Friday, 28 April 2017
…and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Colossians 2:19
This verse is rather similar to what he said to the Ephesians –
“ but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15, 16
Paul is now bringing an indictment against such a person as mentioned in the preceding verse. It is the one who, as he stated, “is puffed up by his fleshly mind.” This person, as already described, is “not holding fast to the Head.” Christ is the Head, and this person intentionally severs himself from Him by observing things from an obsolete law, and then claiming that his directions came from angelic visions or some other sort of supposed authority.
But Paul notes that it is Christ “from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” There is one body which is attached to Christ, and that body is wholly interconnected. It is “nourished and knit together,” and everything works seamlessly because the Head directs it. If someone does not hold fast to Christ, then there is no interconnection, and thus there is no nourishment. And as there is no nourishment, there can be no “growth with the increase that is from God.”
Paul doesn’t say there is no growth at all, but the growth of someone who is not connected to Christ does not come from God. Anything not of God is of the devil. This is the warning that Paul makes in following such a person. He claims spiritual enlightenment, but there is rather spiritual darkness. He claims life and viability, but there is instead only a path which leads to sickness and death.
As a logical connection to what Paul is saying, we need to realize that Christ Jesus is not physically here with us, and neither are the apostles (meaning those who saw and learned directly from Jesus). As this is so, then the Bible – by default – must be our one source of staying connected to the Head. This is why there are no true visions today. This is why we don’t “have a word from the Lord” today. The word from the Lord is the word of the Lord, meaning the Bible. Instead of believing people who make claims about extra-biblical revelation, just think the matter through. What more do we need than what God has supplied us in Scripture?
As the wording used by Paul here is very close to that of Ephesians 4:15, 16, referring to that commentary will provide additional insights into his thoughts of this verse. In the end, the result of not being properly connected to the Head is to follow a sad path which leads to loss.
Life application: How many times, and in how many different ways, does the Bible need to warn us about following false teachers? And yet, countless numbers of people do just that. They may or may not be saved; but even if they are, their doctrine has them in bondage, and the people they follow will only continue to lead them down unhappy trails without any true connection to the Head of the faith.
Lord God, you have set before us a path which You ask us to follow. It is a path of trusting in the completed work of Christ. Anytime we divert from it, we quickly get swept up into crazy teachings which are completely disconnected from Him. We lose the proper nourishment we need, and our spiritual lives lose their true vigor. Help us to fix our eyes on Jesus, and may we never attempt to earn what has already been freely offered through His work. Surely with this You will be pleased. Amen.