Life-Study of Colossiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Colossians 2:8-15 forms a complete section of the book. This section begins with a word of warning: “Beware that no one carries you off as spoil through his philosophy and empty deceit” (v. 8). This section is also followed by another warning: “Let no one therefore judge you in eating and in drinking or in respect of a feast or of a new moon or of Sabbaths” (v. 16). The warning in verse 8 is based on the verses which precede it. According to these verses, Christ is the mystery of God, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (vv. 2-3). In verse 6 Paul says that as we have received Christ, we should walk in Him. In order to walk in Christ, we must fulfill the two conditions mentioned in verse 7: we must be rooted in Him and be in the process of being built up in Him. Then we must beware that no one carries us off as spoil from the very Christ who is the mystery of God and in whom we should walk. We have received the wonderful Christ who is the mystery of God with all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now, having been rooted in Him and being built up in Him, we should walk in Him.
The section of Colossians which includes 2:8-15 is rather complicated. It contains a number of important points. Many of these points are related to Christ as the good land, as the rich soil in which we have been rooted. The expression “having been rooted” in verse 7 implies that there is soil. Verses 8 through 15 are a full description of Christ as the soil in which we have been rooted. Having been rooted in the soil, we grow with the elements we absorb from the soil. We know that Christ as the soil is in our spirit. Now we must go on to see, from verses 8 through 15, a description of the very soil in which we have been rooted. These verses present a full description and definition of the soil.
The first aspect of this very special soil is found in verse 9: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” We have been rooted in the One in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. We should not allow anyone to carry us away from such a soil. To be carried away from this soil is to be uprooted from it. When the book of Colossians was written, some were trying to uproot the believers from Christ. The believers had been rooted in Christ as the good land, as the One in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells. Instead of allowing anyone to carry us away from this soil, we must stay rooted in it.
In 2:10 Paul continues, “And you in Him are made full, Who is the Head of all rule and authority.” Here we see more concerning the substance of Christ as the soil. One aspect of the soil is that of the fullness of the Godhead; another aspect is that Christ is the Head of all rule and authority. In Christ as the good land we have a number of different elements. The first element is all the fullness of the Godhead, and the second is the Head of all rule and authority.
In verses 11 through 15 we find more elements. Verse 11 says, “In Whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ.” The soil also includes the circumcision of Christ, which denotes cutting and killing. In the soil there is, therefore, a killing element. Verse 12, which says that we were buried together with Christ in baptism, indicates that the soil also contains the element of burial. In Christ as the soil there is a substance which causes us to be buried. After burial, we are raised up. In verse 12 Paul speaks of God who raised Christ from among the dead. This expression indicates that in Christ as the soil there is an element which causes us to be raised up. According to verse 13, we also are made alive. There is an element in the soil which gives us life, enlivens us. In 1 Corinthians 15:45 Paul speaks of the life-giving Spirit. In Colossians 2:13 he uses the same Greek term for life-giving, only in the past tense. As the soil, Christ has made us alive; He has given us life.
In verses 14 and 15 Paul continues, “Wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us, which was contrary to us; and He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. Stripping off the rulers and the authorities, He made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Here we have more elements that are found in Christ as the soil. The wiping out of the handwriting in ordinances is an element in the soil. The same is true of the stripping off of the rulers and the authorities, the making of a display of them openly, and the triumphing over them in the cross. As the soil, Christ includes all these marvelous elements. Praise Him that He is such a rich soil! We have been rooted in this soil. Day by day, our roots need to sink deeper into Christ as the unique soil.
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