This post is the “second” in a series of posts, that addresses the absolute Biblical requirement for Christians to exercise Biblical discernment.
Colossians 2:8 NASB “See to it that there is no one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception in accordance with human tradition, in accordance with the elementary principles of the world, rather than in accordance with Christ.”
Did you catch that “See to it”? Those are the same words that Jesus used in Matthew 24:3-5 and the same inference to you and I, as believers in Christ, applies.
And just so that there is mis-understanding with regard to the diligence that we are asked to exercise, it is prudent to read what words preceded these words that Paul wrote to the Colossians. Colossians 2:1-4 reads as follows: “For I want you to know how great a struggle I have in your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and that they would attain to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments.“ Emphasis is mine. The inference here is that we can be deceived. We really need to take this to heart.
And of course, what precedes the warning about being deceived, is in fact, the crux of the reality that Paul gives us. ” . . . that they would attain to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Carefully consider those words, “that they would attain to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding“, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is in Jesus, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The treasures of the full assurance of understanding and true wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus. That is the reality and if we miss that, if we don’t grasp that, we’re missing an awful lot.
Of necessity, I would like to clarify, right at the onset, that we do NOT earn our salvation through our diligence. I am NOT advocating that at all, because we all know, through reading the Holy Scriptures, that our salvation was paid for, solely by Jesus. What I will and am advocating, because it is what the Holy Scriptures advocates, is located in 1 Peter 2:1-5 NASB:
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, and like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as a living stone which has been rejected by people, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
Our diligence, our willingness to long for the pure milk of the word, is our response to align ourselves with God’s will and grow, as living stones, being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood, so that we can offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God, through and because of Jesus Christ. Diligence is a response to, not a means to. The means is always and forever, Jesus the Christ. And you will note, that the Scriptures teach that our diligence is our reasonable anticipated response. (Romans 12:1-2 refers.)
The Apostle Paul tells Timothy and all of us as believers (2 Timothy 3:16-17) that God’s Holy Scriptures are thoroughly or fully able to provide us with all that we need to be diligent and equipped for every good work. God’s Holy Word is our yardstick, that which everything else is weighed against. The importance of comprehending this reality is of the utmost importance, especially as it pertains to our reasonable, anticipated diligent response to following God’s will for our lives.
In Matthew 24:24 NASB, Jesus specifically warns us about the following: “For false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Notice what Jesus warns us all of, false christs, false prophets, great signs and wonders that do not originate from God, so convincing that they could, if possible, convince even the elect. That is heavy, necessitating the requirement for, and exercise of, Biblical discernment and this is the reason for this series.
More to follow.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!