Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3560

Jump Start # 3560

Colossians 2:4 “I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.”

  There is an expression that states all of us will be exactly the same way we are in five years except for the books we read and the people we associate with. Those influences can have a positive or a negative impact upon us. As parents, we taught our little ones to pick good friends when they went to school. As they got to the dating age we encouraged them to look beyond the surface and to see if there was anything upstairs working in that head. But sometimes, as adults we’ve given ourselves a pass on the type of people we hang out with.

  It is interesting to see multiple times in Colossians two, that Paul brings this topic up. Notice:

· No one will delude you with persuasive argument (4)

· See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception (8)

· No one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink (16)

· Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize (18)

· Why do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, do not handle, do not taste, do not touch (20-21)

  Five times in one context, the apostle warns about the twisted influence of others. The words are vivid: delude, take captive, defraud. And the means which this is done is also very illustrated: persuasive argument; philosophy; empty deception; judging; decrees.

  It doesn’t take much insight to see that Paul was concerned and he saw this as a real problem. Years ago, we hired a magician to come to our home and put on a show for a bunch of teens. He did the typical card tricks and was great with the teens. He had them laughing and engaged in what he was doing. The one that got me was how he cut a small rope in two pieces and then, somehow, it came back together. I asked him to do that a second time. He did. I watched intently. I watched what he did with his hands. I knew it was a trick. But I couldn’t figure it out. He’d smile at me because he knew he had me.

  And, that’s just the way error works. It doesn’t begin by announcing that this is something that is wrong. It looks good. It’s like those knock-off products that look like the real thing. Someone once gave me a Rolex watch. It looked like the real deal. I scanned through pictures of Rolex watches on the internet. I finally took it to a jeweler who told me it was a fake. The twisted Gospel can seem so close to the original that many accept it without thinking things out.

  So, before us, are the words, “see to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy.” How? Most of us are not experts in the original languages. When something looks so close to the real one, how am I to know? How do I not get deluded, deceived and taken captive?

  First, we know the answer is not in trusting what my preacher says. The historical path of digression has most times be blazed by preachers. Oh, I love my preacher, we say. I trust my preacher. I believe he is a good man. He wouldn’t tell me anything that wasn’t true.

  Paul’s words to the Colossians were not directed to the preachers. The “see to it that no one takes you captive” and “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize” was the responsibility of each member. They had to take ownership of their faith. They were the ones to “see to it” and “Let no one” mess with their faith.

  You can’t really take responsibility of your neighbor’s yard. It may be full of weeds and even trash. But you can certainly keep those things out of your yard. So, we are responsible for our faith. If we are deluded, it’s our fault. If we don’t recognize error, it’s our fault. If we walk blindly into deception with open arms, it’s our fault. It’s like the small print listed at the bottom of some contracts. We sign off without reading all that stuff, but we were the ones who signed off.

  Second, knowing the word of God will keep you from being defrauded and deceived. This is where we must think things through. We must search carefully and ponder. Recent books are pushing ideas that Acts-Epistles are not a pattern for the church. Slick maneuvering of concepts and passages paints a pretty picture that the church mirrors Jesus. Sounds good. Jesus fed multitudes. Thus the church ought to feed multitudes. Jesus accepted everyone without question. The church ought to accept everyone without question. It all sounds so good. It sounds so right. Not a patterned hermeneutics but a theological hermeneutics.

  And, without realizing it, a rope was cut right before our eyes and put back together we don’t know how it happen. John says as we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7). What if someone isn’t walking in the light? What if someone doesn’t even know what the light is? What if someone wants to remain in the dark? Jesus accepted all and so should the church? No.

  Was Jesus’ feeding the multitudes a pattern for the church or a demonstration of the compassion and power of Christ? Was the Lord intending the church to feed multitudes or believe that Jesus is the Christ, the chosen one of God?

  Jesus also turned over tables and drove out those who were abusing God’s temple for profit. Ought the church to do the same? How is it that one example is followed and not others?

  Then, what is the function of Acts-Epistles? If not instructions for the church to follow, what?

  Third, and, after all these many, many years, why are some finding new ways that no one before has ever noticed? That’s odd. They could be right, but don’t be fooled by the slogans of “different, new, unique, never seen before.”

  Don’t be fooled. Don’t be deceived. Don’t be persuaded. Don’t be defrauded. They way to keep that from happening is to know the Word of God. Know it well. Know it like you know anything else. The magicians of religion will always come up with fancy ways of trying to fool us and trick us. We know better because we know the word of God.

  Don’t let anyone delude you…