Colossians 2:8 – Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Hello readers, back with a new blog today on a wild and rainy weekend here in Adelaide, South Australia! Today I am going to talk about being spoiled. You may have heard the term “spoils of war” or the term “spoilt brat”. And in the book of Colossians, chapter 2, we see the word “spoiled” twice, the first in the context of a great “beware” for young Christians, and the second which says how Christ did the spoiling, which means for us that we should not be the ones getting spoiled, yet so many of us are. Please read this blog through, and I do hope it makes sense, it’s not as polished as it could be, but I believe it could be very helpful in pointing you to God’s word and Jesus Christ, just as Paul was doing in this wonderful book to the Colossians.
Because many Christians are spoiled Christians. Spoiled according to Websters 1828 dictionary means “plundered, pillaged, corrupted, rendered useless”. Does this sound like Christians of 2022? It sure does. So why didn’t we heed the big “beware” sign in Colossians 2? If a gate says “Beware of the dog”, I’m sure you will beware when you enter. Why don’t we “beware” when and where God says to beware?
I’ve read Colossians a lot recently, and I’ve gotten so much out of it, it’s made so much sense. And the context of Colossians is that the apostle Paul is writing to a church, a body of believers who have been established at Colosse through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ by a guy called Epaphras. A bunch of people got saved! And they’re young Christians, new in the faith, and Paul as a spiritual father writes to these people and pours his heart out and tells them God’s word, because he wants to see them grow up in the faith, and get strong, and be filled with wisdom and knowledge and understanding… and not get “spoiled”.
Back in the Old Testament, when a city got spoiled, it means the army that conquered the city took everything of value they had. When the Hebrews left Egypt after the plagues, the Bible says they spoiled the Egyptians, because they took whatever they wanted of the Egyptians on their way out, because the Egyptians wanted them to go so badly. And the first mention of “spoil” is back in Genesis 34, where Dinah gets spoiled by a guy called Shechem, who spoils her virginity, he takes it from her never for her to get it back, and in the process her family name is spoiled, and then her brothers get mad and they kill Shechem and his father and his city, and the Bible says they spoiled the city after they did this… which means they went through the city and took whatever they wanted to keep.
Let’s be aware, and let’s BEWARE of this fact, young Christian, and all Christians… which is that Satan is out to spoil you. He wants to take everything from you. See, Jesus Christ gives, and he gives freely. But Satan takes. He is called a robber and a thief for a reason. He wants to come into your house and life and take all your jewels, the best and most precious things you have, and he wants to spoil you of everything valuable you have in your life, and he will take it all if you let him in. But how he gets in is not how you might think. See, Satan isn’t an overt enemy, he will come at you as a friend, as a voice of reason, as someone on your side… even as an angel of light.
So I read through Colossians and I saw how Paul is pointing them to the pre-eminence and sufficiency and fulness and completeness of Christ and in Christ. I know they might just be “words” to you, but after you get saved, everything is going to compete against you to take you away from simple faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to the word of God. This world, worldly religion, fake Christians and many people out there will be the instruments through which Satan tries his hardest to spoil you. And Paul knew that, and he spends chapter one exalting Jesus Christ highly, because he is the Most High, but in chapter two he is going to talk about his conflict for the church at Colosse, because he’s not there, and he’s hoping and praying that they will walk in Christ just as they received Christ. Because he knows there’s going to be a battle, there is going to be a fight for the hearts and minds and souls… and in chapter 2 we see this big “BEWARE”.
And I would encourage you to read Colossians, and if you draw blanks, that’s ok, just keep reading it again and again and I’m sure you will find this is a gold mine for the Christian. But I thought of this word “philosophy” which means “the love of wisdom, an explanation of the reasons of things, reasoning, argumentation”. Philosophy is a very man’s wisdom centric thing, and you may think of philosophy in terms of famous philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and Socrates. They had a lot of philosophies on life, meaning of life, purpose of life, how to live life, yet they were all ungodly, wicked and anti Christ men. We are all full of our own philosophy and the philosophies of others which have impacted and directed the way we think… much more than we think, and whenever I talk to people they all have their philosophies by which they reason and live and justify how they live. Most to all of it is not Bible, even those professing Christ. Many Christians are philosophically minded… but not Biblically minded, or Christ minded. The irony is that philosophy, like a lot of so called science these days, is meant to be about truth… yet it is anything but. Philosophy is usually just a lot of long winded bull.
The more I researched philosophy, the more I realized our world is saturated with philosophy. And I realized the “church” is loaded with philosophy. Just look up popular Christian literature, and it’s a pile of philosophical JUNK. “The Purpose driven life” “Become a better you” “Power thoughts: 12 Strategies to win the battle of the mind” … need I continue? I googled philosophies on life, and boy, look at them all, everything from hedonism to platonism to liberalism to subjectivism to existentialism to pragmatism to legalism to epicureanism to determinism. All philosophical junk. People are so filled with philosophy they can’t even think clearly, and it’s amazing how our actions and reasoning are not underpinned by God’s word and faith in Jesus Christ… but rooted in the philosophy of man. Maybe what you believe about life is not rooted in God’s word… maybe instead it’s just philosophical trash, and you’ve held it as truth, and it’s shaped “your truth” your whole life. When I scroll through Facebook these days, it is LOADED with people’s philosophies on how to live, how to get rich, how to enjoy your life. “Eat, drink, for tomorrow we die”… that’s a philosophy of man. Pretty advanced stuff huh.
Basically put, philosophy is man’s truth determined by man’s wisdom. Philosophers are high on themselves, but not seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. They exalt themselves, but are not exalted. Philosophy opposes God’s word at it’s core and it will oppose the life of faith in Jesus Christ. And it will spoil you. It will plunder your life of faith, it will destroy peace and hope and light in your life. And no, God is not against understanding and wisdom and knowledge, he is for it. But it’s found in him, not in you trying to understand and explain the world around you like you’re not the ignorant pipsqueak that you and we all really are. We read in Colossians 2:3 “ In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Hint: that “in whom” is not you or I. I love this verse because it takes the pressure of me to know everything and trust him he knows everything, who knows what’s best for my life. God says trust him and his Son, but philosophy says trust man. God says he knows, but philosophy says what man knows. A Christians truth should be based on God’s word, but philosophy bases their truth on man’s understanding and man’s word.
“Vain deceit”. Well that will spoil you. Vain means empty and worthless “having no substance, value or importance”. And deceit means “the misleading of a person; the leading of another person to believe what is false, or not to believe what is true… AND THUS TO ENSNARE HIM”. Far out. Does this even need explanation. The amount of people out there being lead into believing lies as truth is incredible. The amount of people being mislead in the way of God is incredible. Do you really want to be mislead in life following some man, some person, who is leading you down the path of lies with craftiness… and what they’re leading to you is vanity? See that’s the problem, they mislead you into a life of vanity… there’s nothing where they’re leading you! It’s like leading someone to a well of water that is bone dry, taking you away from the fountain of Christ to a dry well which is just a mirage of the promise of false hope in the end. Compare that to the “riches of the full assurance of understanding” in Christ Jesus. It’s called vain deceit because the place they’re taking you to in life is empty… so when you could be full and complete in Christ, your life is instead void, empty, worthless. In others words… you’ve been SPOILED. We need to recognize when there’s nothing to what someone is saying to us, no matter how seductive their truth is. We need to see the end of emptiness and the robbery of our own soul in what influence they’re exerting on our lives. VAIN DECEIT.
See, there is popular philosophy that man is essentially good and people are good… which is terrible philosophy. The Bible teaches the depravity of man, but here we are foolishly trusting in man’s goodness. We place ourselves at the mercy of wicked and deceitful man… rather in the sure mercies and our faithful Creator. The fact, is, despite your philosophical hogwash… there are many people out there in the world who are evil, wicked and antichrist. Someone that is unsaved is reprobate and without the fear of God. That’s Bible. How good can they really be? Do you know how wicked our hearts are? No you can’t even plumb the depths of your own, let alone someone else’s. There are people out there, maybe even well meaning, who are bad news for you. Stop being so silly into foolishly placing your life in another person’s hands who is leading you on a wild goose chase. They’re going to spoil you. They’ll spoil your Christianity, and that’s what we see in 2022, spoiled Christianity, who exchanged the true riches in heaven for vanity, and they have no treasure to offer the lost sinner, they have no full waterpot to offer an unsaved thirsty sinner… they have nothing of value, no substance, there’s nothing to their church, it’s just a spoiled and thus EMPTY house of fake worship.
“Traditions of men”. What are traditions? Tradition means “to deliver, the delivery of opinions, doctrines, practices, rites and customs from father to son or from ancestors to posterity… that which is handed down from age to age by oral communication”. Here’s an example of a tradition. Every second person believes that there is no life after death and when you die you cease to exist… this is a belief that is passed by tradition. They say it with authority, but they cannot and do not know that! It’s just because everyone else says it, they deliver that “truth” to them. There are so many beliefs and truths held because they’ve been passed down by peers or friends or family. And these traditions are like leprosy, because they keep passing the plague of lies on. So much garbage in our heads comes from tradition, because people who got it passed to them passed it on to us. And even though it’s popular opinion, or opinion of someone dear to us and thus holds some weight or sentimental value to us… it’s actually wrong. Traditions will spoil you. They will challenge the word of God… then which will you take?
“Rudiments of the world”. When I thought of rudiments, I thought of a rudimentary shelter. Or a rudimentary tool for doing something. Rudimentary means “first principles, the beginning (of something), the original of any thing in it’s first form”. Think about this. When you were a child, you had rudimentary speech. Because you were learning to speak and couldn’t speak and you said rudimentary words… which you were meant to grow out of. Rudimentary is not the completed or full or perfect thing. And that’s all this world has. They have rudiments. Their religion and thinking and living is rudimentary. How stupid it is to live “eat, drink for tomorrow we die”. The rudiments of enjoying life are there, but they don’t have the full picture of enjoying what Christ has done for you and enjoying what he has given you in light of the truth of his word. You can enjoy life and be saved and not go to hell.
Think about this, a rudimentary shelter may offer some protection from weather, but guess what, it’s only meant to be in place until you build something better. Christ is the something better… he is the body, not the shadow that we all chase down here. As Job said “as a servant earnestly desireth the shadow”. And all this world has is rudiments… so why settle for rudiments when we can grow up and be perfect and complete in Christ? See, when you read Colossians, maybe on the 100th read, I dunno, but it will all start to really fit together. Because Christ is everything, and if you want to be complete and full and perfect, believe in him, trust in him, because nothing man and this world can offer you is better, all it will do is take away from what you can and should freely and fully have in Christ Jesus through faith.
I do hope you read this blog and get a blessing out of it. Read the book of Colossians for yourself. Don’t get spoiled… get saved. Jesus Christ did all the spoiling, so why should you be spoiled? You know, Jesus Christ spoiled all principalities and powers. There is nothing that should have authority and power over you. So many people are under the power of Satan, under the power of this world, under the power of fake Christian idiots who are leading them away from the simple truth of God’s word. Jesus Christ’s cross broke the power of Satan and darkness over you, there is still salvation through his blood. All the powers of darkness do not need to chain you in lies and deceit and an empty destination anymore. Believe on him, be saved, and walk just as you got saved… by faith and trust in Jesus Christ… his grace, day by day and every day. God bless you with the truth and have a great rest of your weekend.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)