Disarmed!

Scott Hoezee

Read: Colossians 2:13-15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (v. 15) By now it has become clear that dealing with spiritual powers was high on Paul’s agenda in writing this letter. Colossae looks to have been a hot bed of pagan spirituality and a dabbling in spirits and authorities and powers. So Paul did not miss any opportunity to present Jesus as superior to all such powers. In …

Buried in Baptism

Scott Hoezee

Read: Colossians 2:11-12 . . . having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised. (v. 12) As part of his efforts to assure the Colossians of the certainty of their faith in the face of those pedaling opposing messages, Paul next shifted to the core of Christian identity: baptism. For Christian traditions that baptize infants, this verse confirms that baptism for Christians is what circumcision was for the Israelites. Circumcision marked a person as set …

All Authority

Scott Hoezee

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 …

Empty Deceit

Scott Hoezee

Read: Colossians 2:6-8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit. (v. 8) The philosophers I know don’t like Colossians 2:8. It seems to give their entire field a bad name. Like preachers, teachers, and lawyers, philosophers use words as their greatest tool. And they are good at it! They can box the average person into a corner so swiftly, you know neither how you got cornered nor how in the world you could …

Standing Firm

Scott Hoezee

Read: Colossians 2:4-5 I say this in order that no one may delude you. (v. 4) The gospel was not the only game in town. That was true everywhere in the ancient world. Across Paul’s thirteen letters, we see him again and again battling with false teachers. Some false teachers followed Paul around and would sweep into town the moment Paul left, subtly twisting and perverting the gospel message he had preached. But there were all kinds of religious ideas …

Riches of Understanding

Scott Hoezee

Read: Colossians 2:1-3 . . . to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ. (v. 2) Paul did not plant the church in Colossae and did not know those believers personally. We discovered earlier that it was a man name Epaphras who had brought the gospel to Colossae. But that did not keep Paul from desiring that the Colossians be firmly rooted in the knowledge of God. He referred …