Watching for the Enemy's Lies
Look with me at Colossians 2:8 this morning. Paul continues here to encourage believers to be built up in Christ by reminding believers of some truths to be focused on. And believers must be intentional here. The phrase “see to it” literally means “be careful to do this”. The word is also used to communicate a command to “direct one’s attention to something, watch, beware, be on guard.”
What we see here is a command for a constant watchfulness because of the dangers lurking at every corner in the world. This is due to Satan’s many deceptive devices through his world system of ideas and false teachers who, though often appearing as angels of light, are agents of darkness. (2 Cor. 11:14-15; 1 Peter 5:8 – be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil. Prowls around like a roaring lion seeking for someone to devour)
The goal of Satan and his false teaching is to take us captive, to make us prisoners again, to enslave us to false things. The Greek word for “captive” literally means “to carry off as booty, or as a captive, or rob someone.” It is used here figuratively of carrying someone away from the freedom that comes from the truth of Christ and His work and into the bondage of error. Jesus said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32)”, but when we move away from Christ, even though the false teachers are promising freedom (2 Pet. 2:18-20), we are taken into bondage. The false teachers of this world are seeking to take believers captive and so rob them of the fullness of Christ. Satan cannot steal our salvation, so he seeks to steal our joy and freedom we have in being saved.
That is why Satan is referred to as the deceiver of the brethren. That he seeks to steal, kill and destroy.
I promise you every person reading this is or has been affected by lies that they believed, about themselves, others, maybe even God Himself, or this world. And no wonder, as Satan, our archenemy and the deceiver, is behind every one of them through his host of demonic powers that are actively at work in his world system.
Consider these ideas and false philosophies which are pervading our culture: God helps those who help themselves; He will love us more the better we are; if He truly loved us bad things wouldn’t happen; the ends justify the means; Anything that feels good must be good; Self-expression is the only way to self-realization; Enjoyment is enrichment; Christ is the best of all good men—an example of living for us, nothing more; What we are is what we acquire; Our worth is determined by our productivity … .
What Paul says about these and their destructiveness is summed up in their source – look at verse 8 – they are not sourced in Christ. Thus they are empty and man-centered rather than full and Christ-centered. The problem with worldly philosophies is that at their heart they attack the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ. This is where the battle rages – the sufficiency of Christ.
In contrast to these, Paul puts forth truths here that we can build our lives upon so that we are rooted and firm and established, not moved away, don’t drift. Truths that are not empty and void of power to actually accomplish what we need accomplished. Christ and His work are enough.
Here is the point and takeaway for us – know the Word well. Know Christ well. Be so rooted in our knowledge and understanding of the Word that we can recognize counterfeits, that we will be so satisfied with Christ that everything else loses it taste and appeal to us. That we would recognize Christ’s sufficiency and all else would fade away.
May this be us. See Christ’s supremacy. See Christ’s sufficiency. And may we not be moved at any point or the slightest degree.