False Teaching - The Trappings of Traditions - Colossians 2:5-8
June 16, 2022, 8:00 AM

5. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.  6. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live 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 basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.  

There is a firmness in faith that delights Paul when he thinks of the church at Colossae. He gives them a further challenge to continue to live in Christ. Be rooted and built up in Him. There were teachings that they needed to hang onto.

We have heard of struggles, especially recently between traditional and contemporary ways of doing things. There is cartoon where leaders of a contemporary church were discussing decisions for the following week and one objected,” We never did it that way last week.”

But, in verse 8 Paul also warns against the hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. It is to be our warning that we need to look at what is the core of things that are of Christ and what are the things which we hang onto that need to be discarded or through repeated practice start getting in the way of the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Not only do some people trust their experiences over Scripture and their own intellect with liberal leanings, Paul also warns against the traditions of men. Traditions can be very meaningful. Someone in the past decided that a particular teaching or custom or ceremony should be repeated again and again. For that person, that teaching or custom or ceremony was extremely important. It had to be preserved. It must not be forgotten. However the deep heart-meaning of the tradition can get lost or what also happens, the form becomes more important than the substance. It becomes a dead ritual and calls for no real heart commitment.

In the Bible days there were lots of illustrations of traditions that got in the way of truth. Pharisees criticized the disciples who broke traditions by failing to wash their hands in a certain customary way before eating bread. Jesus pointed out to them; they were ignoring a more important matter of breaking one of the ten commandments of not honoring their parents.

Man's activities cannot become the final source of truth.

Application:   What we do, and how we do things needs to be examined based on the Scriptures, not man’s traditions.   

Prayer:   Lord, may my worship and the worship of our Church be rooted in Your Word and a worship of Spirit and of Truth.