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Volume 23 - Page 28 of 207 Index | Zoom | |
That philosophy which is not after Christ,
contrasted with all the fullness that dwells in Him (2: 8, 9).
pp. 168 - 174
The structure of Col. 2: 4-23 set out on page 84 shows five features which are in
some degree notes of warning, and also five features giving prominence to the person,
work and fullness of Christ, which are in some degree correctives of the error expressed.
The five correctives taken together are related to one another as are the five items of
warning. Let us see this clearly before dealing with the first corrective of verses 8-10.
The correctives (Col. 2: 4-23).
A | 8-10. Not after Christ. Filled full in Him.
B | 10-12. Christ the Head. Dead and buried.
C | 17. Shadows in contrast with body.
B | 19, 20. Christ the Head. Ye died with Christ.
A | 23. Not any honour. Filling the flesh.
The corrective that immediately concerns us is the first. This, we observe, is
expressed both negatively and positively; we shall expect to find in it not only positive
truth but also further light upon that vain, deceitful philosophy which is supported by the
tradition of men and the rudiments of the world:--
NEGATIVELY.--Not according to Christ.
POSITIVELY.--The fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Ye are filled to the full in Him.
He is Head of all principality and power.
The words, "Not after Christ", which we render, "Not according to Christ", indicate
the one and final test of all doctrine and practice. Whatever does not "accord" with
Christ is not truth. To this we may readily assent; but a difficulty may arise when we
begin to put it into practice, for "Christ" means so much. It is therefore incumbent upon
the apostle to select, out of the fullness of his subject, those outstanding features, which,
being settled, establish the whole doctrine of the Lord. Let us observe how the apostle
uses the title "Christ" in leading up to and developing this important central section of the
"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery
among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST among you, the hope of the glory" (Col. 1: 27).
"Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that
we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1: 28).