In this short but powerful
Passage Paul warns us about the philosophies of this sinful
world! Then he gives us a better Subject for our studies!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
A Preacher in his Study
"And this I say, lest any man should
beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the
flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding
your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye
have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye
in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith,
as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
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."
Paul was writing
And even then he issued a warning!
Yes, he warned the Believers in the
city of Colossee to beware ... lest they be "beguiled" with
Here's the whole verse:
"And this I say, lest any man should
beguile you with enticing words." Colossians 2:4
What does it mean that a saint of
God could be "beguiled?"
danger of such deceit is one of the reasons Paul wrote the
little epistle of Colossians!
verb "say" translates "lego" which means to speak, affirm or
even teach something! Here it's in the present tense, telling us
that Paul habitually spoke these words of caution in these
little Gentile cities of the Greek world.
conjunction "lest" introduces a "purpose clause." Paul is
preaching these words because ... some in the church there have
apparently been beguiled already!
key verb in this verse, "to beguile," is spelled "paralogizomai"
and is only used two times in the whole New Testament, once by
Paul and once by James! Its "root" stem, "logizomai" means to
reckon or estimate or take an inventory, usually in a mental
sense. And its prefix "para" just intensifies the verb with the
idea of nearness or being alongside the subject! Putting it all
together the word came to mean "to misreckon" or "to delude" or
"to deceive!" One lexicon says "to cheat or mislead by false
look at James 1:22. "But be ye doers of
the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own
selves." I have underlined "paralogizomai" or
Christian can be misguided by some smart talking but wicked
apostate, a false teacher!
shrewd deceiver would likely use "enticing" words too! "Pithanologia"
combines two words from Paul's sanctified vocabulary! "Peitho"
means to persuade! And "logos" is the noun for words or speech!
The meaning? Very persuasive words! This precise term is found
only here in all the Bible!
readers today, if members of that Colossian assembly could be
deceived ... after hearing as great a preacher as Paul ... what
about us today?
devious tricksters are trying to confuse God's People than ever
in the Word of God!
under the sound of anointed fundamental Bible Preaching!
filled with the Holy Spirit!
do not listen to the sweet sounding but deadly words of anyone
who belittles or denies the Lord Jesus Christ!
a true Pastor's heart surfaces here!
Listen to Paul one more time: "And this I
say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words."
us take "heed" wherever God's inspired Word "warns!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
What brought joy to the heart of
the Apostle Paul?
What made him
He once told the
Thessalonian Christians that THEY were his joy!
"For what is our hope, or joy, or
crown of rejoicing? Are not even
ye in the
presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" 1st
Paul derived great
spiritual pleasure and satisfaction from the godly lives his
with me Colossians 2:5. "For though I be
absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and
beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in
here just told these Believers that though being absent in the
body ... he was still present with them in the spirit! In fact,
Paul had never seen them face to face according to Colossians
2:1. The verb here translated "be absent" is spelled "apeimi"
and means "to be" ("eimi") "away" ("apo") from someone or
something! Paul is in a Roman prison as he writes the
he had heard some good news about the Church! And he likes what
he has heard!
mentions two things specifically.
First, their "order" is listed. The noun "taxis" means one's
rank or position or job in things civil or military or religious
or any other area of life! Finding one's place, getting in it
and staying there! It means being neither a domineering despot
... or a passive sissy! Everyone in the Church there was in
their God appointed place of service, under the proper
Secondly, their "steadfastness" is recognized! This noun, "stereoma,"
gives us our word stereo! It depicts a wall or a foundation,
rock solid, that firmly supports a building! While the word has
both verbal and adjectival forms elsewhere used in the New
Testament, this is the only noun occurrence! These folks were
stable! "Stereo" sound originally meant a wall of sound coming
at you from several directions!
dear saints were stable concerning their faith in Christ! Not
their faith in a preacher or one another ... but in Jesus! He's
the only One who will never fail!
these two qualities, fruit-of-the-Spirit traits, brought Paul
"joying" over them!
does that over His children! "The LORD thy
God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save,
he will rejoice over
thee with joy; he will rest in his love,
he will joy over thee
with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
present participle for "joying" here is "chairon" (from"chairo")
and it means "to be glad!" It is akin to the noun for grace, "charis!"
this precise form it is only elsewhere used in Luke 15:5 where
the good shepherd found his lost sheep and laid it on his
shoulders ... rejoicing! Then in Luke 19:6 where Zacchaeus came
down from that tree and received Jesus ... joyfully! And in Acts
8:39 where the newly saved Ethiopian eunuch was baptized and
went on his way ... rejoicing! In every case real heart joy was
produced by right spiritual decisions! Acting wisely!
you want to make your Pastor rejoice? Help life his burdens?
the glory of God!
in your place in God's work!
stay faithful to Jesus!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Perhaps one of the greatest Paul
At least for this Christian this is
Read it with me:
"As ye have therefore received Christ
Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him." Colossians 2:6
In just a few words, Paul here said
that the same way we got saved, by grace through faith, is the
very same way we are to live the successful Christian life!
verb "received" is "paralambano" and means "to take to oneself"
or "to join to oneself!" Literally, "to take alongside." While
all these word pictures would not equally apply here to Jesus,
the New Testament uses "paralambano" for taking someone as a
prisoner, taking a husband or wife to one's new home or to join
with someone as a companion!
this is an aorist verb, signifying that the action being
depicted is now finished, complete! You trusted Jesus, believed
on Him and received Him as your Saviour ... and that is a done
the verb "walk" is "peripateo" meaning to make a path all around
something! To press something with one's feet until the surface
is hard and firm! But this verb is also a present imperative in
the active voice. This "walking," Paul's word for our sanctified
way of life or godly behavior, is to be constant, habitual and
on-going! A regular practice! And notice that it is commanded
that we walk worthily of the Lord! Plus, the active voice
indicates that we must put real effort into our walk as well!
let's put it all together!
same way we got saved ... is the same way we are to live for
the point of our salvation ...
The Holy Spirit convicted us!
Preaching instructed us!
Jesus saved us ... by faith!
Then, a Church awaited us!
Bible instructed us!
Pastor guided us!
And faithfulness became a way of life for us!
how do we live the Christian life? How do we "walk" in the Lord?
The Holy Spirit still convicts and teaches us!
Preaching still instructs us!
Jesus still sustains us ... by faith!
Church still encourages us!
Bible still feeds and nourishes us!
Pastor still guides us!
And faithfulness still must be a way of life to us!
what Paul's saying?
"As ye have
therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in
ought to be preached!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
was a "specialist" in spiritual growth!
The longing of his heart was to see
new Believers in Christ mature and develop, becoming more like
Colossians 2:7 gives us a great
example of Paul's passion, his goal for all the saints.
"Rooted and built up
in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught,
abounding therein with thanksgiving."
first thing I'd like you to notice is that these folks have been
"taught!" The verb here, "didasko," means "to cause to learn."
(Its root, "dao," means just that ... to learn!) Here "didasko"
is framed as an aorist passive in the indicative mood. This
teaching occurred when they were first saved! It, at least in
its initial form, is now over! That's what the aorist tense
indicates. And the passive voice means they did not teach
themselves! A Pastor did that for them! The verb's indicative
mood suggests that a fact has just been stated! This is not a
question or a desire or some kind of an apology. It is a
statement of fact! It looks to me like Paul taught the Word of
God everywhere he went!
However, being taught the Word of God apparently produces some
things in the lives of its students! Three distinct participles
describe the results of being "in" the Word of God!
"Rooted" in Him! This is a perfect participle, picturing action
that began in the past, but continues through the present! The
Believers, having heard the Word of God so faithfully taught ...
have grown roots deep down into the nourishing soil of
Scripture! "Rizoo" is only found twice in the whole Bible! Here
in Colossians 2 and again in Ephesians 3:17, where we are to be
rooted and grounded in love! Look! The Water of the Word of God
is causing God's people to spring roots!
"Built up" is a term that leaves the garden behind ("rooted")
and focuses on buildings and houses! The word, "epoikodomeo,"
means to intensively ("epi") build ("domeo") a house ("oikos").
This time we have a simple present participle. This action,
being "built up" by the Holy Spirit, is an on-going thing! It
will never end ... until we reach Heaven!
translates "bebaioo," meaning to make firm, like the foundation
a building! It is from "baino," meaning to walk! Where we put
our feet! This little word appears seven times in Scripture! I
will capitalize and underline one of them. Mark 16:20 ---
"And they went forth, and preached every
where, the Lord working with them, and
the word with signs following. Amen." No sinking sand
comes another by-product of being taught the Word of God!
"Abounding therein with thanksgiving."
"abound" ("perisseuo") means overflowing, getting out of the
banks ... as does a river! Here is a fourth participle!
Flooded with what?
Thankfulness for having been saved by God's Grace!
fact, the more we learn from the Bible, God's inspired and
inerrant Word ... the more we will have for which to thank God!
be just a "dry" student of Scripture!
Having been taught God's Word ... we become rooted! Then built
up! Then established! And always, thankful!
on this verse a Preacher could say that the Bible gives us ALL
we need! And here's proof: "All scripture
is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly
furnished unto all good
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
occasionally warns us about impending danger!
Such were his inspired words in
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
The verb "beware" translates "blepo,"
the Greek verb that usually means "to see." It can also contain
the idea of considering or perceiving something!
is saying, "Look out!"
seems that at Colossee certain people had arrived who did not
believe Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God! Others denied that
Jesus had a real physical body! And some even doubted that
Christ alone was the Way to Heaven!
Listen to the great Preacher warn the Philippians!
"Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers,
beware of the concision." (Philippians 3:2) Three times
in one verse!
Another word our King James translators rendered as "beware" is
"phulasso," which means "to guard" or "to protect." Peter uses
it here: "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye
know these things before, beware lest ye also,
being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own
while Paul used "beware" four times, including Acts 13:40, and
Peter used it once ... Jesus used the word ten times, even
adding one more Greek verb ... "prosecho." (To hold something to
your face! To keep it in front of you!)
Preachers reading these lines today, when necessary ... WARN
your people about the dangers you see approaching! And when you
do, remember that you are following in some great footsteps!
with all this talk about Gnostic Gospels and some other Jesus
... it's time to start now!
God for those who warn us!
Let me add this thought.
Paul "warned" the Colossians, he framed "blepo" in the
imperative mood, expressing a direct command!
philosophies of the world are that deadly!
are required to be vigilant against them!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The Apostle Paul cautions us about
"Lest any man spoil you through
philosophy and vain deceit" he writes in Colossians 2:8.
philosophy is a direct "loan word" from the Greek language. It
is spelled "philosophia" and means the love ("philos") of wisdom
("sophia"), but earthly wisdom is in view ... that which is
tainted by sin.
deceit" is translated from "kenos" (meaning "empty") and "apate"
(meaning "seduction"), which is in turn derived from "apatao," to cheat!
One standard lexicon text says that "apate" includes and
emphasizes the lusts and pleasures excited by such deceit!
And of course
we must study the verb "spoil" now. It is "sulagogeo" and
combines "ago" (to lead or to bring or to drive) and "sulao"
(from "sullo" meaning "to strip" or skin)!
"Skullo," obviously a related term, literally means to flay
Paul just said
that the false teachings of the world will "skin" a Christian
alive! They will rob him of the Truth! This verb "spoil" was
used in the Roman world of those armies that won a great battle
and then carried away the booty or loot or riches of their
In its New
Testament cognate forms "sullabein" means to "capture" or
"to take by
What spiritual "dangers"
are presented here!
And the Bible
is full of such warnings!
begins: "And have no fellowship with
unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done
of them in secret." Why? Because they are deadly!
--- "For your obedience is come abroad
unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet
I would have you wise unto that which is good, and
concerning evil." Stay innocent and unlearned when it
comes to ungodliness!
teachings of the world are captivating!
In fact, I
would caution any young man whom God has called to preach NOT to
spend an inordinate amount of time studying these false
doctrines and senseless philosophies of the world. Rather, study
the pure Word of God! Concentrate on the real Truth! Then ...
the "lies" will become all the more apparent and you will have a
working knowledge of the Scriptures to refute them!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
philosophy of the world is in direct opposition to God and His
the hodgepodge of false doctrine available in his day as being
"after the tradition of men, after the
rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians
"tradition" is spelled "paradosis" and means that which is is
handed down or passed down or given down ("didomai") from one
generation to another to stand alongside ("para") and supplement
their own beliefs!
godly sources is excellent! It is precious! Treasure it! But
from wicked places, it is pure trash! The counsel of the ungodly
and the way of sinners and the seat of the scornful!
"rudiments" of the world translates "stoicheion" and means the
first things in a series! Like ABC is to the whole alphabet! "Stoicheo"
means to arrange something in an orderly and regular line! It's
the point 1, point 2 and point 3 of wickedness, with hundreds of
additional points to come!
World is "kosmos,"
the orderly system of the devil! This word is not describing
God's lovely creation, but the devil's "sin machine" that now
exists on planet earth! ("Kosmeo" means to arrange neatly!)
And of course,
"Christ" is our Lord Jesus, the Messiah or Anointed One of God!
believe that the majority of lost mankind's philosophies and
traditions are designed to belittle God, void His commandments
and make sin less dangerous! To allow the flesh of men and women
to do what comes naturally and pleasurably!
and philosophy of the unsaved world today is ultimately based on
determined by one's behavior!
world's philosophies can be catalogued quite easily. There's not
much new under the sun when it comes to the basic intentions of
a wicked heart! John implies that all the devil's "tools" to tempt
mankind are easily catalogued under three heads: the lust of the
flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life! See 1st John
James describes God's Wisdom versus man's.
"Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?
let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness
of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your
hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom
descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual,
devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is
confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from
above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to
be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality,
and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in
peace of them that make peace." James 3:13-18
so-called wisdom is sensual and devilish, whereas the wisdom of
God is "first pure!"
No wonder when
Paul analyzes the wisdom of the world he concludes ...
"Professing themselves to be wise, they
became fools." Romans 1:23
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Colossians 2:8 warned us about the ungodly philosophies of the
world. "Beware lest any man spoil you
Recently I studied a text that
surveyed some of these ideologies, critiquing them from a
Christian point of view.
I believe the
Lord showed me something.
The less God is
honored and exalted in each of these belief systems ... the more
man-centered and wicked they become in a hurry!
Let me review
them for you.
especially, take notes.
the belief in God as taught by the Bible! Here God is
exalted, man is a sinner and Jesus is the Saviour!
2. But if God is
not almighty and in control of His creation, if He is demoted
just a little, you have, not theism, but
Deism! This erroneous view says that God created the
world, but then abandoned it to its own natural tendencies! This
God is not over all and has no cares for His Own creation! These
folks sometimes use the "clock and its maker" analogy for their
worldview. God made this intricate "clock-like" world, wound it
up and then walked off! We are "ticking" on our own now! There
is still a God, but he's much smaller than we imagined!
3. Then when God
is basically removed from His world, you come up with
Naturalism. This philosophy just
says that God is in everything! All of nature! The rocks and
trees and wind and people too! In fact, God is not just in the
rocks ... the rocks are gods themselves! And so are the people,
little gods and goddesses! Nature itself becomes divine!
4. Can you see a
downward spiral here? Now we are at the "no God" status. He does
not exist to the Nihilists. They
say in essence that life has no meaning! Our existence is
pointless! We are just like the animals. We are born then live
and finally die and it's all over! One might say that Deism
robbed God of His Omnipotent Glory and that Nihilism robs man of
his glory too! Hence, nothing of any real value really exists!
5. Next comes
Existentialism. As I understand
this one, it is a reaction to Nihilism. It says, "Wait a minute.
Man does have some value! But that value is determined by man or
woman himself or herself. Man is his or her own creator, his or
her own savior! We decide who and what we are! What we think ...
we are!" God has no part in it at all! He is dead according to
6. Finally when a
man sinks this low, he will a accept anything! Including the
illogically senseless theories of the Eastern Religions and
Monism. These are making a dramatic
impact in America today! Basically they all, Buddhism and
Hinduism and several others, teach that we all exist as part of
the "Whole." Or the "Final Reality!" Man must empty himself and
search and ultimately he will become "one" with the "Cosmos" or
the "Perfection" or the "Force!" Monism means, if I understand
it correctly, that the "One Source" is all and that mankind and
womankind must strive to enter into that "One Source," wherein
is found purpose and meaning to life! "Mono" means "one" in
Latin. We must yield ourselves to the Spirit of the universe!
Here is not even a trace of the Judeo-Christian God of the
Bible! In fact, to me this one contains hints of sheer
demonism. Empty thyself ... contact the Spirit Source!
7. Then comes
what is often called the "New Age"
Movement! Here man becomes god ... in an active and
conscious manner! New Agers will tell you that they are divine!
This system embraces paganism, neo-paganism, shamanism,
spiritism and anything else that it desires to further elevate
man's opinion of himself! This is basically a self-worship
philosophy! What began with God on the Throne (Theism) is now
Man on the Throne (New Ageism), ruling his universe! Creating
his own religion as he sees fit!
8. Lastly, and
currently, exists Postmodernism!
This one almost defies definition! It denies the existence of
truth, at least in an absolute sense! Something here can be
right for one man but wrong for another! True in one situation
but no so in another! Books and texts no longer have any
authoritarian meaning intended by an author! They only mean what
you construct them to mean! You only hear what you believe
yourself to have heard! This system will inevitably lead to
cultural anarchy! Knowledge itself is questioned ... as is
language. The very meanings of words come under doubt!
Everything becomes a cultural construct! I read where one
postmodernist said that you are a woman only if you think you
are! And like so for you men too! And postmodernism is always
changing! Its tenets may be different next month than they are
now! Things happen that way when there is no absolute Book or
Text to guide a belief system! When mankind makes his own rules
as he goes! Here man exists to have pleasure! Why else? Eat,
drink and be merry! We exist to satisfy ourselves! There is no
god here at all! No rules, just do what you think best!
9. But, bad as
these are, they are not the end! Not yet anyway! This world has
at least one more stage to undergo! It will follow a man called
in Scripture the anti-christ. Anarchy will rule! War, death
pestilence and upheaval as never before will lead to a world war
directed against the little nation of Israel! But, don't worry!
God will intervene! And Hell will be filled ... with
postmodernists and new age adherents and followers of the
eastern religions and existentialists and nihilists and
naturalists and even deists I'm afraid.
Only those who
have trusted God's only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ and
His shed Blood will live eternally in bliss and joy ...
worshipping the One God Who is Triune and created the whole
Blessed be His
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Believe what you will! I am going with God! I will accept the
Bible as absolute Truth and Jesus as the only Saviour and His
Blood as the only means of Redemption! I trust Him fully, He Who
said: "I am the way, the truth, and the
life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John
Then He added:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death unto life." John 5:24
clinch it Paul wrote: "For whosoever shall
call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans
THE END ... BUT
REALLY IF YOU'RE SAVED, IT'S ONLY THE BEGINNING!
This Preacher had made up his mind! I'm staying with the Word of
God! This old world's philosophy leaves me hungry and thirsty!
Scripture fills and satisfies me!
Romans 3:4 ---
"Let God be true, but every man a liar."
John 6:68 ---
Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast
the words of eternal life."
WE TRUST THIS SERIES OF BIBLE
STUDIES HAVE BEEN A SOURCE OF BLESSING TO YOU! MAY GOD USE THEM
TO HELP US GROW IN GRACE AND IN HIS KNOWLEDGE!
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