Chapter 2

Chapter 2


THIS entire chapter may be regarded as designed to guard the Colossians against the seductive influence of the false philosophy which tended to draw them away from the gospel. It is evident from the chapter that there were at Colosse, or in the vicinity, professed instructors in religion, who taught an artful and plausible philosophy, adapting themselves to the prejudices of the people, and inculcating opinions that tended to lead them away from the truths which they had embraced. These teachers were probably of Jewish origin, and had adopted many of the arts of a plausible rhetoric, from the prevailing philosophy in that region. Against the seductive influences of this philosophy it is the design of this chapter to guard them; and though Paul does not seem to have intended to pursue an exact logical order, yet the argument in the chapter can be conveniently regarded as consisting of two parts:–a statement of the reasons why they should be on their guard against the arts of that philosophy, and a specification of the particular errors to which they were exposed.

I.      A statement of the reasons why they should not allow themselves to be drawn away by the influence of the prevalent philosophy, (vv. 1-15). 
        This also consists of two parts.
        A.      The importance of the subject, (vv. 1-7).
                1.      Paul felt great solicitude for them, and for all whom he had not seen.
                         That they might hold the truth in reference to the Divine existence and perfections, (vv. 1-2).

                2.      All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were in Christ.
                         And it was, therefore, of the greatest importance to hold to the truth respecting him, (v.3).

                3.      They were in danger of being led astray by enticing words, (v. 4).
                4.      Paul says that he was with them in spirit, and he exhorted them.
                       Therefore, to remain rooted and grounded in the doctrines which they had received respecting the Savior, (vv. 5-7).
        B.     Reasons why they should be steadfast, and not drawn away by the influence of false   philosophy, (3:8-15).
                1.      The danger of depending on traditions and worldly principles in religion; of being “spoiled” or robbed by philosophy, (v. 8).
                2.      All that we need to desire is to be found in Christ, (vv. 9-10).
                3.      We have received through him the true circumcision–the putting away our sins, (v. 11).
                4.      We have been buried with him in baptism, and have solemnly devoted ourselves to him, (v. 12).
               5.      We have been quickened by him; our sins have been forgiven.
                       And everything that hindered our salvation has been taken out of the way by him, and he has triumphed over our foes, (vv. 13-15).
II.     Specification of particular errors to which they were exposed, or of particular things to be avoided, (vv. 16-23).

The chapter closes (vv. 20-23) with an earnest exhortation wholly to avoid these things; not to touch or taste or handle them. However plausible the pretenses might be on which they were urged; whatever appearance of wisdom or humility there might be, the apostle assures them that there was no real honor in them, and that they were wholly to be avoided.