by Randy White Ministries Friday, Apr 15, 2022

Colossians, Rightly Divided, verse-by-verse

Session 6 | Colossians2:9-19

Colossians 2:9-15 | Our Status In Christ

Verse 9 -- Blue
In Christ, our Savior, all the fulness of the Godhead can be found. More specifically, it is found bodily. This adjective is used in Luke 3:22 to describe the Holy Spirit coming down as a dove, and in 1 Timothy 4:8, speaking of bodily exercise.
This is in opposition to those groups that believe Jesus only seemed to be in a physical body.
Verse 10 -- Blue
To be complete in him is a phenomenal concept, and is just as much orthodoxy as the truth of v. 9, yet is denied by many in the church today. In practicality, many teach that we are complete in our own works of righteousness, personal holiness, etc.. This passage is clear and undeniable. The believer is complete in him without the need for further acts of obedience or sanctification.
The verb complete is in the plural. When a plural pronoun (in this case, ye) is combined with a plural verb, it is referring to the individuals within the larger group.
The one in whom we are complete is the head of all principality and power, and thus we do not need to worry about being complete in One who is not complete.
The word principality is ἀρχή“at the beginning," thus principle or foundational.
The word power is from ἐξουσία [exousias], based on the root ουσια [ousia], which is wealth / property (as in Lk 15:12-13). The word is literally, "coming from wealth/property." The word is used of Jesus in Matthew 7:29, speaking of Jesus as one having authority 
The words principality and power* tell us that Jesus has authority both with position* and possessions.
Verse 11 -- Blue
The body of Christ, unlike the Jewish nation, does not need circumcision of the flesh to be complete (v. 12). The verb ye are circumcised is in the passive tense because it is not an action we perform in the flesh. It is part of the gift of salvation. The phrases putting off the body and circumcision of Christ are in the dative tense, describing the *means by which the* circumcision without hands*** *was done.
In Christ, our sins of the flesh have been cut away from us. Therefore 2 Corinthians 5:17 can refer to us as a new creature in which the old things are passed away.
Verse 12 -- Blue
If the circumcision of verse 11 is made without hands (spiritual rather than physical), then why would the baptism of verse 12 be physical in nature? The fact that we are risen with *him through the baptism *would require baptismal regeneration. Such a doctrine would be works-based if this were a reference to water baptism.
Verse 13 -- Blue
That Paul is talking about the Body of Christ and not Israel is clear by the fact that he speaks of the uncircumcision of your flesh. Previously, the Gentiles were strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12). But now, those without hope may be quickened together with him (as the Colossians had been).
We are quickened by His having forgiven you all trespasses. The Greek participle translated having forgiven χαρίζομαι [charizomai], which is not the typical word for forgive, but built on the root word for grace. Thus, God graced us of all our trespasses. See 2 Corinthians 5:19. Note that this truth concerns all trespasses. There are none left to be dealt with!
Verse 14 -- Blue
In quickening us, God was also blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. This is surely a reference to the Mosaic law (if not, then what?). The Law was contrary to us (as seen in Ephesians 2:12, which is in the same context as our passage at hand, see Ephesians 2:5).
This verse is so much in opposition to Moses that only a dispensational change can explain the transition. Compare, for example, Deuteronomy 6:6-9 or Joshua 1:8. With strict obedience to the Law commanded over and over, how can Paul now speak of these ordinances as having been blotted out? Only by a dispensational change.
Verse 15 -- Blue
The work of Christ **spoiled principalities and powers** (see note on verse 10). The word spoiled is from the root of a word which means *to be striped*. The entire verse has a note of utter triumph, with the losers being striped and marched through town as the victors triumph over them.

Colossians 2:16-19 | Our Response, Part 1

Verse 16 -- Blue
The key word is therefore. If vv. 14-15 had not been accomplished and revealed, then v. 16 would be out of order. Each of the things mentioned in v. 16 relate to the Law. When Christians substitute Mosaic Law for a new law, or they put themselves back under Mosaic law, they reject the glories of this dispensation which God has given. The imposition of kosher regulations or feast observances or sabbath days is a return to the Law. Sadly, many find a self-congratulatory comfort in returning to portions of the Law, almost always insisting that others join them.
Verse 17 -- Blue
One (not the totality) aspect of the Law was to be a shadow of things to come. See also Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1.
The human heart is quick to go to shadows rather than the substance of freedom in Christ.
Verse 18 -- Blue
Having given the instruction to let no man...judge you (v. 16), Paul now adds that we should let no man beguile you of your reward.
καταβραβεύω [katabrabeuo] beguile is used only here in the New Testament. The root word [brabeuo] is "to rule or control" (used in sports, such as an umpire). The prefix [kata] takes the root to its extreme. Therefore, the word is "overextended control." The best picture would be an umpire who overextends his control of the game beyond the rules of the game and defrauds you of the prize. Note that the word reward is not actually in the text but is used by necessary extension of the Greek word.
Paul adds three activities of the one who would beguile you of your reward:
  • voluntary humility - literally, "it is his will to be humble." The sense of the words is a false humility (one based on self-righteousness).

  • worship of angels - literally, "worship of messengers." It could be that this person worships angels or that he worships the prophets rather than the One the prophets pointed to. Note that the Greek θρησκεία [threskia] is the word for religion that causes worship and not a true worship (see Acts 26:5).

  • intruding... - the word implies "going into detail" when the person doesn't really know the facts.

This person is inherently vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.
Verse 19 -- Blue
Continuing to describe the one that would beguile you of your reward, Paul says that he is not holding the Head, no doubt a reference to Jesus Christ.
Paul displays physiological knowledge when he says that it is the head from which all the body by joints and bands...increaseth. The words joints and bands could be translated or understood as ligaments and muscles. It is the head which both nourishes and knits together our muscular system. Of course, Paul speaks here spiritually rather than physically, using the physical as an illustration.

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