Colossians 2:18-23 8 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
The last few verses of Chapter 2 sum up the type of religion that has a form of Godliness but denies the power thereof. Not just Christians and churches that are not orthodox in their teaching and preaching but even those that pride themselves on being orthodox, conventional, and conservative; yet Christ is not the head. He may be the head in their statements of faith even in their lips but in their heart and in their practice, He is not the Head.
Verse 18 shows us some marks of a Church whose head is not Christ. Notice they have humility, they have worship, they are even aware of the spiritual world (things which he hath not seen). Everything they have you would find in a true church, but look at what sort they are, their humility was not genuine humility from the Lord, their worship was of another spirit, or Angels, they intruded into the spiritual world not because they want to walk in the Spirit but they wanted to have a special knowledge of the spiritual world that others did not. These types of graces are only forms of Godliness but that is all just an empty form. No substance, no power, and the verses tell us what the false graces and forms minister to; “Vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” That is the power and purpose of dead religion, and it is why people are deceived by it every day because it ministers to the flesh and its desires for self-righteousness and pleasant feeling about oneself, yet true religion is sooner to make you despise yourself than puff you up.
Verse 19 tells us the problem, “Not holding the head.” Every church, every Christian that does not hold Christ as the head and continues on in the forms of religion only continues to make himself feel better or at least so others don’t think badly of him. When Christ is not the head, how will we have nourishment ministered to us and increase with the increase of God? “The Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Christ is the head, and we bear fruit from our abiding in him. If our head is anything but Christ then we will receive increase and nourishment of whatever sort our head is. If religious form is the head, it nourishes vainly puffed-up minds and self-righteousness, false humility, and all the other false graces, that are just empty forms of the genuine. Herein is a warning that we should never let anything take the place of Christ in our worship, our devotion, our preaching, in private life, or in public. As soon as he ceases to be the head we cease to be nourished and increase. “Ye cannot bear fruit except ye abide in me.” We are reminded of the Churches of Asia Minor in the book of Revelation, some had some good qualities nevertheless He had somewhat against them and they were in danger of losing their candlestick, which is the power, presence, and authority that is in the church when Christ is the head. If his candlestick is removed, you may as well write Ichabod above the door and leave because everything that happens from that point forward will be the work of man and not God. Fleshly minds will be puffed up, and the yoke of religion will be placed heavily upon the backs of the congregates instead of the easy yoke of Christ. Is Christ your head? I know you would confess so, and I’m sure your statement of faith says so but is He in practice? Does he lead your services? Does he direct your life? Are we yielded to the leading of His Spirit? What nourishment! What peace! What increase there is when he is the head!