Class Notes: 12/27/2008
Col 2:8 The command to "watch out" and "beware" of False Teachers and False Doctrine cont...
We are continuing in our discussion of the mandate found in Col 2:8;
This is a mandate for the believer to be able to identify the kosmic lie so that they are not deceived and taken captive by it.
The imperative is found in verse 8 where the word translated "see" in the NASB is the second person present active imperative of the Greek word "Blepo" that means to "see" to "watch out for" to "beware" or to "pay attention" or to "be on guard" This is followed by the negative conjunction of prohibition, "me"
At the time the Bible was written, "Blepo" was a command to be alert to a present danger that in this case was threatening the spiritual lives of believers at Colossae. It is a mandate to be alert to danger that if not complied with will result in the hearers continuing to fall victim to it.
Last time we were discussing some of the contradictions to the true spiritual life that are popular today that believers are to be aware of so that they do not succumb to the propaganda of false teachers and fall into them.
These contradictions look good and appear to be acceptable but they are not the spiritual life.
Picking up where we left off with our discussion of false systems of spirituality that believers are to "watch out" in order not to be not taken captive by them.
The false system of spirituality by prohibitions or traditions. Certain societies forbid things while others allow certain things. But cultural tradition or social usage of certain things cannot determine spirituality since the unbeliever can also conform to these traditions.
Many of these prohibitions are simply the result of the legalism that occurs when people try to superimpose their traditions and prejudices on others as if they were a commandment from God. Col 2:20-23;
They try to superimpose their tastes and their culture on others in the name of Christianity and reject the importance of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit and the PMA of Bible doctrine for true spirituality.
Remember the principle that anything the unbeliever can do is not a part of the spiritual life as defined in Bible Doctrine.
What one wears, how one cuts their hair is nothing more than personal preference, just like what one eats is personal preference.
Today we even have those who think they are spiritual because they eat healthy food. There is nothing wrong with that physically, but it is not spirituality.
There is also a false system of spirituality by relativity. This is the false reasoning that one is spiritual because their sins are more respectable than others. These believers are into self-justification 2Cor 10:12;
The kosmic believer thinks that subtle sins are justified and shocking sins must be persecuted. This false concept fails to recognize that carnality and spirituality are absolutes. All categories of sin demonstrate function under the OSN. James 2:10;
There is a false system of spirituality by ritual. This is a false system where one's spirituality is based on keeping rituals or holy days.
This applies to the ritual and holy days that were mandated for Israel in the Old Testament and includes those who think they are spiritual because they observe certain rituals of the church, such as water baptism or the Lord's supper; or because they keep the Sabbath or Lent.
This is the failure on the part of believers to understand that Bible Doctrine and reality has replaced ritual. Col 2:16-17;
Another false system is the false system of program spirituality. This is where one believes they are spiritual by conforming to the programs of a church.
In this case people think that they are spiritual because they attend church, give, participate in prayer meetings, bring visitors or work around the church.
We must distinguish between spirituality and service. The issue in spirituality is not what is performed, but who controls the life.
True Christian service automatically results when the believer is properly motivated by God the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine.
The problem in many churches is that overt activity is substituted for the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. This "program Christianity" creates an ignorance that results in frustration and permanent sin nature control of the soul because the way to true spirituality is not taught.
This activity caters to the approbation lust and power lust of the human race, people just love to be recognized for what they do.
There is a false system of spirituality by Asceticism. Asceticism is extreme self-denial. It can be exhibited by a denial of food, of human relationships, or the denial of all normal activities and functions of life. 1Tim 4:2-5; Col 2:23;
One who is ascetic goes for monasticism or seclusion from everything in the world.
Some even go to the extreme of inflicting self-torture. These people believe they are spiritual because they have given up the normal things of life and have shut themselves off from everything in order to fast and pray and agonize.
That is merely asceticism; it is not true spirituality, nor a means of becoming spiritual.
There is a false system of spirituality by Self-Improvement. This is when one thinks they are spiritual because they discipline themselves and are able to" pick themselves up by their own bootstraps".
The idea is that I can make myself do certain things in order to be spiritual.
The Scripture tells me to love so I make myself try to love the brethren generally without even understanding what kind of love is commanded.
The Scripture tells me to forgive as Christ forgave, and to be humble. So I try to work this up. I practice it until I get it.
This provides an overt facade of conformance to the word of God but it is unable to withstand the pressures of life and ultimately breaks down into disillusion because the power being used is from human energy rather than the power options of the spiritual life.
The discipline and may lead to self-improvement; but it is not spirituality, and it will not lead to spirituality.
God gave believers the Holy Spirit, and fellowship with him is the only way that the Christian life can be established and maintained.
Every time someone tries to be spiritual by their own works, they are going to fail in the Christian life and fail to glorify TLJC.
There is a false system of spirituality by ecstatics or emotion. There are those who say they are spiritual because they have had a certain kind of emotional or ecstatic experience.
The key to understanding the work of the Holy Spirit is not to equate emotions with his work. A lot of people are ignorant concerning the work of God the Holy Spirit because they are controlled by feelings and emotions rather than truth.
The emotions are simply responders; emotion responds to what is inside of the mentality of the soul that contains thought or lack of thought. Emotion also responds to the physiological part of the body.
Many times the emotions are effected by the organic effects of the body and emotions can function independently from thinking. Never associate feelings and emotions with spirituality. Emotion can be good and it can even respond to spiritual things but emotion has nothing to do with the spirituality or the Christian way of life.
Believers are not saved because they feel saved and they are not spiritual because they feel spiritual. The enabling power of the Holy Spirit is infinitely greater than the function of human emotion.
The mystery doctrine reveals the divine assets that God has given to each Church age believer and His instructions for using those assets. God has magnificently provided everything for us and has thoroughly instructed us so that we can “Walk in a manner worthy of our calling”. Eph 4:1;
In order to combat kosmic propaganda that is directed toward Divine Establishment and the Mystery Doctrine of the church age, believers must stand fast behind the garrison of truth from metabolized Bible Doctrine that is resident in their souls.
Bible Doctrine and the Mentor ministry of God the Holy Spirit, will lead believers to evangelize the lost, teach Scripture to the saved, and voice their firm belief that true freedom and domestic order can only be realized and maintained by wide acceptance of the absolute truths found in the Word of God.
The accurate communication of the Word of God and the willingness of believers to live it and defend it are imperatives for the Christian. When doctrine is rejected then false teachers have open season on the souls of the vulnerable.
A passage that is related to the warning found in Col 2:8 is found in Paul's instruction to Timothy that is found in 1Tim 1:3;
Timothy was the pastor of the Ephesian church and Paul's first letter to him was written from Macedonia.
1Tim 1:3 - I encouraged you to remain behind at Ephesus while I went to Macedonia for the purpose that you might use your authority to the utmost toward certain ones that they teach no other doctrine,
v. 4 - nor become occupied with fables and endless genealogies, which cause useless speculation rather then edification as God would have it, which is by means of doctrine.
In this case there was a faction in the local assembly at Ephesus that was emphasizing the legalism of the Mosaic Law and stressing oral tradition that was outside the mandates that are found in the revelation of the Bible.
It was an attempt to inject the legalism of Judaism into incipient Christianity.
v. 5 -But the objective of the commandment is love from the source of a pure heart (status quo spirituality under the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit), from a good conscience (establishment and doctrinal norms and standards from Bible Doctrine circulating in the thinking), and from doctrine without hypocrisy (objectivity rather than subjectivity in the evaluation of Scripture),
v. 6 - From which some communicators have deviated, having turned aside to fruitless chatter.
The mission of the pastor is to objectively communicate what the Word of God says without regard to whatever ideas are being promoted at the time.
This requires the pastor to be able to lead his congregation from the front by functioning from an inventory of ideas in his conscience based on establishment and doctrinal viewpoint, the courage to present the teachings of the Word objectively to the local assembly and allowing for the time and space for God the Holy Spirit to do his work in every believer.
Many of the communicators in Ephesus had deviated from these standards and having done so had engaged in what Paul describes as "fruitless discussion."
Paul addressed Titus regarding these same things in Titus 1:10-14;
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