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Author: Bruce Anstey

Binding: Paperback


The circumstance which brought forth the epistle to the Colossians was the emergence of a number of false doctrines emanating from Greek philosophy, heterodox Judaism, and Oriental mysticism. These errors were the beginning of what would later become known as Gnosticism. This false line of teaching attempts to explain the existence of God, the creation, the origin of evil, ect., apart from the divine revelation of the Scriptures, professing to be of a higher revelation than that which the apostles had delivered to the saints. The worst of these errors was the denial of the deity and the true humanity of Christ. This blasphemy threatened to take the saints away from the truth of Christ’s Person and work, and needed to be refuted. This epistle is useful today for rebuking philosophical ideas and mystical notions that people sometimes have in connection with divine subjects. However, it has a more important purpose for being in the canon of Scripture; it is one of just two epistles that disclose the truth of “the Mystery”— the highest of all truth. The Mystery is alluded to in Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 4:1 and 1 Timothy 3:9, but it is only developed in Ephesians and Colossians. Since the truth of the Mystery—in which are “all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge” (Col. 2:2-3—J.N. Darby Trans.)—has been fully disclosed in these two epistles, all the truth has been delivered to the saints (Jude 3). There is, therefore, no need for anyone to go beyond the Mystery in search of more truth. Understanding this will deliver Christians from turning aside after strange and novel ideas of which we have been forewarned will arise in the last days (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).