The enemy will use persuasive words of man’s doctrines, even the word of God out of context, to confuse and pull Christians from their understanding of God’s true love for them.
Colossians 2:4-5 “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.”
Even though Colossians is considered combative against any other belief other than the deity of Christ and His shed blood for us, Paul does so without attacking the potential errors of the Colossians. Pastors and believers alike need to learn from Paul and his mannerisms. Paul’s teachings truly line up with the word of God, Psalms 34:8 “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him”. Paul is warning us that without a full understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified for “all” of our sins, Christians risk being deceived by various ideas and doctrines of man. This understanding can only occur as we purpose to see Christ in us.
From the beginning with Adam & Eve, Satan has used deception and lack of man’s understanding to “steal” from us what is rightfully ours. If he can get us to look anywhere else other than into the perfect work of Jesus on the cross or to lean on our own works instead of trusting in what Jesus did for us on the cross, we lose and he wins. This is the reason Paul wrote this epistle, he wanted the Colossians and us to be so grounded in the truth of the gospel that we become unshakable. It must not have worked for the Laodiceans who were to have read this letter as well; read Revelations 3:14-22. I believe people who walk away from Christianity never understood what they had to begin with. It is very possible they never truly became “born again”, but rather made a mental ascent at the moment stirred by an emotion and lead by a pastors preaching. This is not a bad thing, but without further understanding in what a person has, why would they want to hold on to it. These people are not necessarily backsliders, but rather window shoppers that never went inside the store. Satan did not attack Eve with the most powerful animal on earth and scare her into rejecting God; he used the most crafty and slyest of creatures, a snake. No one hears a snake coming close and you never know one is there until the last second. This is how deception comes upon God’s children, especially those that have not exercised their spiritual insight nor have a full understanding of the power of God that actually lives in us.
Verse 5 is not some spooky statement where Paul is looking into the lives of people he never met. Paul is actually living in the spirit world where all Christians should be living. We are to walk by faith and not by sight, 2 Corinthians 5:7. A prime example of spiritual sight and man’s lack of ability to look into it is found in 2 Kings 6:15-17. At first sight things may look bleak, but when we move into the spirit realm of seeing, we see a much brighter outcome. This is exactly where Paul is when he wrote verse 5. As we grow in the fullness of understanding and ask God to show us where we are spiritually we will see a much better picture than with our natural eyes. With God’s children everything is yes and amen, (2 Corinthians 1:20).
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