Colossians 2

This devotional is written by Carla McGonagle.

Colossians 2

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

Spiritual fullness in Christ

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Freedom from human rules
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.


‘the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge’ (v2-4)

In today’s passage, Colossians 2, we are continuing Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Paul is writing
while under house-arrest and refers at the end of the letter to being ‘in chains’ (4:18). He talks about how much he is struggling, but that his goal is to encourage the Colossians and also to explain ‘the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (v2 - 4).

I think that most of us would be interested in knowing all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
that sounds pretty cool. Paul says that all you need is Christ - you don’t need anything else.

This goes against the rules of the world, which continuously comes up with different things to
idolise, worship and submit to, the latest rules and regulations - there is pressure to conform to
things other than Jesus and there are always people trying to influence this conformity. Paul is
issuing a warning, essentially saying ‘don’t be fooled’.

Chapter 2 does spend a lot of time explaining the difference between Jesus and the other cultural
influences of the time. There seems to be two main areas where people are being swayed - on the
one hand, there is pressure to conform to the Jewish Law and to follow rules such as eating certain
foods, observing certain religious festivals and being circumcised. On the other hand, there is
pressure to conform to worshiping other things like angels, idols, other spiritual elements based on ‘human commands or teachings’ (v22). He also mentions people who ‘puff themselves up’ trying to seem important by doing hard things such as treating their body harshly. Paul says that all of this is ‘hollow and deceptive philosophy’ (v8).

Paul goes on to say that ‘Christ is the Head over every power and authority’ (v10) and that all of the
powers and authorities were disarmed when Jesus triumphed over them by the cross (v15).
I think sometimes we forget the power of the cross and what Jesus really did for us - he defeated
every single power and authority; he gave us freedom from human regulations through a life with
Christ. Isn’t that amazing?

Paul says ‘just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in
him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and over-flowing with thankfulness (v6-8).
Sounds good to me.

Lord, thank you for what you did on the Cross and that you defeated every power and authority.
Thank you that you have given us the freedom to live our lives in you. Lord help us to be
strengthened in our faith and over-flowing with thankfulness today. Amen.

No Comments