Colossians 2

* The apostle expresses his love to, and joy in believers. (1-7)

He cautions against the errors of heathen philosophy; also

against Jewish traditions, and rites which had been fulfilled in

Christ. (8-17) Against worshipping angels; and against legal

ordinances. (18-23)

1-7 The soul prospers when we have clear knowledge of the truth

as it is in Jesus. When we not only believe with the heart, but

are ready, when called, to make confession with the mouth.

Knowledge and faith make a soul rich. The stronger our faith,

and the warmer our love, the more will our comfort be. The

treasures of wisdom are hid, not from us, but for us, in Christ.

These were hid from proud unbelievers, but displayed in the

person and redemption of Christ. See the danger of enticing

words; how many are ruined by the false disguises and fair

appearances of evil principles and wicked practices! Be aware

and afraid of those who would entice to any evil; for they aim

to spoil you. All Christians have, in profession at least,

received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him

for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him,

unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being

established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in

it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those

who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his

mercies is justly required by God.
8-17 There is a philosophy which rightly exercises our

reasonable faculties; a study of the works of God, which leads

us to the knowledge of God, and confirms our faith in him. But

there is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful; and while it

pleases men's fancies, hinders their faith: such are curious

speculations about things above us, or no concern to us. Those

who walk in the way of the world, are turned from following

Christ. We have in Him the substance of all the shadows of the

ceremonial law. All the defects of it are made up in the gospel

of Christ, by his complete sacrifice for sin, and by the

revelation of the will of God. To be complete, is to be

furnished with all things necessary for salvation. By this one

word "complete," is shown that we have in Christ whatever is

required. "In him," not when we look to Christ, as though he

were distant from us, but we are in him, when, by the power of

the Spirit, we have faith wrought in our hearts by the Spirit,

and we are united to our Head. The circumcision of the heart,

the crucifixion of the flesh, the death and burial to sin and to

the world, and the resurrection to newness of life, set forth in

baptism, and by faith wrought in our hearts, prove that our sins

are forgiven, and that we are fully delivered from the curse of

the law. Through Christ, we, who were dead in sins, are

quickened. Christ's death was the death of our sins; Christ's

resurrection is the quickening of our souls. The law of

ordinances, which was a yoke to the Jews, and a partition-wall

to the Gentiles, the Lord Jesus took out of the way. When the

substance was come, the shadows fled. Since every mortal man is,

through the hand-writing of the law, guilty of death, how very

dreadful is the condition of the ungodly and unholy, who trample

under foot that blood of the Son of God, whereby alone this

deadly hand-writing can be blotted out! Let not any be troubled

about bigoted judgments which related to meats, or the Jewish

solemnities. The setting apart a portion of our time for the

worship and service of God, is a moral and unchangeable duty,

but had no necessary dependence upon the seventh day of the

week, the sabbath of the Jews. The first day of the week, or the

Lord's day, is the time kept holy by Christians, in remembrance

of Christ's resurrection. All the Jewish rites were shadows of

gospel blessings.
18-23 It looked like humility to apply to angels, as if men

were conscious of their unworthiness to speak directly to God.

But it is not warrantable; it is taking that honour which is due

to Christ only, and giving it to a creature. There really was

pride in this seeming humility. Those who worship angels,

disclaim Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man.

It is an insult to Christ, who is the Head of the church, to use

any intercessors but him. When men let go their hold of Christ,

they catch at what will stand them in no stead. The body of

Christ is a growing body. And true believers cannot live in the

fashions of the world. True wisdom is, to keep close to the

appointments of the gospel; in entire subjection to Christ, who

is the only Head of his church. Self-imposed sufferings and

fastings, might have a show of uncommon spirituality and

willingness for suffering, but this was not "in any honour" to

God. The whole tended, in a wrong manner, to satisfy the carnal

mind, by gratifying self-will, self-wisdom, self-righteousness,

and contempt of others. The things being such as carry not with

them so much as the show of wisdom; or so faint a show that they

do the soul no good, and provide not for the satisfying of the

flesh. What the Lord has left indifferent, let us regard as

such, and leave others to the like freedom; and remembering the

passing nature of earthly things, let us seek to glorify God in

the use of them.

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