Jeremiah 6:16-7:20; Colossians 2:8-12; Psalms 78:23-31; Proverbs 19:1-3
OT: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’ “For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.” (Jeremiah 7:3-7 NKJV)
After King Josiah’s death, the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell back into their sinful ways. Though Josiah had removed the idols from the land, he couldn’t take idol worship out of the hearts of the people. When the people fell back into idol worship, they didn’t abandon the temple of God for the high places and temples of the idols as they had before. They brought their idolatry into the temple courts and added idol worship to their worship of God. Instead of seeking God and God alone, they tried to “round out” their worship expression by being more inclusive. All the while, the false prophets condoned their mixture. After all, as long as you are still worshipping God in the temple, all your other behavior is tolerated, right? Not according to God. Their worship of mixture and compromise was not acceptable, nor was it accepted by God. For God to accept their worship, they had to abandon their idolatry and return completely to the word, will and ways of the Lord – otherwise, they would suffer the consequences of their unfaithfulness.
NT: “Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ. For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. You were also circumcised in him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of Christ, when you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:8-12 CSB)
The false teachers in Colossae were peddling a message of mixture. In their eyes, being devoted completely to Christ may have been admirable to a degree, but so limiting. How could the Colossian Christians fully experience all that the world had to offer by being so narrow-mindedly focused on the gospel of Christ?
Paul counteracted the false teachers’ message by reminding the Colossian believers that the entire fullness of God’s nature dwelt bodily in Christ. Then Paul reminded them that by having their hearts circumcised through faith… by dying to the world, the flesh and the devil… by being buried in the waters of baptism and then raised to new life in Christ, they were full of Christ. If the entire fullness of God dwelt in Christ, and Christ was full in them, then what could mystical philosophies and “special” teachings give them that they didn’t already have? By faithfully remaining in Christ and not allowing themselves to be led astray by false teachings, they would have the entire fullness of God dwelling in them. We don’t need to add anything to the Gospel of Christ. Christ is enough… and Christ is more than the world could ever provide. Let’s remove mixture from our lives and experience the fullness of God.
Prayer: Lord, it is simply amazing to realize that by remaining in You, I am filled with the fullness of God. I don’t need to add anything to what I receive by living my life in surrendered worship to You. Lord, You are my God. I will worship You and You alone, and remain steadfastly faithful to Your word, will and ways by the grace that You give me through faith in you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.