READ: Colossians 2:6-23
THINK: Educated people are often convinced that knowledge brings freedom and enlightenment. But this is the case only if it’s is based on truth. Otherwise, human knowledge ultimately proves to be “hollow and deceptive” (v. 7). In reality, people who subscribe to worldly values and humanistic philosophies are held captive by their knowledge. That’s because true freedom and enlightenment come only by knowing God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
RESPOND: What does it mean to “be rooted and built up in [Christ]” (v. 7)? (See Ephesians 3:17 note.) What is the “hollow and deceptive philosophy” Paul refers to in verse 8? How are people today held “captive” to similar beliefs? (See 2:8 note.) In what ways do these views rely on “human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (v. 8)? What does it mean that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (v. 9)? What does it mean to be buried with Christ through baptism and “raised with him through your faith in the power of God” (v. 12)? (See Romans 6:4 note.) What does it mean that through Christ, God “canceled the written code, with its regulations”? (See 2:14 note.) Does this mean that God’s law is obsolete and irrelevant for Jesus’ followers? Why or why not? (See note.) In what way has Christ “disarmed the powers and authorities”? (See 2:15 note.) From what types of regulations and judgments are Jesus’ followers freed? (See 2:16 note.) In what way had the false teachers “lost connection” (v. 19) with Christ? (See 2:18 note.) What does it mean that “you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world”? (See 2:20 note.) What kinds of worldly principles and regulations don’t apply to Christians, and what principles and regulations still apply to them? Why did the human regulations “lack value”? (See 2:23 note.) In what way do routines and regulations that apply to outward, physical issues differ from true godly principles regarding what enters your mind and spirit?
PRAY: Pray for people you know who still follow the world’s ways rather than God’s. Give God thanks for the freedom you have through Christ. Pray for discernment and discipline to live by God’s moral and spiritual principles.
ACT: Are there any activities or behaviors you’ve tried to justify in the name of Christian “freedom” but which really compromise Biblical principles and fill your mind and spirit with questionable images? If so, make the necessary changes, using your spiritual freedom in ways that honor God, build your spirit and set a godly example for others.