Monday, February 27, 2017

Colossians 2:6

Paul here is starting to establish the following argument of Christ being the answer to philosophy. He begins the short thought began in this verse with the phrase “therefore” and ties this to the previous thoughts that he has established. Because they have stood solid and unmovable, they need to be prepared to continue in this truth.

He reminds them that they had received (Greek paralambano)[1] their salvation, not by a tradition or a mental imagery, but a person – Jesus Christ the Lord. The word received is in the aorist tense meaning it was a once for all experience. The Greek word means to receive from another,[2] their salvation was given to them by Jesus. Paul will build on this concept in verse 8 as he speaks about the contrast to the traditions of men.

The Gnostic teaching seeking to infiltrate the church at Colossae had two variations, and Paul addresses both of them in this statement. There was the teaching of the Docetic Gnostics who rejected the historical Jesus in His actual humanity, and the Cerinthian Gnostics who would not identify the Christ (Messiah) with this historical Jesus.

Paul uses the full identification of Jesus to validate his point here and following. Christ (Greek Christos) identifies Him as the promised Messiah that the Old Testament speaks about. Jesus is the human name given to Him by the Father and given through Joseph and Mary. Lord (Greek kyrios) identifies Him as the One to whom everything belongs.

As a result, Paul challenges the Colossian believers to “walk” (Greek paripateo) this is a Hebrew ethical term[3] that encompasses the whole being of the person. It signifies the whole extent of activities a person is involved in.

Prayer: There are good traditions, Father, and there are wrong ones. Help me to learn to differentiate between the two. I want to live a life that is pleasing to You, You have given me so much. I want to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Cleanse me, purge me, develop me, and keep me on the right path. I will seek to hear Your still small voice each step that I take. I bow in wonder before You, I love You. Amen.

[1] This is a technical term in the Greek for the perpetuation of traditional teaching by formal instruction (cf. 4:17; 1 Cor. 11:23; 15:1 – 3; 2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 6:17 for similar useage). Allen, Clifton J., ed. The Broadman Bible Commentary. Vol. 11. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1971. Page 235. 
[2] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 510. 
[3] Allen, Clifton J., ed. The Broadman Bible Commentary. Vol. 11. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1971. Page 235.

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