The Philosophy of Men
Message No. 0645 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
The church in Colossae was said to not have been planted by Paul, but by one of his converts, Epaphras, who listened to his teachings while visiting Ephesus during Paul’s missionary activities in the city. It was thought that Epaphras came back to Colossae, his hometown, and established the church. Nevertheless, the influence of Paul on this church could not be easily overlooked, as Epaphras continued to learn from him and to visit him, especially when in Rome, to report some of the challenges the church was facing. It was in response to these challenges that Paul wrote the letter to the Colossians.
It appears that some deception from certain ‘men of wisdom’ was creeping into the church, such as self-reliance, the worship of angels and other forms of heresy that were trying to trick the church out of the belief in the finished work of Christ. Writing in chapter 2 verses 8 - 10, Paul cautioned:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
As we know, antagonism to Christ is as old as when He was here on earth, the Pharisees and other religious rulers of that age challenged and opposed Him in attempts to maintain the way of life that they were used to. When Paul was planting the churches during his missionary journeys, it was common for him to depart a city, only for some people to go into the church he planted to sow deceits and belief in established human principles rather than the reliance on Christ.
Unfortunately, 2000 years after these churches were planted, our societies today do not show that men have changed a lot, especially in times of economic boom when men believe that they, through the wisdom of man, are responsible for the boom and therefore do not need God. Pronouncements from some of our leaders are clear: they have worked hard, and their successes and the successes of their nations are a testimony to what they have done.
Not only do we see the pride of man in economic booms, we also see this in technological advancement driven by increase in knowledge. When all of these are combined, we see a world that does not believe that God can dictate to them how to live. They antagonize the Word of God and use their positions to try to coerce the church into changing the very principles upon which the Word is based. Legislators in many parts of the world make laws that are in direct conflict with God’s Word, especially in response to the demands of their voters.
We coin words daily to justify our behaviors and opposition to God in different areas of our lives. Words like Inclusion, as harmless as it seems, tend to always mean accept everyone and everything, with the exception of Jesus. We are able to greet everyone very freely in our offices and other fora if what they are celebrating is anything other than Christ. When we mention the name of Jesus, then we must be prepared to have a discussion with HR.
The prevalence of sin in our societies has prompted many to opine that, but for the mercy of God, this world is due for erasure as we always device ways to anger God every day. In all these, we must not relent to pray for the elect, because even the Bible says that the elect will be deceived if care is not taken. We must continue to remember that even though we live in this world of sin, we have a home beyond the rivers, and the qualifications for going there have not changed. God is not going to lower the entry requirements to accommodate a new world order. Let us, who are cleansed by Christ, remain focused and seek those things which are above, so that, as indicated by Paul in Colossians 3:4, when Christ who is our life appears, then we also will appear with Him in Glory.
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