NOTE: This blog posting belongs between 'Head and Heart' and 'Nailed to the Cross' if you want to read in sequence.
Colossians 2:4 "Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power."
Now we are beginning to get a picture of what the problems are in Colossae and Laodicea. The truth is you are likely to have more problems following Jesus than living a "normal" life. 1 Peter 5:8 says this:
"Be vigilant, be sober, for your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour".
Think of this life and this earth like a turf war. Satan considers you his "territory" and Jesus wants you back. Whenever the devil sees you getting closer to Jesus he will do whatever he can to stop that from happening.
Now think about the image of a roaring lion. Does it make sense for a lion on the hunt for victims to be roaring. Crazy right? But there is one circumstance when a lion will roar at it's prey. If a lion finds prey that has found a safe place that he can't get at he will roar. The roaring is meant to cause fear and panic so that his prey will freak out and run to escape the roaring. As soon as the prey runs he becomes more accessible and the lion gives chase...
We have now learned that there are one or more people in Colossae and Laodicea who have come in with persuasive words. This is the opposite of a roaring lion. This is a wolf dressed like a sheep. Notice what Paul says repeatedly: Keep your faith in Christ, remain steadfast in Him, stay in Christ and walk with Him, be built up in Him. Then his last line gives us a deeper insight into the trouble that is brewing. "You are complete in Him". Clearly whoever has come in among these believers is deceitfully persuading them that they are incomplete - that they need more than Jesus.
This of course appeals to our nature. More sounds better, seems better. If Jesus is good, Jesus plus ??? must be even better right? Paul says in Christ is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. What can be added?
As we continue deeper into the issues at Colossae and Laodicea we will find out exactly what the "more" is. Let me leave you with the truth Paul is speaking of. When you find Jesus the devil will come hunting. He will do it through any means available to him. It might be the roar of fearful intimidation or the sweet counsel of someone who seems so close to God that you can't imagine them speaking anything but truth.
Here is the litmus test: If they try in any way to add to or take away from Jesus then you are being lied to and are in danger of being deceived. Put all your faith in Jesus. Walk with Him. Remain steadfast in Him. You are complete in Him. You don't need anyone or anything else.