Don’t Be Spoiled!

13 November 2016 PM – Colossians 2:8-10 – Col16 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Read text. The “spoil” in this verse means to carry off as a captive slave. This was common practice when an army conquered a city. For example, the Jews in Jerusalem were spoiled (carried off as slaves) by the Babylonians when they conquered the city in 586 BC. In our text, Paul warns that false teachers want to spoil us or make us slaves to their false teachings. Obviously, that is NOT good!

Transition: Paul identifies for us three precautions that we must heed to avoid ever being spoiled by false teachers.

1.        Beware! (v.8)

a.         The word “beware” is full of meaning.
1)         The word translated “beware” means, to see, discern … to turn the eyes to anything: to look at, look upon, gaze at … to perceive by the senses, to feel, experience … to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine.
2)         This word calls us to action. We must not be caught off guard. We must open our physical eyes and the eyes of our discernment.
3)         Spiritual dangers are all around us. False teachers abound. Cults are active. Doctrinally erring churches are cropping up in every suburb.
b.         The word “beware” is a command
1)         The warning Paul is about to give is not an option. It is a direct command. God is saying, “You must keep your eyes open and weigh carefully the philosophies of men.”
2)         False teachers do not go out and win the lost; instead they spoil or capture Bible-ignorant religious people.
3)         Professing Christians are constantly being spoiled by cults, the Pentecostals, and other false teachers. Were they really saved? I do not know, but one thing I do know is that they were ignorant of Bible truth. Cults and false teachers are constantly luring those who are ignorant of the Bible.
4)         Folks, we must know this Book and know it well.

2.        Don’t be Deceived! (v.8)

a.         Men will use philosophy to deceive you.
1)         The word “philosophy” simply means love of wisdom. Biblical wisdom is the God-given ability to make right choices in life. Secular wisdom is the human ability to make choices based on education, reason or opinion. It is earthly, sensual and often devilish (Jas 3:15).
2)         The human philosophy Paul spoke of was the love of secular wisdom. It was in partnership with vain deceit which was nothing but hollow, empty claims.
3)         The persuasive arguments of false teachers were based on human philosophy and empty, deceitful ideas.
b.         Be discerning of philosophy
1)         Paul said that this human philosophy and vain deceit was based on two things:
a)         It was based on traditions of men. The word translated “traditions” describes that which is handed down by word of mouth or in writing. Traditions are not bad except when they contradict the Bible. The philosophy and vain deceit of false teachers is based on ideas handed down from another man (or woman). It did not originate from God. This is true of every false religion today. Here are some examples.
(1)      Mormon doctrine began in the USA in 1830 by Joseph Smith.
(2)      Seventh Day Adventist doctrine started with the Millerite movement in the 1830s in the USA and officially founded in 1863 and was strongly influenced by their prophet Ellen G. White.
(3)      Jehovah’s Witness doctrine was started by Charles T. Russell in the USA in the 1870s.
(4)      Modern Pentecostalism began on January 1, 1901, when Agnes Ozman, a student at Charles F. Parham’s Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, spoke in tongues.
b)         Human philosophy was based on the rudiments of the world. The word translated “rudiments” refers to the first principles or basic elements of something. It is like the ABCs of language.
(1)      Some Bible teachers think the rudiments were the Jewish ceremonies and observances of the Law. That is possible.
(2)      Other Bible teachers claim that these basic elements speak of “the elemental spirits of the universe, the angels that influenced the heavenly bodies.” Wiersbe claims it was one of the words in the vocabulary of the religious astrology of that day.
c)         Because the rudiments are of the world, the second explanation fits the context better in my opinion. Any information that comes from horoscopes, Ouija boards, and other spiritist practices is not of God and is dangerous. “The whole zodiac system is contrary to the teaching of the Word of God.” Wiersbe
2)         Human philosophy is not based on Christ. Any philosophy that is not clearly rooted in the teachings of Christ and the Bible is not of God.

3.        Do Not Look for Something More! (v.9-10)

a.         Christ is all you need (v.9)
1)         In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead. He is the sum total of all that God is, all of His being and attributes.  Wiersbe
2)         That fullness dwells in Him bodily. He had this fullness in His incarnate body while on earth and still has it in His glorified body. (Matthew 1:23) “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  This fullness dwells in, inhabits or governs His entire being. He is completely full with nothing lacking.
3)         Jesus is God Almighty not just a god. Being God, He is the sovereign ruler of all things. He is above all. He is all powerful. He is all knowing. Nothing is too hard for Him. (Hebrews 7:24) “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.” (Hebrews 7:25) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
b.         Christ has completed you (v.10)
1)         Paul states that Christ is the head of all principality and power. These words describe the highest rulers and sovereign authorities including all angels, demons, kings, rulers, or religious heads.
2)         This word “complete” is the verb form of the noun “fullness” in the previous verse. It means to be filled to the full. Christ fills every believer at the moment of salvation with His indwelling Spirit. He is completely God and He completely fills us.
3)         If you truly know Christ, you have been filled by Him at salvation and you are still filled by Him (the word is in the perfect tense).
4)         Wiersbe put it in an excellent way when he said, “When a person is born again into the family of God, he is born completely in Christ. His spiritual growth is not by addition, but by nutrition. He grows from the inside out.” Our greatest need is not to get more of Christ but to allow Christ to control more of us.

Conclusion: To avoid being spiritually spoiled heed the precautions God gave us here. 1) Beware! 2) Don’t be deceived! 3) Do Not Look for Something More! If a person denies the deity or humanity of Christ, or if he claims that you need something more than Christ gave you the moment you got saved (e.g., second blessing, tongues), he is a dangerous person to be around. He will likely try to spoil or capture you spiritually. O Stay away from him. Christ is all we need and He has filled us completely!

Song:  Victory in Jesus – 496