Jesus — ‘the perfect theology’
Published 7:48 am Monday, December 7, 2015
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:8-9
The Apostle Paul says simply and emphatically in the second chapter of Colossians that everything that can be known of God is found in Christ.
What a powerful revelation. Doesn’t that seem just a bit too basic though? There are sixty-six books in the Bible and all of them are inspired by God, thirty-nine of them are penned before Christ is even incarnate.
Doesn’t that seem contrary to this statement? What was God inspiring men to write for if everything that we need to know of God would be one day found in Christ Jesus?
Furthermore aren’t there deep theological truths to be know, ideas and principles found throughout the Old Testament?
Yes. It’s all simply Jesus! He is the Word made flesh.
All of Scripture either looks forward or backwards upon Jesus, with His substitutionary death on the Cross being the crux of all time. The center, the point, has always been Jesus. In every book of the Bible you will find Jesus.
Whether it’s the brazen serpent in the wilderness or the captain of the angel armies in Joshua. He is the one who sits between the cherubim on the ark of the covenant.
He is the shekinah glory in the temple of Solomon and He is fourth man in the fire in Daniel. He was there in creation and will be there in the victorious resurrection of all things at the culmination of all time!
Jesus is perfect theology. He said He only said what He heard His father speak, He only does His father’s will. Every question we have about God is answered if we look at Jesus. If it’s not found in the life and ministry of Jesus then it’s not true.
Jesus fulfilled, the Word says, the law and the prophets not leaving one I undotted or one t not crossed.
Paul elaborates his instruction writing not to” let anyone cheat you with vain philosophy” he is writing to people being inundated with philosophical ideas mixed with Christianity.
Men offering higher enlightenment through deep thinking that tries to puff man up with knowledge. Making him appear more spiritual. He says this is opposed to the simplicity of the Gospel.
Today is it not the same? Scores of books written supposing to give us deep understanding, while these aren’t all bad and there is a need to understand context and theological principles, these books can’t replace the radical simplicity of the message of Jesus.
Multiple interpretations of passages of scripture have created divisions and denominations, branches of Christianity are everywhere. However they are simply that branches, Jesus is the trunk.
Paul say not let anyone “cheat you” according to “the traditions of men”. This is interesting, think of a game or cards, no one cheats unless they are sure you already have the winning hand or move.
In essence Paul is writing, you already have what you need to be victorious:Jesus. Don’t allow anyone to teach you that’s not enough, try to add to the truth, with traditions and ways of thinking that skew your view of the message.
Beware, be careful he says don’t be swayed by thinking that is based in traditions, not found in the ministry of Jesus (As a side note Jesus himself said By the traditions of men you make the Word of God of no effect Matt. 15:6).
Our relationship with God isn’t found in church traditions or our lofty thoughts concerning scripture, our relationship with God is made possible by and contained in the person of Jesus. Jesus is all we need. His life our pattern, His death on our behalf, and His resurrection joining us to Him victorious over death and the grave.
David Malcom is the pastor of Trinity Gospel Church. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.