Stop Setting Yourself Up To Be Looted! Colossians 2:8
“8) See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Colossians‬ ‭2:8‬
Paul now presents another graphic word picture that explains why it is so important to be “firmly rooted, built up in Him, and established in you faith… and overflowing with gratitude” from verse 7. I pray you never forget what you are about to learn.
Verse 8 starts out by saying; “See to it that no one takes you captive…” At first glance that seems trite and innocent, but it literally means “see to it that no one leads you away as loot!” This is a reference to ancient battles and wars. The victor army would “loot” the city of the defeated foe and lead the people and all their belongings away as loot.
They became slaves. They were captives won in the battle. Often they were stripped naked and humiliated. They no longer had a will of their own. They lost all freedom and personal autonomy. They were at the mercy of the victors. They could be sold, traded and human trafficked. It is a sad and tragic picture from human history, but it is still practiced today by groups like ISIS.
This is the tragic illustration behind Paul’s warning in verse 8. As Christians, it is our responsibility to make sure that Satan and the world does not defeat us and lead us away as loot. We need to protect our freedom and avoid being led into captivity. So how can we be defeated?
According to the verse, it is through philosophy, empty deception, the traditions of men and the fallen morals and accepted values of secular society. It happens by letting our flesh and soul be influenced and indoctrinated by the world, rather than according to Christ and biblical truth.
Many wonder why we have lost the 18-40 year old generation in the church? The answer is simple; “they have been looted by the world.” We have turned them over to be saturated with humanism by our secular education system. They consume hours of worldly entertainment every week that mocks Christianity and promotes every form of immorality as normal. Many Christian leaders secretly feed on pornography. Creationism has been bartered away by many seminaries and church denominations and replaced with various forms evolutionary thinking. More Christians seek secular psychologists or psychiatrists for treatment than quality biblical counseling. Western Christianity has been “looted” by Satan and the world for decades and we don’t even realize it.
So what is the solution? According to the context, every Christian needs to embark on a “journey to personal freedom” and become grounded “in Christ.” This starts with genuine salvation through faith in Christ. The next step embarks on a biblical truth encounter. It includes a thorough “putting off of the old self and putting on the new self.” (Colossians 3:5-11) According to the book of Colossians, every Christian is called to undergo a “total life makeover.” (Colossians 3:12-4:6)
This journey needs to be intentional and not casual. My daughter and son-in-law in Peru, South America have built their ministry around an in depth Encounter Weekend for every believer. It includes 14 sessions and helps people deal with deception, past abuse, demonic strongholds, sexual addictions and general life junk.
The results have been supernatural. People are being set free and the barriers and hinderances too spiritual growth that plague most Christians are being removed. As I read the books of Acts, Ephesians and Colossians, it appears that the early church had a process to lead people to freedom.
So what is the take away from this profound verse? Well, it starts with the question; “Are you setting yourself up to be looted by Satan and the world or are you intentionally being rooted and grounded “in Christ?” If you are being looted, admit it and take corrective measures immediately!
Jesus Christ has done everything to purchase and provide for our freedom, but every Christian needs to engage in the process. Stop being casual and haphazard with your spiritual life. Embrace, protect, value and enjoy your journey to personal freedom “in Christ.”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global