Friday, July 11, 2014

Colossians 2: Man-Made Religion vs. Growth from God

Earlier this week, we continued in our church's Women's Summer Bible Study with the second part of Colossians Chapter 2, where Paul addresses the false teaching that has come into the church in Colosse. In particular he was highlighting key differences in emphases between man-made religion and true religion, which is growth that comes from God alone.

In his emphasis, Paul focuses on the concepts of "Shadow" and "Substance", juxtaposing false teaching with the truth of the knowledge found in Christ. As I prepared the lesson, I created the table below to depict the how Jesus, who is the substance of our faith, contrasts with the man-made religion to which Paul is warning the church not to be taken captive (v. 8-9):
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Col. 2:8-9)

Man-made religion
Growth that comes from God
Scripture References:

Keeping ceremonial laws/regulations
Trusting in Christ’s fulfillment
Asceticism/harsh treatment of the body/sacrifice
Holding fast to the Head - which is Christ
Sensuous, Worldly
V.18, 3:1
Worship of angels, counterfeits
Worship of Christ,
Our True Head
Visions/special knowledge
The Word of God/true wisdom
V.18/1 Cor.
Worshiping human reason, personalities, puffed up
The Head from whom the whole body is nourished/knit together
V.18, 19

For Show, Worldly (elemental spirits)
Hidden in Christ
V.20, 3:3
Human precepts
The Word of God
Appearance of wisdom
Minds set on Christ Above
V.23, 3:2
Masks: Outward rule keeping
Heart: Died to earthly things
False humility – relying on human will
True faith - Trust Christ alone

Asceticism/severity to the body/false sacrifice
Filthy Rags
V.18 Isaiah 64:5
Vain, leads to indulgence of the flesh
Godly growth in Christ


Lisa Spence said...

Popping over via your kind comment at my blog! After a quick glance at your blog roll, I'm a little surprised our paths haven't crossed sooner :) I look forward to future bloggy conversations!

Deb W . said...

Hi there, Lisa! Thank you for dropping by. I'm so glad to find out about your blog and writing. Looking forward to those future posts. :)