Colossians 2:5-10

The firmness of your faith in Christ. Just as you received Christ, live. Empty, deceiptful philosophy not according to Christ. The fullness of deity in bodily form: Christ. You have been filled in him.

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"5For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ." (Colossians 2:5—NET)

In our previous study, Paul equipped the Colossians believers to stand up to deceivers whose arguments appear reasonable. He accomplished this by assisting them in comprehending God’s mystery: Jesus Christ. Many false teachers deceive believers by promising alternative mysteries, signs and wonders, esoteric teachings and philosophies, special encounters with God, or whatever else they can conjure up. However, if you’re looking for God’s mystery, look for Christ, who is well-presented in the Bible, all you have to do to know and understand him is study God’s Word. Why are you looking for revelation from someone else if God has revealed himself through Christ in the Scriptures?

Firm faith in Christ has a persistence that stems from a thorough understanding of the gospel. It is not the temporary euphoria that people may experience after being worked up into a frenzy.


6Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7—NET)

While God may call some to be missionaries, Bible scholars, or even one of the twelve apostles, he does not do so for all. In fact, he sends most of them back to where they came from so that they can be his salt and light to the world.

How did you come to know Christ Jesus as Lord? You have God’s permission to “continue to live your lives in him” whether you received him as a husband, a wife, a son or daughter, an office worker, an engineer, a plumber, a janitor, or whatever your station in life is.

Many Christians believe that their so-called secular life as a fisherman or a tax collector is unworthy of their calling to be followers of Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus died on the cross to redeem not only your soul, but also your physical life. He completes you in every aspect of your life, body and soul. If not, how can you show the world God’s unconditional love and forgiveness? No, God does not despise the life he has purposefully placed you in; rather, he loves you exactly where you are.

How do you interpret the phrase “just as you were taught”? The Lord did not teach us to abandon our positions in family or society in order to work for God’s kingdom. There are exceptional callings, but not in general. The only teaching that applies to everyone is that if they believe in Christ’s death on the cross for their sins, they will be saved. Is this faith sufficient for you, or do you seek something more?

Last but not least, it is your understanding of the height, depth, and breadth of his salvation for you that causes your heart to “overflow with thankfulness.” If you can’t rejoice where you are, how can the person with whom you’re trying to share the gospel be willing to accept it?


8Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

“According to Christ” means that his finished work on the cross is the only way for God and man to be reconciled. On the other hand, all of the “empty, deceitful philosophy”, “human tradition,” and “elemental spirits of the world” divert their audience’s attention away from Christ and him being crucified.

Their goal is to divert our attention away from Christ and toward ourselves. True deliverance, however, comes only when we keep our gaze fixed on Jesus.

•  Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
•  14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15  so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15)
•  8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a poisonous snake and set it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live.” (Numbers 21:8)

There are many deceptive philosophies out there vying for our attention in order to divert our attention away from the only One who can save us and give us peace until he returns to take us home.


9For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form. (Colossians 2:9)

Many Christians make the mistake of viewing Jesus as a teacher whom they can imitate. He may be regarded as a teacher by those who seek to use their human strength to attain God’s standard of perfection, but he cannot be regarded as a teacher by those who call him Savior. When you look at someone as a teacher, you want to be like him or even better than him, but as a Savior, there is no such possibility.

Jesus possesses the “fullness of deity.” It implies that he is God. It means he can save you to the greatest extent possible. It means you don’t require anything or anyone else to complement what he has done for you.

Is he your teacher, whom you can emulate, or your God, before whom you raise your hands in surrender?


10and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2:10)

Many Christians misunderstand Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 5:18 to “be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  As a result, they do everything they can to receive more of the Holy Spirit. The additional filling of the Holy Spirit is referred to as the second blessing by some. This concept serves as the foundation for an entire theological system. So people flock to places where they might be able to get more of this filling, with no guarantee that they will. They may associate a brief period of euphoria with the additional filling of the Holy Spirit, but this is only temporary. Then they have to return for another filling.

This approach is not scriptural, because the above-quoted verse states that “you have been filled in him.” You may not believe it, but the Bible says so.

•  For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. (John 1:16)
•  Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

And because many Christians are unaware that they already have “every spiritual blessing”, they look everywhere for their perceived lack. Stop looking because “you have been filled in him”.

Nghi Nguyen

- Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion on the topic, which does not necessarily reflect the church's theology, or beliefs of the individuals in it — Nghi Nguyen

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