- THE FREEDOM IN CHRIST <2:4-23>
(a). Freedom from Enticing Words <2:4-7>
Paul’s emphasis on teaching the pre-eminence of Christ is specific, in that they may understand that in Christ is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and that they may mature in this knowledge of Christ, “so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” <2:4 (NIV)>. Throughout the history of the Church many false teachers have emerged and Paul warns the Church in his day, as well as the Church in the present age, of these false teachings; encouraging believers to live by what the Scriptures teach and to disregard the false teaching that arise. We learn what the Scriptures teach by our individual study of the Word of God as we compare Scripture with Scripture and not what some teach by their “fine-sounding arguments”. Paul desires in all believers that they have a firm faith in Christ which can only be realized through constant and intense study of Scripture <2:5b>.
Additionally, he instructs us, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught” <2:6-7 (NIV)>. Since we have received Christ as Lord of our life we must continue live by His rule, we are deep-rooted in Him and should mature in Him, so that our faith will become stronger and stronger, in accordance with what we are taught through Scripture. In so doing we will be “overflowing with thankfulness” to Christ.
(b). Freedom from Vain Philosophy <2:8-10>
“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.” <2:8 (NIV); cf Gal.1:6-7; 3:2-5>. Paul further teaches that we should be very careful of those that teach meaningless and misleading beliefs based upon tradition and worldly opinions rather than what is taught by Scripture; this is very evident in the present day as God is removed from all teaching and thoughts of the society in which we live, and unfortunately several such beliefs being embraced by the Church. Some of this has resulted in captivity to false teaching brought about by fired up teachers seeking their own individual interests and welfare rather than the glory of Christ in His Church <cf Mk.7:6-12>.
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” <2:9-10 (NIV)>. Christ is our absolute Saviour because of what He is; He is God – Deity! <cf Isa.7:14; 9:6; Matt.1:23; Jn.17:5; 20:28; Col.1:19>. The very essence of deity was totally present in His human body, a fact that is rejected by false teaching especially those who profess to have a deeper understanding or wisdom (Gnosticism) which is based on human reasoning, prevalent in Paul’s day and in our current age. Every believer in Christ participates in this “fullness in Christ” as we recognize His Headship, Power and Authority.