Knowing our King | Colossians 2:18 | Fleshly Mind
18 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,
Paul’s four instructive warnings in this chapter [4, 8, 16, & 18] have many things in common, in every one of them he warns of the dangers of men’s words. In every case, God’s words are the solution to unraveling and admonishing the false teachings, like light is the only cure for darkness, so is truth the only cure for falsehood. Let this be a lesson to us, to be more in God’s word than man’s, what a man says about God is not even a close substitute for what God has to say. Many men have fallen into error because they begin to respect a man’s systematic theology more than the Word of God, and their view of God’s Word is affected by a man’s teaching, instead of letting the Word of God be what affects our view of men’s teaching.
Secondly, what is said of these men’s words reveals the power they operate in. Enticing words are what verse four speaks of, philosophy, vain deceit, the tradition of men, and the rudiments of the world is what is spoken of in verse 8. Verse 16 speaks of religious traditions and ordinances and verse 18, our verse today, speaks of voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. Interestingly, the last phrase of this last warning in the chapter is a perfect summary of the power that these dangerous teachings hold over men. These men and their “Enticing words” appeal to our fleshly natures, their teachings, their experiences, and their religious ceremony are crafted to appeal to our “fleshly minds.” These teachings were not crafted on the false teachers’ workbench, but on Satan’s and the men teaching and pushing for this are men who are deceived themselves! Satan is too clever to let his salesmen in on the conspiracy, but he has first deceived them and now they deceive others. They are blind leaders of the blind, they with “feigned words make merchandise of you.” They speak of those things they “know naturally,” they are “sensual having not the Spirit.” Satan’s power is only powerful in the realm of our fallen natures. So, it is to our minds he makes an appeal, it is to our feelings he makes an appeal, it is to our desires that he makes an appeal. Notice how he appealed to Eve’s natural desires for food, appearance, and wisdom; “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” [Genesis 3:6]
We are not ignorant of his devices; we can see this same pattern from the beginning of time that runs throughout the course of history until this very day. It is no wonder Paul stresses in almost every epistle, “Walk not after the flesh!” As the only cure for falsehood is truth, so is the only cure our fleshly nature is death. Our old man doesn’t have to die every day, he is dead already, and he has no power or authority over the decision a saved man makes. I urge you to read Romans 6 and see how our old man is dead with Christ; “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.” [Romans 6:6-7] This is a fact to be believed. The realm of power that Satan holds over men has been broken by the work of Christ, “I am dead with Christ.” The only part of Me that Satan had power over has been killed, the bond has been broken! In Romans 6 you will see that the power of choice is given to the believer, the instructions are “Let not” “Yield” and “Yield not.” “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” [Romans 6:12-13] I’ve shared these verses to let you know that the only power that these men, their teachings, and their master have has been abolished in the life of a believer, if they have power you have “let” them, you have “Yielded” and you don’t have to! Christ has given you an alternative, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh!!”
So, the sure antidote for their poisonous lies is truth. Knowing the truth and walking in the truth. The Scriptures urge us not to be hearers only, deceiving ourselves. Jesus said those who heard and did not do were foolish men who built their houses on the sand, but those who heard and did were wise and built their houses on the solid rock. The truth is the cure for the lies, not knowing it alone, but knowing and walking in it. If you would be free from the power of Sin, live a life yielded to the truth of God’s word. If our old man is dead and we are not yielded to him, then those false teachers have nothing to appeal to in us, the man that would love to be wiser, have some enlightening experience or his fleshly mind puffed up and his pride ministered to is dead! Our verses show us the power and appeal that enticing words have, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”