In chapter two of Colossians, the apostle Paul combats the false teachings of his day that were avowed by the Gnostics. (i.e. teachers who claimed to have mystical knowledge that had not been revealed to the Apostles) They believed in Jesus Christ, but denied His deity and contended that something more than Jesus was necessary for salvation. As self-acclaimed possessors of so-called superior knowledge they led their disciples away from truth, and into error.
Some have argued that the biblical record of Paul’s spiritual warfare with the Gnostics, in first century Colosse, is irrelevant today because we no longer wrestle with the false teachings of the first century. But Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, observed, “… there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).” He was right; a close look at the philosophical landscape of our day, reveals that the lies of yesteryear continue to circumvent the globe, though often under the deceptive cover of a new label. Today, many of the teachings of the first century Gnostics find their adherents in the camps of those who have embraced some tenet of the New Age philosophies of the 1970s and 80s which have now evolved into a smorgasbord of soul damning untruths. They were not “new” in the 1980s, nor are the teachings they have spawned new. They are altogether the teachings of old fashioned Humanism.
When we are talking about the eternal souls of men, knowing the truth is of supreme importance. Thankfully God has not left us to fend for ourselves in the quest for truth, but has given us the Bible. If you have not discovered this miraculous book, if you are not convinced that it is from God, you probably have not read it. Those who read the Bible with a desire to understand, soon discover that it is a source of undeniable truth, from our undeniable God.
The New Testament warns us that any teaching that requires man to earn what God has provided freely in Christ, is a false teaching. God describes those who have believed the lie: “In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)”