Puffed Up

Read: Colossians 2:16-19

Therefore let no one pass judgment on you. (v. 16)

A few days ago we noted that the most dangerous false messages are the ones that sound “plausible” or the most reasonable. We are unlikely to get knocked off our spiritual stride by quirky or bizarre teachings that come from way outside our life as believers. It’s the subtle stuff, the new spin put on a familiar idea, that might trip us up.

In today’s reading, Paul said that the worst false teachings were centered on things that sound very Christian to begin with: angels, the Sabbath, religious feasts. Some in Colossae were claiming that to be a real Christian, you had to observe a ton of rules for the Sabbath. Others were getting caught up in seeing alleged visions of angels—of God’s angels no less—and that these visions were the mark of superior Christians.

But Paul detected a problem: these “super Christians” were getting all puffed up and conceited. They were putting on airs over believers who could not manage to have one of those swoony angel dreams. But being puffed up like that meant just one thing to Paul: those folks were no longer relying on Jesus alone for their salvation. In God’s grace, there are no greater or lesser believers. There is never reason to get puffed up because you owe everything to Jesus anyway. Instead, Paul advised that they hold fast to Jesus, the head of the body, because when they did, they would know they didn’t need anything else! —Scott Hoezee

As you pray, in great humility thank Jesus again for accomplishing all of your salvation.

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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