Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
In spite of the resources available to the born again Believer and in spite of assurance, order, steadfastness, a good walk that is rooted and built up in Him, it is still possible for a Christian to be deceived and plundered by the world’s crafty message. Yes, our sin nature of the fallen flesh is still with us until glory. Galatians 5:13a & 17 warns the Believer, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” We have to actually put on the full armor of God (James 6:10-17) because we are neither bullet nor flaming arrow-proof on our own.
I read that the one who deceives and “spoils” a believer will use “philosophia”, a Greek word that means “fond of wisdom.” It is used only one other time, in Acts 17:18 of the philosophers on Mars Hill and we know how that went. Interestingly, the biblical word for “wisdom” is most often used in a negative way when referring to man’s wisdom. Believers can be robbed of their steadfastness in Christ if they become fond of the wisdom of the world that takes their eyes off the Lord. Before you can beware, you must first be aware.
1 Corinthians 1:20 “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”
The malicious deceiver (the world and the devil who tempt the flesh) also uses “hollow and deceptive philosophy” and the “human traditions” to plunder the believer. Jesus chastised the Pharisees because they had “made the commandment of God of none effect by their tradition … teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” – Matthew 15:6, 9). Living the Christian life is not performing and checking off traditions on a “things to do today” list because it is not what we do, but whose we are and our hearts desires to willingly serve the Lord in love. We can easily lose sight of that in busy and tempting distractions of life.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 “Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge - by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.”
Beware of the Deceiver! This robber will even use “and the elemental spiritual forces of this world.” The term “elemental” means “to belong to a series, to be in rank” or “to come to an agreement.” Essentially, this technique is using “logic” to prove a point, securing a change of mind. We are told the world’s elements will “spoil” us (indulge unto ruin and decay) when the logic is “not after Christ and in-line with the holy Word of God. Be aware and beware!
2 Timothy 3:13-15 “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
In Christ, Brian