Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Colossians was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Chapter Two
(Lesson Two - 2:1-23)


Outline of The Chapter:

I. The Godhead Incarnate in Christ, in Whom The Believer is Complete (1-3)

II. Warnings
[1]. The danger of enticing words. (4-7)
[2]. Beware! (8)
    (a). philosophy
    (b). vain deceit
    (c). traditions of men
    (d). rudiments of the world
[3]. Nothing can be added to the completeness in Christ. (9-13) Spiritual Circumcision.
    (a). Law observances abolished in Christ. (14-17)
    (b). Warning against mysticism and asceticism. (18-23)



The errorists against whom Paul warns the Colossians, and against whom, in principle, the warning has perpetual significance, were called "Gnostics" from the Greek word 'gnosis', knowledge. The Gnostics "came most keenly into conflict with the exalted rank and redeeming work of Christ, to whom they did not leave His full divine dignity, but assigned to Him merely the highest rank in the order of spirits, while they exalted angels as concerned in bringing in the Messianic salvation." -H.A.W. Meyer. Paul's characteristic word in Colossians for the divine revelation is "epignosis", i.e. "full knowledge" (1:9,10; 3:10), as against the pretended "knowledge" of the errorists. The warnings apply to all extra-biblical forms, doctrines, and customs, and to all ascetic practices.


I. The Godhead Incarnate in Christ, in Whom The Believer is Complete -

"The mystery of God" - (vs. 2) is defined in (Rev. 10:7)

"The mystery of the Father" - is found in (Isa. 9:6; 1 Tim. 3:16; Col. 1:15 and Matt. 1:25)
"The mystery of Christ" - (Eph. 3:4; Col. 4:3; read Eph. 3: 1-9)

II. Warnings -

A. " walk ye in him..." Seven walks in Eph. 2:2,10; 4:1,17; 5:2,8,15. "...rooted and built up..." (vs. 7) Eph. 3:17. Herein lies the importance of discipleship, Christians should be rooted (vs. 7), grounded (Col. 1: 23), settled (Col. 1:23), established and built up (vs. 7), on the foundation (1 Cor. 3:5-10; Eph. 2:20).

B. Beware! - "A philosopher is a man who studies less and less about more and more until he knows everything about nothing."

[1]. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..." (2 Cor. 10:5)

[2]. "Vain deceit" is best described as a man deceiving you into accepting a thought, belief principle, or course of action which is unprofitable. (1 Sam. 12:21; Jer. 7:8; Job 33:27)

[3]. The "traditions of men" (Matt. 15:3,6,9) is to make it a practice of adjusting any truth which is detrimental to their own self-interests to a place where it is profitable and expedient to their own self interests. The "rudiments of the world" - "everybody else does it", "a little bit doesn't hurt", "I know when to quit", "it all depends on how you look at it", "that's your interpretation". These are some well worn rudiments.

C. Spiritual Circumcision (9-13)

[1]. Your spiritual -soul is stuck to your literal body when you are born. (Ps. 119:25) Being born "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1-4) you are joined to your flesh (Rom. 7:5); hence you are said to be "in the flesh" (Rom. 8:9) before salvation. In the Old Testament, they are- all in the flesh - Abraham, Isaac, etc. - so that no one can go to the third heaven at death, and their souls are spoken of as their bodies, (Gen. 12:13; 19:20; 46:18; Lev. 7:18,20; 22:6,11)

[2]. Before Adam fell, his soul was loose. Even if it had been joined to the flesh it would have mattered little because Adam was sinless until the fall. When Adam's spirit "died" (i.e. fell, ship with God's Spirit was broken) (Gen. 2:17; Eph. 2:1), the soul found itself welded (Rom. 7:1-4) to a body of rotting flesh (Rom. 7:25). Until Christ sent the Holy Spirit to this earth (Acts 2:1-4), no man - saved or lost - was "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands."

[3]. The inescapable conclusion is that the soul has a bodily shape inside the physical body. It is a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44) that is exclusively the property of the individual (Mark 8:36). When the soul is cut loose, it can remarry (Rom. 7) for it places the soul "in the Spirit" (Rom. 8:9,10) and the spirit has been joined to Christ's Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:17; Jn. 3:3-7) "...buried with him in baptism..." Rom. 6:4; Eph 4:4; Matt. 20:23

D. The Law was a schoolmaster (Gal. 3:24)

The Law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The Lord eradicated these ordinances so that in Christ the Law has no dominion over us for we are under grace. (Acts 15; Eph. 2:15; Rom. 6:4-20; 2 Cor. 3; Gal. 4:1-6) "Which are a shadow of thing to come" (Eze. 40-48; Isa. 66). Warning against asceticism Asceticism is the-teaching that the carnal or material world is evil or despicable, and that salvation is to be most certainly obtained by mortification of the flesh. The last section is a direct attack on those who believe that separation means salvation. The Trappist monks and Carmelite Nuns of the Roman Church believe that their self-infliction, secluded, impoverished life style earns credits with God. This goes to the credit of the flesh (vs. 8) and has no reward. It is "will worship" (vs. 23) and "neglecting of the body"; this system is built on a system of tradition and not scripture, none of the apostles would spend five minutes chanting in a Trappist monastery.

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