Monday, August 31, 2015

COLOSSIANS—Avoiding the Beguiling

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Col. 2:6-7)
Paul presents this multi-faceted concept as our protection from being beguiled, or deceived.

  • Receive Christ Jesus the Lord
  • Walk in Him
    • rooted in Him
    • built up in Him
      • established in the faith
        • as you have been taught
      • abounding therein with thanksgiving
This is such a simple program to fulfill, it is quite amazing that so many pastors work so hard trying to "preserve and protect" the flock through their many programs and often times, posturing, without even considering the ramifications of this passage.

Boiling all that down to its essence, we will find simply 
Give 'em Jesus!
The two primary aspects of this admonition are given first—receive and walk.

Since Paul is writing to believers, he words it in such a way that the assumption is that one has already, at a previous time received Jesus by faith.

That is the first and most necessary step of all. If you, reader, have not yet made that all-important decision, then I urge you to do so right now. Find a bible, turn to Romans 10:9-13, read it and do it.

The second step of protection from deception is to "walk in Him...as you have been taught."

Herein lies a major problem for a majority of believers today—they have not been taught how to walk.

Ridiculous?!?
Not really.

Travel the country the way I have. Try to keep up with where people are in their spiritual journey, and you will soon observe that most folks are heavy-laden (Matt. 11:28) with various weaknesses, not able to stand on their own for any length of time.

Some of the diseases I've seen, including the ridiculous and the common are:
  • a tremendous lack of basic Bible knowledge
  • inability to converse in the things of God
  • unwillingness to study without their teacher
  • requiring their pastor's permission for fellowship with others
  • listening to and receiving from a wide range of teachers
Any one of these may keep you from experiencing the fullness of what God has for you.

Any one of these is an open door for the devil to walk through into your life to begin the process of leading you away from "the truth that is in Jesus." (Eph. 4:21)
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If you would like to see what the Bible says about our walking in Christ, then I have collected all the verses from the epistles that mention that particular thought in one form or another. Highlight this section, copy it, and then paste it into your word processor and print it out for your own study. It will be highly informative. Plus, it will give you direction for your next few days of study.

Rom 4:12         Rom 6:4           Rom 8:1           Rom 8:4
Rom 13:13       1Co 3:3            1Co 7:17          2Co 5:7
2Co 6:16          2Co 10:3          Gal 5:16           Gal 5:25
Gal 6:16           Eph 2:10           Eph 4:1             Eph 4:17
Eph 5:2             Eph 5:8             Eph 5:15           Phl 3:16
Phl 3:17            Phl 3:18            Col 1:10           Col 2:6
Col 4:5             1Th 2:12           1Th 4:1             1Th 4:12
2Th 3:11           2Pe 2:10           1Jo 1:6             1Jo 1:7
1Jo 2:6             2Jo 1:6             3Jo 1:4             Jde 1:18
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Essentially, we have not been taught how to walk. We have been taught what NOT to do, but we have not been guided or coached in how to "walk in the spirit" in order to "not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16).

Yet, is this not the purpose of the ministry in the church? (Eph. 4:12)

Notice that the conclusion of Paul's listing of the gift ministries and their purpose is "that we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:14).  

This is exactly what he is warning us about in the passage from Colossians which we are currently considering.

I cannot emphasize too strongly the urgent need in this time to become rooted and grounded, built up and established in the faith that is in Jesus.

None are immune to the waves of deception trying to sweep away the bride of Christ (Rev. 12:15). Jesus indicated this as a distinct possibility in Matthew 24:24.

My heart aches as I write this, knowing that most of my readers will agree with much of what I have said; but there are a multitude who will not read, and not heed, and go their way, oblivious to what is happening.

If you are one who agrees, will you make it your ambition to alert as many as possible to the dangers before us?

Will you begin with yourself, looking to what you are being fed through your church, your reading, your viewing?

Will you ask the Lord to search your heart and "see if there be any wicked way in me?" (Ps. 139:24) Don't just be looking for sin, but be looking for that error which could lead you away from the truth that is in Jesus. (Eph. 4:21)

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