Epistle of Paul to Colossians)
metaphors are those of planting and building ( cp. 1Cor 3:9; Eph
3:17-note). They suggest, (a) firmness, and fixity, (b) established
development and coherence. There is a noticeable change of tenses in
the two verbs in the original. That rendered “rooted” is in the
perfect tense, lit. , “having been rooted,” an act accomplished once
for all with permanent results; that rendered “builded up” is in the
present tense, indicating a constant process from day to day. The “in
Him” is repeated at the end of the whole clause as at the beginning,
lit. , “in Him walk ye, rooted and builded up in Him,” thus laying
stress upon what Christ is to be in our life. (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Barclay adds that
there are two pictures here. The word used for rooted is the word
which would be used of a tree with its roots deep in the soil. The
word used for built is the word which would be used of a house erected
on a firm foundation. Just as the great tree is deep-rooted in the
soil and draws its nourishment from it, so the Christian is rooted in
Christ, the source of his life and strength. Just as the house stands
fast because it is built on strong foundations, so the Christian life
is resistant to any storm because it is founded on the strength of
Christ. Christ is alike the source of the Christian’s life and the
foundation of his stability. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The
ESTABLISHED IN YOUR FAITH: kai bebaioumenoi (PPPMPN) en te pistei:
(Col 1:23; 1Cor 15:58; ; 2Thes 2:17; 1Pe 5:10; 2Pe 3:17, 18; Jude
and constantly being established
with reference to the Faith (Wuest)
more confirmed and established in the faith (Amp)
from bébaios = sure, fixed,
standing firm on the feet, steadfast, maintaining firmness or
Greek from the 5th cent. B.C. bebaios acquires the meaning of
firm, durable, unshakeable, sure, reliable, certain; and in the legal
sphere, valid, legal <> bebaios is derived from baino =
fit to tread on = having a firm foundation) is a verb which means to
make sure or certain, to prove valid or reliable or to verify and (in
legal language) to guarantee. In short, bebaioo was used in
secular Greek as a legal technical term meaning "to designate properly
means to make firm or reliable so as to warrant security and inspire
passive voice indicates that the effect of establishing or
confirming is the produced by an outside source (the "divine passive",
the Holy Spirit). The
present tense indicates that this is an ongoing process in every believer's.
The more we walk in Him, totally trusting Him, nourished by His Word
and our Teacher His Spirit, the more established in the faith we
8x in the NT - Mk. 16:20; Rom. 15:8; 1 Co. 1:6, 8; 2 Co. 1:21; Col.
2:7; Heb. 2:3; 13:9
The NAS renders
bebaioo as confirm(2), confirmed(3), established(1), establishes(1),
Paul explains that believers are
established through the gospel of Jesus Christ writing to the Romans
to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the
preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery
which has been kept secret for long ages past" (Ro 16:25-note)
Paul writes to the Corinthians
who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God." (2Cor
Wayne Barber relates his story about 10 individuals who were very
instrumental in his early faith, 5 of whom have strayed from Christ
being the central message of their preaching! We must all be alert to
the danger that if we stop trusting Jesus and Him alone and stop
obeying His Word, we too are at risk of straying into empty
philosophies which is really just something added to Jesus and
anything added to Jesus is heresy. He Alone is sufficient. We are
complete in Christ and need to spend the remainder of our earthly
existence seeking to know more and how that is worked out in practical
Christian living. Why are we so easily swayed from this main goal...to
know Him and the power of His resurrection (Php 3:10-note)?
Paul uses a curious
combination of metaphors. As Christians, we walk, but we are
also rooted, and we are also built up. The metaphors are somewhat
mixed, but the message is clear: be established and keep growing.
- this is more literally "the faith" and probably does not refer to
their subjective belief, their trust in Christ by which they were
saved (although some commentaries interpret it that way). "The
faith" probably instead refers to the object of their faith, what
they believed, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. See study of the
specific phrase "the
The sense (of faith) here is
objective, referring to the truth of Christian doctrine. Spiritual
maturity develops upward from the foundation of biblical truth as
taught and recorded by the apostles. Cf. Col 3:16. This rooting,
building, and establishing is in sound doctrine (cf. 1Tim. 4:6; 2Ti
3:16, 17; Titus 2:1).
Probably, as throughout this
section, Paul did not mean the experience of faith, or “personal
faith,” even though the Colossians’ personal faith was strong. The
attack was against “the faith,” the system of Christian truth
and its ramifications in life. The church was commended for its
growing strength in Christian truth. (The New American Commentary)
JUST AS YOU
WERE INSTRUCTED AND OVERFLOWING WITH GRATITUDE: kathos edidacthete
(2PAPI) perisseuontes (PAPMN) en aute en eucharistia:
as you were instructed,
abounding in it in the sphere of thanksgiving (Wuest)
Paul has just used the term
"the faith" which as noted speaks the doctrine that was
believed upon, the content of
the teachings, and now follows up with "just as you were instructed"
in that sound Gospel doctrine. The importance of teaching is stressed
“As you were taught
(instructed)” confirms the root-digging, foundation-laying,
guarantee-providing character of the teaching in the establishing of a
new church. The teaching was not something additional to or less
important than the gospel. It was basic to and constitutive of a new
community of faith. Hence its importance also in Col 1:28 and Col
3:16. (The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon : A Commentary
on the Greek text.Paternoster Press)
This building up process,
then, is founded on Christian teaching, so no believer will be built
up in Christ apart from subjecting himself or herself to Christian
from dáo= know or teach; English = didactic; see study of
didaskalia and the adjective
means to provide instruction or information in a formal or informal
It means to
teach a student in such a way that the will of the student becomes
conformed to the teaching taught. So the teacher teaches in such a way
that as the student is taught, he now changes his mind saying in
essence ''I won't do it this way (empowered by God's Spirit and under
grace not law), but I will do it this way because I've learned this
MacArthur writes that didasko
refers to the passing on of
information-often, but not necessarily, in a formal setting. It
focused on content, with the purpose of discovering the truth-contrary
to the forums so popular among Greeks, where discussion and the
bantering about of various ideas and opinions was the primary concern
(see Acts 17:21). Synagogue teaching, as illustrated by that of
Jesus, was basically expository. Scripture was read and explained
section by section, often verse by verse. (MacArthur,
J: Matthew 1-7 Chicago: Moody Press
which already has brought them out of darkness into light is to be the
guide of their present faith. We find a parallel thought in Galatians
where Paul writes
you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being
perfected by the flesh? (Gal 3:3)
(great quantities of, copiously supplied) (present
continually, as a habit of one's life) means super abounding,
abounding richly in that which ought never to be absent from any of
our devotions; namely, the grateful acknowledgment to God that
they had been made acquainted with truths so precious and glorious
respecting . As result of the fact that we are rooted and are being
continually built up and established, we are to add be abounding with
overflowing with gratitude for what God has done for you or are you
overwhelmed with the worries?
Paul is describing the "victorious" Christian life, wherein you are
expressing abundant thanks to God that the eyes of your heart have
been opened to these great truths so precious and glorious and life
changing. If there is any thing for which we ought to be thankful, it
is for the knowledge of the great truths respecting our Lord and
- 39x in 35v - Matt. 5:20; 13:12; 14:20; 15:37; 25:29; Mk. 12:44; Lk.
9:17; 12:15; 15:17; 21:4; Jn. 6:12f; Acts 16:5; Rom. 3:7; 5:15; 15:13;
1 Co. 8:8; 14:12; 15:58; 2 Co. 1:5; 3:9; 4:15; 8:2, 7; 9:8, 12; Eph.
1:8; Phil. 1:9, 26; 4:12, 18; Col. 2:7; 1 Thess. 3:12; 4:1, 10
The NAS renders perisseuo as abound(8), abounded(1), abounding(1), abundance(3),
abundant(1), better(1), cause to abound(1), cause to abound*(1),
excel(2), have an abundance(3), have more than enough(1), having
abundance(1), increasing(1),lavished(m)(1), left over(4), leftover(1),
live in prosperity(1), make abound(1), overflowed(1),
of Overflowing with Thankfulness...
The great Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, once was robbed as he
walked along a highway Afterwards he told his friends there were four
things for which he gave thanks. First, he was grateful that he had
never been robbed before. After many years of life this was the first
time he had been robbed and for that he was grateful. Secondly, he
"Though they took all my money, I am glad they did not get very
That was something to be thankful for. Thirdly, he said,
"Though they took my money, they did not take my life, and I am
grateful for that."
And finally, he suggested,
"I am thankful that it
was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed."
There was a man who had
learned how to be "overflowing with thankfulness!" Don't
grumble because you don't get what you want; be grateful that you
don't get what you deserve (or with Henry what you could have gotten!)
from eú = well +
= to grant freely, bestow) describes (1) in essence an attitude of
gratitude (Acts 24:3) or the (2) act of giving thanks (1Cor 14:16).
- 15x in 15v in the NAS translated - giving of thanks(3),
gratefully*(1), gratitude(2), thankfulness(1), thanks(2),
Acts 24:3 we acknowledge this in
every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all (complete)
1 Corinthians 14:16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how
will the one who fills the place of the ungifted (unlearned) say the
"Amen " at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what
you are saying?
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the
grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the
giving of thanks to abound (same verb as in Col 2:7 - perisseuo)
to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 9:11 you will be enriched in everything for all
liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying
the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many
thanksgivings to God.
and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting,
which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Be anxious ( + negative = stop this or don't let this begin) for
nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Colossians 2:7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him
and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and
overflowing with gratitude.
Colossians 4:2-note Devote
= command to continually persist in) yourselves to prayer, keeping
alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
1 Thessalonians 3:9-note
For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all
the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account,
1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
1 Timothy 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from
foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those
who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is
good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with
And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,
saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving
and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Paul reminds us that there are
no exceptions to a thankful spirit but that we are to
not a suggestion by command to make it your lifestyle to give) thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ
Jesus." (1The 5:18-note)
The call for a
thankful spirit permeates the Colossian epistle, Paul
opening with a prayer that the saints might be strengthened and
joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in
the inheritance of the saints in light." (Col 1:11, 12-note)
In Colossians 3
Paul sums it up them that in
"whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." (Col 3:17-note)
The writer of Hebrews adds that
Through Him (Jesus our mediatorial Great High Priest) then, let us continually offer up a
sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give
thanks to His name." (Heb 13:15-note)
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
IS A "FRUIT" OF THE SPIRIT!
Paul explains how this attitude of gratitude is possible writing that
we are to understand that this is
will of the Lord" and "be
= command to make this your moment by moment practice, not drunk with
wine that controls you, but "drunk" with the "wine" of the Spirit Who
controls you) with the Spirit...always giving thanks for
all things (This is "fruit" of the Spirit - try to do this in your own
strength! You cannot. But allow the Spirit to control you and walk by
Him - see below - and He will bear the fruit for apart from Him you
can do absolutely nothing - Jn 15:5) in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the
Father." (Ep 5:17, 18, 19, 20 -See notes
Ep 5:17; 18; 19; 20)
Wiersbe wrote that ...
A thankful spirit is a mark of
Christian maturity. When a believer is abounding in thanksgiving, he
is really making progress!
Have you learned to be thankful in everything?
You can't do it can
you? Neither can I. But God can and He has given us His Spirit. This
attitude of gratitude is not just "grin and bear it" but involves
prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit (His power is an absolute
necessity) and finally a volitional choice in each
situation or circumstance to submit to the leading of the Spirit Who
will change our "don't want to" to a "want to" and enable us to speak
and show gratitude. That means you do not grumble, complain and
criticize. That's what the fallen flesh does! But as you are filled
with/controlled by the Spirit and chose moment by moment to walk by
the Spirit, then (and only then) will the temptation to grumble and
complain be eradicated and replaced by gratitude. As Paul says in one
of the most important passages in the NT in regard to Christian living
by the Spirit, and you will (absolutely not = literally an
impossibility!) not carry out the desire of the
Do not try to control the flesh [rules, regulations, even
"accountability" partners, making vows like "I will not grumble," etc]
thinking by you doing these things [note "who" is doing them!] you are
"walking in the Spirit". Only the Spirit is powerful enough to
repress/suppress the strong cravings of the flesh for self
gratification, so our job now is to daily practice walking by His
Spirit and His power!).
To be thankful
means to find something in every situation for which you can genuinely
be grateful, but to reiterate, you must beware of relying on your own
intrinsic power to be grateful. Trust in the Lord and learn to
lean on His Spirit Who alone can produce the supernatural fruit of
this God glorifying, Christ exalting attitude of gratitude. Paul
reminds the Christians at Colossae that they have already accepted
Christ as their Lord, and bids them now walk in Him, to walk in the
power of the Spirit of Christ.
Thanksgiving is the end of all human conduct, whether observed in
words or works.
><> ><> ><>
GRATITUDE OR GRUMBLING - Imagine being given a bowl of sand containing tiny particles of iron,
and you are told to remove the iron from the sand. You have two
choices. You can pull your fingers through the sand, searching for
specks of iron but finding very few. Or you can pull a magnet through
the sand and watch it attract countless bits of iron.
Like the fingers in the sand, the grumbling heart finds very few
mercies. But as the grateful heart moves through life, it finds
countless blessings, just as the magnet finds iron.
Of all the choices we make in life, few affect us more powerfully than
our choice between gratitude and grumbling. An honest look at our
lives will reveal which choice we have made. If it's grumbling, we
probably see few blessings. If it's gratitude, we not only find
innumerable blessings—they seem to find us!
Paul taught that a heart overflowing with thankfulness comes from
being grounded in faith (Colossians 2:7). In Philippians, he pled with
the believers, even repeating himself: "Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I will say, rejoice!" (Php 4:4-note).
Which choice have you made? Grumbling or gratitude? (Ed comment:
The Spirit is working in us to give us the will or want to and also
the power to not grumble. Php 2:13-note.
Depend on His power!) Grumbling
overlooks blessings, but gratitude finds blessings everywhere—even in
dry, sandy places! —J E Yoder (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
A grumbling mood of discontent
Gives way to thankfulness
When we consider all God's gifts
And all that we possess. —Sper
With a little practice,
anyone can master the art of thankfulness.
><> ><> ><>
FINDING THE TRUTH- How would you
answer the following questions:
1. Did Jesus ever sin?
2. Was Jesus resurrected?
3. Do all religions teach the same basic ideas?
According to George Barna and Mark Hatch in their book Boiling Point,
many people who call themselves Christians have a hard time with
questions like these. When Barna and Hatch surveyed professing
believers, one-fourth said Jesus committed sins, one-third said He did
not rise from the dead, and one-third said all religions are basically
These are troubling statistics, for they reveal a serious lack of
biblical understanding (Ed comment: Yes, that is true, but it
could also signify that appreciable numbers of so-called "Christians"
are not truly born again, new creatures in Christ). The answers to the questions above are
concepts that are clearly defined in Scripture and are foundational to
the truth of the Gospel.
So, what can we do to make sure that we are "established in the
faith"? (Colossians 2:7). First, we must dedicate ourselves to read
and study the Bible (Ed: Confess known sin which will quench
your desire for anything holy, including the Holy Spirit and the Holy
Word. See 1Pe 2:1-note
noting what one must do before he is "like a newborn babe" in 1Pe 2:2-note.
Note also that verse 2 clearly gives the "formula" for how one grows
in respect to salvation and spiritual maturity! Note that it is not
devotionals, not commentaries, not Christian novels but the "pure milk
of the Word." cp Jesus' clear teaching Mt 4:4).
Second, we should seek the help of godly teachers
and dependable resources (Ed: I strongly recommend that you
consider learning how to "feed yourself" with
inductive Bible study.
The inductive technique takes some time to hone the skills of
observation, but you will come to agree it is more than worth the time
and effort! See an introductory power point I've put together - and
try to view it in full screen
Click here for Introduction to Inductive
Bible Study using PowerPoint - Click for Introduction to Inductive
Bible Study using PowerPoint (2002) -
Hint: View in
"Slide Show" mode [see icons at bottom of the Power Point frame -
click the one that says "Slide Show" - you can hit your "Escape" key
at any time to revert back to the normal screen] - each mouse click
will progressively give more information on each slide and make your
viewing more "interactive".)
Third, we must ask God to lead us to truth
and to keep us from error (cp Jn 14:17, 15:26, 16:13, 14, cp 1Jn 2:20,
27 which is in the context of false teachers.)
As God's people, we must love the truth, look for the truth, and live
by the truth. —Dave Branon (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Jesus didn't sin: 2Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1Pe. 1:19; 2:22.
Jesus was resurrected: John 20-21; 1Cor. 15:1-20.
Jesus is the only way to God: John 14:6; Acts 4:12.
Truth is not determined by how
many people believe it.
for free. It is an easy to
install and simple to use Bible Verse pop up tool that allows you to read
in context and in the Version you prefer. Only the KJV is free with
this download but you can also download a free copy of
which in turn offers
that work with
including the excellent, literal translation, the English Standard Version
(ESV). Other popular versions are available for purchase. When you
hold the mouse pointer over a Scripture reference anywhere on the Web (as
well as offline in Word for Windows, email, etc) the passage pops up
can be disabled if the
popups become distractive. This utility really does work and makes it easy
to read the actual passage in context and not just the chapter and verse