Philosophy or complete in Christ?
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
C16.1 Not of Christ
We have now reached the end of this section on the second danger that Paul warns of. It is the longest of the four, but is very important. The danger was one of philosophy and not of Christ, where men attempt to find their own salvation through tradition and after the ways of the world.
All these attempts are without Christ. Despite the fact that God has decreed that man will not find God out by man’s wisdom, men and women still try to do so. They want to be independent of God and have it all on their own terms.
The salvation they speak of is not what the Bible calls salvation. but one of self- realisation, to stir up the so called latent powers in themselves. All this is empty and worthless in God’s sight, and if persisted in will lead the soul into dangerous spiritual territory.
C16.2 Complete in Christ
God’s salvation is full and free to all who call on His name. It makes the believer complete in Christ. He has made all the necessary provision to save us from sin. In this section Paul sums it up as being circumcised in Christ, baptised in Christ, freed in Christ and victorious in Christ. All achieved by Christ’s great atoning work at Calvary.
This salvation is received by faith in Christ Jesus. That means abandoning one’s own way of salvation and humbling oneself before God in repentance. That’s how we began and so we must continue. As we have received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk in Him. We need to continue to be humble, abandoning all self-works and wholly trust Him to work His salvation in us, so that we can work it out in day to day living.
The question is reader: do you have this complete salvation? If not you can receive it right now by turning in repentance to God and putting your trust in Jesus Christ.