THE COLOSSIAN HERESY (in Colossians)

Paul answered the various tenets of the Colossian heresy that threatened the church. This heresy was a “mixed bag”, containing elements from several different heresies, some of which contradicted each other (as the chart shows).

The Heresy Reference Paul’s Answer
Spirit is good; matter is evil. 1:15-20 God created heaven and earth for his glory.
One must follow ceremonies, rituals, and restrictions in order to be saved or perfected. 2:11, 16-23; 3:11 These were only shadows that ended when Christ came. He is all you need to be saved.
One must deny the body and live in strict asceticism. 2:20-23 Asceticism is no help in conquering evil thoughts and desires; instead, it leads to pride.
Angels must be worshipped. 2:18 Angels are not to be worshipped; Christ alone is worthy of worship.
Christ could not be both human and divine. 1:15-20; 2:2, 3 Christ is God in the flesh; he is the eternal One, head of the body, first in everything, supreme.
One must obtain “secret knowledge” in order to be saved or perfected – and this was not available to everyone. 2:2, 18 God’s secret is Christ, and he has been revealed to all.
One must adhere to human wisdom, tradition, and philosophies. 2:4, 8-10; 3:15-17 By themselves, these can be misleading and shallow because they have human origin; instead, we should remember what Christ taught and follow his words as our ultimate authority.
It is even better to combine aspects of several religions. 2:10 You have everything when you have Christ; he is all-sufficient.
There is nothing wrong with immorality. 3:1-11 Get rid of sin and evil because you have been chosen by God to live a new life as a representative of the Lord Jesus.

 

©Dodgsons KingsWay Sanctuary Church, 1973.

 

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