All Authority

Read: Colossians 2:8-10

You have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (v. 10)

In yesterday’s reading, Paul warned about slick-talking philosophers who try to argue us out of our faith. He then goes on in verse 8 to connect that to what he called “the elemental spirits of the world.” In other words, sometimes behind the arguments of those who want to debunk the gospel are truly existing spiritual powers. The gospel is not the only game in town. But neither is the Holy Spirit the only spiritual power in town.

On the face of it, that can sound scary. None of us likes to ponder the idea that we are up against real powers: demons, fallen angels, or impure spirits. A fictional ghost story told at a campfire is one thing; really encountering a spiritual force is another.

Now, to be clear: every time you encounter a disagreeable person who rolls her eyes over your Christian faith, you don’t have to conclude that this person is in the service of an impure spirit. But neither should we think such spirits are never at work. Yet Paul did not want to scare the Colossians or us. He wanted to reassure us. Because in the spiritual realm, Jesus is the supreme authority. We have the right person on our side in these struggles! So yes, there are spiritual forces arrayed against us. But as Jesus said, “Take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)! —Scott Hoezee

As you pray, thank God for giving to Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth!

About the Author

Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.

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