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BE ON YOUR GUARD*By R.B. Shiflet

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BE ON YOUR GUARD*By R.B. Shiflet Empty BE ON YOUR GUARD*By R.B. Shiflet

Post  Admin on Fri 28 Jan 2011, 12:36 pm

*BE ON YOUR GUARD*
*By R.B. Shiflet*
*
One of the strongest appeals that the Apostle Paul makes to believers is
that found in Colossians 2:4-23, in which he warns us against letting
Satan capture our minds. This section of the epistle is bounded on
either side by the word hid, and its key message is the fulness of
Christ as the only answer to the emptiness of human reasoning. Note how
in verse 3 he refers to Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge, and in chapter 3, verse 3, he says to us as
believers, ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Between these passages that tell us that all true wisdom and knowledge
are hidden in Christ and that our own lives are also hidden in Him, he
calls attention to (1) The Purpose of our Enemy, (2) The Plan of our
Enemy, and (3) The Protection Against our Enemy.
THE PURPOSE of our Enemy
The aim of our foe is stated in Colossians 2:8: Beware lest any man
spoil you.The term means to or to make a preY of, or
to take one captive. It is obvious that a loose hold on the truth of our
fulness in Christ will make one an easy victim to this method of
deception. Just as surely as the truth makes free, error genders to
bondage. One who fails to see the truth of our completeness in Christ
and His fulness does not have a balanced view of truth and can be easily
led astray.
It is interesting to note the bait that Satan uses to reason aside the
weak brother that he takes into captivity. For the carnal believer, such
as those at Corinth, he uses the coarse appeals of the flesh with all of
its lusts. But for the spiritual Christian who still has an unbalanced
view of truth, he may use a spiritual bait as is suggested in
Colossians 2:18. This may come in the form of visions, superior claims
to holy living, or any effort to attain spiritual progress through
fleshly efforts or wisdom.
THE PLAN of Our Enemy
The enemy usually lures us aside through an emphasis on an empty,
deceitful kind of wisdom. He bases this, according to our chapter in
Colossians, on three things:
First, he uses man-made teachings, or the traditions of men. Bible
teachers tell us that the word tradition as used here is found
thirteen times in the New Testament, and it is usually used in a bad
sense. Note, for example, where the Pharisees were charged with making
the Word of God of none effect through their traditions (Mark 7:2-7).
How much of the church programs of today are nothing more than
traditions of men, with no Scriptural basis!
Second, Satan would lead us astray by keeping us in the elements, or
rudiments of the world. The term rudimentsmeans first steps. The
Hebrews were told that these rudiments or elements belonged to
childhood, and the mature believer was charged to leave them and go on
(Hebrews 5:12-6:3). The Galatians were told that these rudiments would
only gender bondage (Galatians 4:3). In Colossians 2:20, the believer is
told that he is dead with Christ to these rudiments, and that he
therefore should not be subject to carnal ordinances. By way of
contrast, he is told to set his affections on things above, not on
things on the earth. Believers who live in the shadow days of external
ordinances miss the joy of the reality, who is Christ; those who feel
that they can worship only with these worldly elements fail to see that
we are citizens of heaven and in the sight of God are seated with
Christ in heavenly places even now.
Third, if Satan cannot lure us through traditions of men and rudimentary
ordinances, he will make the intellectual appeal. He will reason us
aside through wisdom of words, making the cross of Christ ineffective (1
Cor. 1:17); he will try to get us so involved in the wisdom of this
world that we will fail to see that it is only foolishness to God (1
Cor. 3:19); he will lead us into fleshly wisdom, frustrating the grace
of God (2 Cor. 1:12); and he will make the wisdom from beneath so,
attractive that we neglect the wisdom which is from above (James 3:15-17).
THE PROTECTION Against Our Enemy
The entire Colossian epistle is written to give us the protection we
need against these tactics of our enemy. It may be summarized in one or
two verses: For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,
and ye are COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the head of all principality and
power (Colossians 2:9-10). This completeness in Christ is the exact
opposite of the empty, vain life that Satan has to offer. Are we really
aware of what we have? YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM! If I am complete in
Christ, then nothing a preacher or a church can do for me in the way of
ritual or religion is needed. As a matter of fact, we can add nothing to
completeness. We are Complete in HIM. If we believe this, may we act
upon it and make Christ the center and circumference of our lives. May
we rejoice in Him, glory in Him, do all that we say or do in HIS name,
giving no occasion to the flesh, but doing all for His honor and glory.
Only then will the purpose and plan of our enemy be foiled and our
protection against him be sure.
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