Hold Fast to Christ, Not Man-Made Wisdom
“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” Colossians 2:16-19 ESV
Colossians is a letter written by Paul to a church floundering in false teaching. They were held captive by both Jewish and pagan traditions; they were being told that in order to grow in holiness and remain saved, they had to commit to extreme self-denial, continue in Jewish practices, and worship angelic beings along with Christ.
Sadly, false teaching—like history—often repeats itself. People are being led astray by false teachers using the same tactics and erroneous wisdom in the church. They set commands the Bible never does, and call us to mystical practices that are found nowhere in Scripture. Nothing has changed, yet people still blindly believe.
Where do these teachers go wrong? Where do their followers go wrong? They are not remaining in Christ. They run on their own wisdom and lose sight of Christ and his teachings. In pride, they ignore the Bible and set aside discernment. They are not seeking to grow spiritually in the power of God but in their own abilities. They are not connected to the Head.
Friend, we are just as susceptible if we stray from Christ. We are able to repeat history with the Colossians and their false teachers if we begin to rely on our wisdom rather than Christ’s. When we become lazy in our Bible study and listen only to man’s voice, we become susceptible to false teaching. We need to cling to Christ and let his Word be our guide, testing everything we hear by Scripture.
God, thank you for your Word. Thank you for giving us such clear commands and promises. Thank you for wisdom. Please give me the wisdom to be discerning whenever I am taught by others. Help me to cling to your Word rather than my own wisdom or the wisdom of others. Help me to pursue obedience and holiness by your strength, not my own.
In what ways have you trusted in the wisdom of others, or your own wisdom, rather than God’s? Is there anything you believe that you cannot first back up in Scripture?
Take what you learn this week, either from youth leaders, Bible study leaders, or pastors, and compare it to Scripture.