March 10, 2021

What Does Colossians 2:18 Mean?

What Does Colossians 2:18 Mean?

Colossians 2:18 (NIV) Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 

Transcript

Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth. 

This week in our study of Colossians, Paul has been warning us of what’s to come now that we are fully alive in Christ. The past two days, we’ve explored the fact that people will try and set legalistic boundaries on us. Today, Paul warns us of spiritual mysticism. 

In Colossians chapter 2 verse 18, Paul warns us by writing, “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.”

When Paul says “don’t let anyone disqualify you” the word “disqualify” means referee. Paul’s warning us of people who take on the role of a self-proclaimed “spiritual referee” if you will. In Paul’s day, just as today, they had large athletic sporting events. And Paul’s giving us this picture here of a referee disqualifying you from the game for failing to follow the rules. Who were these spiritual referees? Paul says they delight in false humility. According to the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, Paul could be referring to the discipline of fasting that these false teachers practiced to defend themselves against evil spirts that they then claimed then led to them having successful visionary experiences. 

And Paul writes that these spiritual referees go into great detail about spiritual mystical visions and dreams they had. And these visions or dreams were like your initiation into a higher level of spiritualism. Now, am I saying visions and dreams are bad? No. Paul himself had visions and dreams, but he didn’t brag about it. He never glorified himself. He always brought all the attention back to Christ. He is to be our focus. He’s saying, if you’ve got Christ, it’s all you need. 

Paul says these false teachers worshipped angels. The Gnostics believed that there were different levels of angels and that it was only through these angels that we can approach God. History books show us that they even had churches set up for these individual angels and they’d come to worship and pray to them instead of God believing that these angels would give them what they want, whether that be prosperity, fame, protection, healing, etc. 

So, your simple Truth for today: Paul warns us of spiritual mysticism. And unfortunately, it is as prevalent today in the 21st Century as it was back in the 1st Century. Paul says to never let any false teacher convince you that you're not saved because you’re not experiencing these visions and worship of angelic beings. You have Jesus and that’s all you need.  

 Have a blessed day. I’ll see you again tomorrow.