Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fools Gold

in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
(Colossians 2:3 – ESV)

Again we see Paul talking about spiritual wealth and spiritual wisdom. In Christ is where the treasures are hidden. Only those in Christ can find all this treasure. They find it in fresh and in repeated ways. Christ keeps coming up golden. It is not wrong to seek wisdom, but seek the treasure where it may be found, the rest is only fool’s gold. Some may buy it, but God won’t.

In this light Paul will address the heresy directly in the following verses. The problem was and is looking for wisdom in the wrong places or seeing Christ as only a way to get wisdom and not as the wisdom itself. Christ is not a tool Christ is the truth. Christ isn't a way to something He is the way itself. Christ doesn't simply give you a better life He is Life itself.

I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments (Colossians 2:4 – ESV). Paul is teaching and warning them, as he said in 1:28. He is encouraging and edifying them as well as equipping them. False teachers don’t announce their false doctrine, and it will often be similar enough to the truth to be dangerous.

Irenaeus, a second century bishop said, "Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself."

Good words, strong words, persuasive words are all fine, but they must be true words that lead to the truth, not the mixture of false words that seem to be truth. They seem reasonable but not when using Jesus as the starting and ending point. They are interpreting Jesus through humanistic terms.

The wisdom is hidden in Christ; not that we look for something that Christ had that we can also have. Not that we look to Him for what He has but we look to Him for Himself. The treasures are inherent in Him. He did not acquire them He is them. Our attention gets distracted from Christ, diverted onto something else, and deceived into thinking you are on the right path but you have been looking at the wrong thing. This type of deeper wisdom is deeper deception.

This foolish way can happen when we are using the Bible like a magic book. We look for promises that aren’t really there. Simply quoting Bible verses as proof texts is not enough, it is not just what the text says but what it means, not just what it says what it teaches. We must be aware of the scope (immediate context and particular emphasis) and the sweep (overall biblical thrust and progressive context) of scripture.

People who are ripe for deception are unstable and /or unlearned (2 Peter 3:16), and are beguiled by words that swell their fleshly pride (2 Peter 2:14, 18). They are impatient, and want more than Jesus seems to be offering. They always think they have found some new treasure, but it is really just fools gold.


donsands said...

"The treasures are inherent in Him."


" ..we have this treasure in earthen vessels, ... that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body." 2 Cor. 4:7,10

Craver Vii said...

This is why "making converts" is not enough. We must be about the business of making disciples, always learning and growing.

Annette said...

just stopping in to thank you and to let you know I tagged you. :)

Even So... said...

Although heresy, apostasy, and just general foolishness are always rampant, it seems to me that we are in the golden age of fools gold...

Anonymous said...

Good post. I agree with what you are saying about using the Bible like a majic book. This happens way to often. On my blog I did a post on "context". Reading verses in the context that they were written

Even So... said...

Context is king...

Daniel said...

A good, persuasive argument can convince a man until a better and more alluring argument comes along - but truth is truth, and no man can deny it who has grasped it firmly.

The truth, and not the argument, sets us free.

Excellent as always JD.