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Colossians, Chapter Two, Lesson Two

PROTECTING THE FLOCK            Page 4
V. 8 (cont'd.)

** What phrase does Paul use to describe the value and danger of this worldly philosophy?

"empty deception" - kenes apates is used to describe and qualify the term philosophia. The absence of both preposition and article in the second clause shows us that Paul is not introducing a new term, but is describing the first.

Apates - used here for deception, means "a deceit, fraud or trick". There is no value in such speculative human philosophy - even when it sounds good, the damage is eternal when it leads people away from the Savior.

** What are the two sources for such vain speculation?

1) The traditions of men - the practice of repeating previous errors because they were socially acceptable, or to use a term of our day, politically correct. We cannot allow our thinking to trade off Biblical truth for what the unsaved world around thinks is good.
cf. Mark 7:5-9, Matthew 15:5-6

2) The elementary principles of the world - This phrase is referring primarily to the letters of the alphabet. It literally means "things in a row". Given the simplistic religious views of the day, Paul is saying they should guard their minds from being deluded by false teaching and should hold fast to the truth. cf. Acts 17:16, 19-23

** Before we leave verse eight, what is the standard to which we should allow thinking to be taken captive?

The standard which is "...according to Christ."

V. 9 ** To clarify their thinking, what point does Paul what to make regarding the Person of Jesus Christ?

We can allow our thoughts to be taken captive by Him, because "in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form..."

** We saw this term used before in chapter 1, verse 19. Fulness, pleroma, is used here by Paul intentionally confronting the false teachers of the day who said that the divine "fulness" was divided in its expression among the various emanations or gods. How is Paul's view different?

Jesus Christ is God forever! He possesses all the fulness of Deity and is the One to be worshipped instead of the false gods of the nations.

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