Life-Study of Colossiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Colossians 2:18 and 19 say, “Let no one purposely defraud you of your prize, in humility and worship of the angels, standing on things which he has seen, vainly puffed up by the mind of his flesh, and not holding the Head, out from Whom all the Body, by means of the joints and bands being supplied and knit together, grows with the growth of God.” The phrases “standing on things which he has seen” and “not holding the Head” are related to being defrauded. If we do not hold the Head but stand on things which we have seen, we shall be defrauded of our prize of the enjoyment of Christ. We should not allow ourselves to be defrauded by anyone standing on things which he has seen and not holding the Head. Whenever we ourselves fail to hold the Head, we are defrauded of our prize.
It is important to understand, in an experiential way, what it means to hold the Head and how to hold the Head. We should not take 2:19 for granted, assuming that we know what it is to hold the Head. Instead, we should dig into this verse and inquire of the Lord concerning its meaning. Then we shall be enlightened.
To understand properly what it means to hold the Head, we need to consider 2:16 and 17, where Paul tells us that Christ is the body, the substance, the reality, of all the shadows. Eating, drinking, Sabbaths, new moons, and feasts are all shadows of things to come, whereas Christ is the body, the reality, of these shadows. Based upon this fact, Paul warns us not to allow anyone to purposely defraud us of our prize. His warning in 2:18 and 19 is based upon the fact, revealed in verses 16 and 17, that Christ is the reality of all positive things. Those who seek to defraud us are the ones who stand on things which they have seen and who do not hold the Head. Thus, there is a connection between Christ as the body of the shadows and holding the Head. In other words, the very Christ who is the reality of all positive things is the One who is the Head of the Body. If we would know what it means to hold the Head, we must know what it is to enjoy Christ as the reality of all positive things. Without enjoying Christ in this way, we cannot experientially hold Him as the Head. With this as the background, we can now say that to hold the Head is simply to enjoy Christ as the reality of all positive things.
The genuine Christian life is a life of enjoying Christ. We need to enjoy the Lord all day long. We have seen that in speaking of eating, drinking, Sabbaths, new moons, and feasts Paul refers to matters of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly enjoyment. Actually, we eat and drink several times a day. In Paul’s use of illustrations in 2:16, he covers the whole span from the hourly enjoyment of Christ to the yearly enjoyment of Him. This indicates that we should enjoy Christ continually. When I drink a glass of water, I should remember to drink Christ. When I eat my food, I should enjoy Christ as the real food. Whenever we enjoy Christ in this way, we automatically hold Him as the Head. Thus, the best way to hold Christ as the Head is to enjoy Him. There is no better way to hold Christ than to eat Him. Just as we hold food by taking it into us and eating it, so we hold Christ by eating Him.
In 2:16-19, Paul takes a great leap, from Christ as everything for our enjoyment, which is on the ground floor, to Christ as the Head, which is the top floor of our experience. As we enjoy Christ as food, drink, air, and everything to us, we are uplifted by a divine elevator to the very height, where we hold Christ as the Head. But if we stop enjoying Christ, we immediately stop holding Him as the Head. Only when we enjoy Him do we also hold Him. This is not a doctrine learned from theology books. It is a fact of Christian experience. From my experience throughout the years I have learned that to hold the Head is to enjoy Christ continually. We are vessels made to contain Him, and we hold Him by eating, drinking, and breathing Him. By this we see that holding Christ as the Head is a very subjective matter.
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