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Chosen For Change: Colossians 3:12-17

Chosen For Change: Colossians 3:12-17
“12) And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13) bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14) And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15) And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16) Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17) And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians‬ ‭3:12-17‬ ‭
I look at these qualities as the wardrobe of the Christian life. But first things first. Note that verse 12 starts by saying, “as those who have been chosen of God.” He picked us to be in His family and Kingdom. I like the way Jesus worded it in John 15:16; “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He may give you.” He chose us to be fruit bearers. The fruit involves both who we become “in Christ” and what we do for Him. The fruit includes the new wardrobe we put on.
Second, He calls us “holy.” This Greek word means “to be holy, set apart, sanctified or consecrated.” Its fundamental idea is “separation, consecration, devotion to the service of Deity, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from worldly defilement.” The wardrobe God dresses us in relates to the attributes of His character. We are called to “put on Christ.”
Third, He calls us “beloved.” This is a special word. It means “those who are loved with Agape love.” I call this “the God kind of love.” Don’t run from His love. Embrace it and let it bring healing and wholeness into your life.
Putting on the wardrobe that follows in this context is a healing process. It involves the work of the Holy Spirit thoroughly changing us into new people made after the likeness of Christ. I see salvation as an event, but sanctification as a process. He changes us over time.
If you are a Christian, Jesus welcomes you into His personal wardrobe. He wants to dress us in His righteousness. He wants you and me to “put off” our fleshy attire and “put on” all the qualities mentioned in Colossians 3:12-17.
Let me stress that this wardrobe is not for special occasions. These qualities are the daily uniform for the family of God. By all means, put them on!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Crucify Gnosticism in Your Thinking: Colossians 3:5-7

Crucify Gnosticism in Your Thinking: Colossians 3:5-7
“5) Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6) For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7) and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.” Colossians‬ ‭3:5-7‬
Jesus did everything on the cross for our forgiveness, deliverance and freedom from Satan and the power of sin in our lives. (Review Colossians 2:13-15) But that does not translate into automatic daily victory. We must do our part. Jesus did not cancel out our free will.
Paul says we must “consider” the members of our body as dead to sin. Remember, he was fighting Gnosticism which taught the body is evil and cannot be redeemed from its evil ways. They therefore concluded the soul and spirit can be clean and holy even though the body engages in every form of sin. They actually empowered and promoted every form of sinful indulgence from sexual immorality to greed and idolatry.
Paul was countering the Gnostic movement and saying “the believer is responsible to take control of their actions.” The battle starts in the mind. Gnosticism taught that sin was alive and in control. Paul taught that sin was dead and defeated on the cross. These are radically different views.
Gnosticism sets people up for failure. By contrast, the call to Sanctification through grace and the power of the Holy Spirit sets people up for victory. Because we died “in Christ”, we can consider ourself as dead to sin.
This mindset works! How do dead people respond to sin and temptation? They don’t blink an eye! It has no affect. Paul’s point is clear: “Don’t feed and empower your flesh, rather crucify it.” Put off the old self and put on the new self.
For the doubting Gnostic, Paul adds another point to the argument. Verse 6 says, “For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come.” A just God can not judge what man cannot control! Even civil law sees this distinction. There is no penalty for accidental death, but there is severe consequence for premeditated homicide.
Sin is not accidental, it is intensional. James 1:13-16 describes the temptation-sin process. God holds mankind accountable for his actions the same way civil court does. There is only one major difference, God always gets the verdict right.
So what is the take away from these three verses? The starting point for victory is changing your mindset! Instead of thinking “I have no control or power over my actions”; start thinking, “This no longer has power over me because I died to this sin in Christ!” Then close the door and walk away from the temptation. 1 Timothy 6:11 and 2 Timothy 2:22 both say to “flee” from the temptation and pursue righteousness. Fill the void with something good and wholesome.
Instead of thinking “I have no power because I am a slave to sin”; start thinking “On the cross, Jesus defeated the power of sin in my life and now I am dead to this sin and have the power to live a holy life.” Victory starts by changing your mindset about sin.
A major change in my life came when I changed my thinking from “I’m just a sinner saved by grace”; to “I was a sinner saved by grace who became a saint still capable of sin apart from the grace and power of God.”
The first identity became my excuse for sin. Why? Because by nature sinners sin! The second identity provided power for victory. Why? Because the word “saint” means “holy”. It was a major shift in my thinking to discover that after salvation the Bible refers to believers as “saints” and no longer as “sinners.” The Holy Spirit changes people. He gives us a new identity.
Does this mean I believe in sinless perfection? Not at all. It merely means I abandoned my excuse for sinning. I crucified Gnosticism in my thinking.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Hidden With Christ in God! Colossians 3:3-4

Hidden With Christ in God! Colossians 3:3-4
“3) For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4) When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” Colossians‬ ‭3:3-4‬
Paul again observes that believers who are “in Christ” died with Him, but were also raised up with Him into new life. Our life is actually “hidden with Christ in God.” Let me try to unpack the biblical meaning involved in these two verses. It is marvelous to ponder.
Being “born-again” moves the believer beyond mere physical or biological life. As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5-8, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” It is impossible to explain the things of the Spirit of God to a non-Christian, they have no capacity to understand it. It sounds like foolishness to them. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
But the moment someone turns to Jesus Christ through the gospel, they are filled with the Holy Spirit. He ushers them into the realities of the Kingdom of God. Their dead spirit comes alive and the are filled with what the Bible calls “Zoe” life. That is the Greek word for life used in verse 3. Old things pass away and all things become new. Their life is suddenly “hidden with Christ in God.”
They also have what the Bible calls “the blessed hope.” Their inner being resonates with Colossians 3:4. They know that “When Christ, who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
At the moment that Christ is revealed, believers will partake in the mystery of 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. We will put on our new and glorified bodies. We will no longer be restricted by our current physical bodies or the limitations of the physical realm and naturalism. We will be like Jesus in His glorified resurrection body. (See 1 John 3:2)
Non-Christians cannot understand, comprehend or appreciate this seed the Holy Spirit plants in the spirit of every true believer. The good news is that this “Zoe” life or “Spirit life” starts now. Just like physical life starts at conception and becomes fully functional at birth, so “Spirit life” starts at salvation and becomes fully manifest at glorification.
The phrase Paul gives in Colossians 3:3 that “your Zoe life is hidden with Christ in God”, could be weakly understood by the above analogy of physical conception and birth. In a sense, the believer is developing in the womb of God until the mystery of 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 unfolds.
Ironically, Matthew 24:8 compares the end of this age and the coming of Christ to labor pangs. Something beyond description is about to happen. A new epoch is about to be birthed. (See Acts 1:7 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2)
When Jesus comes back, Colossians 3:4 will be fulfilled. The full glorification of every born-again Christian will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye. We will be changed. ( See 1 Corinthians 15:51-52) A new epoch or reality will be birthed into existence.
This is one reason why I am not in a frenzy over these strange times that seem to be coming upon the whole world. I believe labor pangs have stated. The next big event on Gods calendar is about to happen.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Winning the Battle in the Mind: Colossians 3:1-2

Winning the Battle in the Mind: Colossians 3:1-2
“1) If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2) Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Colossians‬ ‭3:1-2 ‭
Paul now makes a reference back to a truth presented in Colossians 2:13. The believer not only died “with Christ” to sin on the cross; we were also raised up with Him and seated with Him in heavenly places. Our present position “in Christ” includes His current place of glory and victory at the right hand of God.
Paul is encouraging the believer to start seeking heavenly fulness and benefits. We have a choice of either being absorbed and overwhelmed by earthy concerns or we can set our mind on heavenly blessings. The first leads to anxiety and fretting, the second leads to increased faith, joy, praise and thanksgiving.
These two verses highlight the basic fact the our minds matter and what we think about makes a huge difference. We are responsible to control our thinking. Our thinking can work for us or against us.
Satan loves an idle mind. He plants all kinds of vile, bitter, immoral and anxious thoughts in the minds of people. If you dwell on them, you empower the flesh. If you crucify these thoughts and replace them with godly and wholesome thinking, you empower the spirit. This was Paul’s theme in Philippians 4:8-9. These verses are worthy of constant review.
But make no mistake, what Paul is saying goes far beyond mere positive thinking. He is saying that the believer can tap into heavenly resources for daily living. Through the Holy Spirit we have access to the fulness of the glorified Christ. We have resurrection life available to us.
The mystery is that this is not a one time event. It is like the filling of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Ephesians 5:18. It is a continual ongoing process. Time and again throughout the day I need to consciously shift my mind back to heavenly things. I find that I need to stop and hit the “reset” button in my thinking.
It is a constant battle, but I find that it gets easier when I filter what goes into my mind. If I let my guard down and feed on garbage books and entertainment, the battle in mind mind becomes intense. I am moody, short tempered and restless. My flesh is in control. But when I screen for edifying and wholesome input, my idle thoughts are peaceful and pure. The secret to victory in my thought life has become guarding what I let into my mind.
I have found that this is especially true before I lay down or go to bed. My most glorious times of rest come right after writing my nightly post followed by my Word time. Laying down is then transformed into glorious prayer, praise and communion with God. It infuses spiritual energy into my soul and spirit. It gives me rest and fills my tank like nothing else. At some point I drift into peaceful sleep. I wake up absolutely refreshed and energized.
You need to find what works best for you, but you must find a way to win the battle in your mind. You will either control your thought life or it will control you. Why leave your life and future in the hands of random and fleshly thinking? Take these two verses for seriously. Within them are the keys to success and joyous living. You and I can tap into heavenly life and resources on a daily basis by setting our minds on things above.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Let No One Derail or Defraud Your Walk With Jesus: Colossians 2:18-23

Let No One Derail or Defraud Your Walk With Jesus: Colossians 2:18-23
“18) Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19) and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.” “20) If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21) “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22) (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23)These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.” Colossians‬ ‭2:18-23‬
Don’t skip over this text, it is absolutely crucial to understand how Satan tries to confuse and nullify the gospel. Roll up your sleeves, we need to explore this text and talk about some tragic stuff that started happening even in Paul’s day. Unfortunately, because of this format I need to keep this very brief and simple. Let’s get started.
Greco-Roman culture was a bastion of many different religions, philosophies and belief systems. This resulted in a very secular and often exploitive and immoral value system. It was nearly impossible to find a reliable moral compass in Rome. Keep in mind, modern western secular culture is the great grandson of this strange union between Greece and Rome.
Soon many were turning to faith in Jesus Christ from the dark cloud of meaningless and despair that hung over this culture that placed nearly no value on human life. From the Roman coliseums to the brutal force of law imposed by Roman soldiers, dignity was absent and human blood was cheap in Rome. The new believers were looking for a trustworthy spiritual and moral compass.
Into this vacuum came the New Testament Epistles. They were beckons of light in the otherwise dark fog of human civilization. They were full of truth and life for the believers. They pointed people to Jesus Christ and truth.
In the verses under consideration in the above text, Paul warned against any religion, philosophy or belief system added to the gospel that minimized, marginalized or ignored Jesus Christ. (See Galatians 1:6- 10) Why is this important?
In John 8:31-32 Jesus said that abiding in His word would bring truth and set people free. In John 13:34-35 He also gave the New Commandment of Agape love and said that this quality would characterize His followers. These were not empty words. His promised Helper would produce the fruit of the Spirit within all true believers. (John 14-16; Galatians 5:22-24) Genuine Born-again Christians are to shine as lights in an otherwise dark world.
So in these verses Paul was issuing a warning; adding legalism, adopting religious rituals or borrowing from secular philosophies does absolutely nothing to improve on Spirit filled living. It doesn’t make the light brighter, rather these things are like fire extinguishers. They confuse the truth and dampen the fire of the Spirit. They may be a good religious show, but do have no value against fleshly indulgence. They do not change the heart.
Jesus did not come to establish a new religion. He came to reconcile man to God and open the way for intimate fellowship between Creator God and fallen humanity. He came to redeem lost people. He came to usher in something promised in the Old Testament, but not experienced. (See Joel 2:28-29) Jesus provided the only way for people to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is what separates being Born-again from mere human religion or philosophy. (See John 3:1-21)
Sadly, the cloak of religion was forced on Christianity. Paul was warning against this trend in this text. This resulted in the dark ages. Christianity was hijacked by false teachers, power grabbers and immoral men and women. Though it confused the issue, this does not take away from the real Born-again life promised by Jesus to those who receive Him by faith.
Don’t settle for religion when you can have a relationship with God through saving faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t settle for empty religious ceremony and rituals when you can have new life through the Holy Spirit. Don’t substitute Jesus Christ for empty human philosophy, psychology, rationalism or false spiritism. They are all dead end roads. They derail and defraud a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Don’t Miss The Prize. Colossians 2:18-19

Don’t Miss The Prize. Colossians 2:18-19
“18) Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19) and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.” Colossians‬ ‭2:18-19
Paul now issues a caution about the spiritual realm. Not every dream, vision or religious practice leads to God. Some people are being deceived by evil spirits without realizing it. This was especial true in the Roman Empire. The climate was a mixture of many religious beliefs, practices and spirits.
The new age religions of our day have much in common with Rome. Most people have a hodgepodge of many beliefs, religious practices and humanistic philosophies. Satan translates himself into an angel of light in his efforts to mislead people. (See 2 Corinthians 11:13-15) He goes to great lengths to deceive and enslave people. Many people think and reason logically to their own doom. (See 1 Corinthians 1:18-25) They become their own worse enemy.
Paul’s response was to point people to Jesus Christ and the simple gospel message. The god of this world loves to confuse people and leave them lost and blind. (Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-4) He will do anything to keep them confused, distracted and distant from Jesus Christ and the gospel.
Colossians 2:18-19 shows Paul’s resolve to skip the religious arguments and distractions and challenge people to consider Jesus Christ and the gospel. When all is said and done, the only questions that matter are “Who is Jesus Christ and do you believe in Him?” As soon as a person receives Jesus Christ and is born-again, all the confusion, religious arguments and irrational smoke disappears. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to change.
Many former skeptics became some of the greatest followers of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul was one of them. Before meeting Jesus Christ he was a fierce persecutor of Christianity. After being born-again, he became the greatest evangelist and defender of Jesus Christ and the gospel in human history. He more than anyone understood that the greatest prize in life boiled down a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Embrace The Whole Bible: Colossians 2:16-17

Embrace The Whole Bible: Colossians 2:16-17
“16) Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17) things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” Colossians‬ ‭2:16-17‬ ‭
Paul now touches on an area of great controversy, misunderstanding and contention among Believers. Sincere Christians in the early church and today apply spiritual freedom and liberty “in Christ” differently with regard to Old Testament foods, drink, festivals, a new moon or keeping the Sabbath.
Some kept nearly all of the ceremonies found in the Law, some picked portions of them and others disregarded nearly everything. The meal menu in the home of a Gentile believer and a Jewish believer in the early church most likely looked very different, but they both loved Jesus. There was a sharp contrast between Jewish and Gentile believers. It was often divisive and explosive. (See Acts 21:17-22)
Paul righty understood there was freedom in Christ so long as the religious ceremony was not considered the basis of salvation or a means of earning merit with God. Many Old Testament ceremonies such as the Passover had very significant object lessons connected to them and revealed amazing truth about Jesus Christ. They were and are great evangelism tools.
Paul also points out in verse 17 that many Old Testament stories, festivals and ceremonies were a shadow or prophetic preview of things to come. The book of Hebrews was composed based on this principle. Look at Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1 as an acknowledgment of this concept. Hebrews 11:19 also uses the word “type” related to Issac.
Many New Testament books point to Old Testament illustrations and examples as the foundation for doctrinal truth. Read Romans 4 or Galatians 3 for examples of New Testament doctrinal truth anchored in Old Testament stories.
Furthermore, Hebrews 8:4-5 suggests that many aspects of the Old Testament are a shadow or reflection of heavenly and eternal reality. In Colossians 2:17, Paul was introducing the broader phenomenon of symbolism, types, shadows, patterns, illustrations, object lessons, divine calendar and theological foundations packed into the Old Testament. Don’t minimize the importance of the Old Testament!
The born-again Christian is to avoid legalism related to the Old Testament, but invite illumination and the revelation of truth. Legalism involves keeping the Law to earn salvation or merit with God. Spiritual maturity involves inviting the Holy Spirit to illuminate Jesus Christ, the gospel, truth, prophecy, the character of God, the ways of God, the wisdom of God and the calendar of God packed into the Old Testament. The Old Testament is a treasure chest of truth and revelation.
But… apart from the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, the above aspects of the Old Testament will forever be hidden from the reader. Paul concedes this point in 2 Corinthians 3. The entire chapter is significant to this conversation, but verses 14-18 are crucial. A veil remains over the eyes of those who read the Old Testament until they turn to the Lord and are filled with the Holy Spirit. The veil is taken away “in Christ.” The same principle applies to a non-Christian reading the New Testament.
So what is the take away from these two verses? Keep Jesus Christ as your focus and total substance of salvation, but invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate both the Old and New Testament to you. Spend time daily reading from both the Old and New Testaments. Become a student of the whole Bible and enjoy your Bible learning journey through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Power of the Cross: Colossians 2:13-15

The Power of the Cross: Colossians 2:13-15
“13) When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14) having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15) When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Colossians‬ ‭2:13-15‬
We often overlook the significance of what Jesus did for us on the cross. The cross itself was not significant. Many died on crosses in Rome. However, the identity of the person who died on His cross was very significant. Jesus Christ was the innocent and sinless Son of God. He had no guilt and no fault. Through Him, God was reddening lost humanity.
In John 1:29-36, John the Baptist introduced Jesus to Israel as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Jesus Christ was indeed the Passover Lamb. His blood rendered the destroyer powerless for all eternity for those who put faith in Him. Exodus 12 and the Passover under Moses was a prophetic foreshadow of the coming sacrifice of Jesus Christ for lost humanity.
According to the text under consideration today, the work of Jesus Christ on the cross was monumental. Let’s dig into some of the details in these three verses.
First, the work of Jesus on the cross opened the door of life to humanity that was under the curse of death. He died that those who believe in Him might enter into new life that extends to all eternity. This new life is called “Zoe life” in the New Testament. It starts at the moment of salvation when the new believer is filled with the Holy Spirit.
Second, the work of Jesus Christ on the cross became the basis of absolute forgiveness for every sin and transgression for the believer. The Old Testament sacrificial system covered sin, but did not remove the guilt of sin. (Read Hebrew 9-10 for a full explanation) So what was so different about the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross?
This is the third point, on the Cross Jesus became our substitute payment for all sin. He paid in full the debt of human sin. I like the wording of Colossians 2:14; He “canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
The accuser of the brethren no longer has a basis of accusation against the child of God. According to Hebrews 10:19-22, the sacrifice of Jesus was so complete it even cleanses the human conscience. It removes the heaviness and awareness of guilt. It makes the believer absolutely clean before God!
Finally, Paul says that on the cross, Jesus “disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” What does that mean? According to Hebrews 2:14-15 Jesus “rendered powerless him who has the power of death, that is the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” That’s right, Jesus utterly destroyed the works of the devil.
Let me point out how Jesus introduces Himself in Revelation 1:17-18; “17)… “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18) and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” A cosmic battle took place between His death and resurrection… and Jesus won! According to Ephesians 4:8-10, Jesus literally descended into the lower parts of the earth and took the keys of death from the devil. He also led a host of captives to freedom.
The greatest ministry of Jesus Christ was not His three years of public ministry, rather it was the three days and nights encompassing His death and resurrection. All of this was to purchase our salvation and freedom from the penalty and power of sin and Satan in our lives.
When you fully embrace the meaning and significance of what Jesus accomplished on the cross… your life will be transformed. Your battles with guilt will be over. The power and bondage of sin in your life will be broken. You will be liberated from your past. Your flesh will be disarmed and you will have new ability to walk in the Spirit. You will be equipped with new weapons for spiritual warfare. It will become your basis for understanding healing. You will be launch into a new calling and purpose for life. You will begin to walk with new power and authority in your life.
As we conclude these three verses, I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 1:18. It talks about the word of the cross being the power of God. Ask God to show you the full meaning of that phrase. Then, by faith appropriate the full benefit of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross into your life. Put the old self to death and step into new life through the power of the resurrection.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Embracing Your Position “in Christ.” Colossians 2:8-15

Embracing Your Position “in Christ.” Colossians 2:8-15
“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. 9) For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10) and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11) and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12) having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13) When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14) having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15) When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” Colossians‬ ‭2:8-15‬
I know this is a long paragraph, but the Bible student must stand back and look at it as a whole. It is filled with numerous transactions that happen for the believer either “in Christ” or “with Christ.” It can be illustrated by the hundreds of features on a smart phone or tablet. They are present, but only beneficial to those who learn to use them.
This context pivots on the claim in verse 9 that “… in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” Through ignorance or by default you and I can be looted by Satan and the world and be led into captivity; or we can step into the fulness of what it means to be “in Christ” and live victorious and transformed lives. If Jesus Christ is the God of Creation, His power and authority have no limit. Don’t minimize Him through ignorance.
This text postulates that because Jesus Christ is God the implications are unfathomable. We are absolutely complete in Christ, lacking nothing, heirs of His fulness and absolutely forgiven and set free from our sin and transgressions. Not only that, but on the cross Satan was totally defeated and rendered powerless against us. Read verses 13-15 over and over again until these truths permeate your soul. Paul states emphatically that Satan and his cohorts were disarmed through the public triumph of Christ on the cross.
So how does Satan have so much power and influence in the world and in the lives of so many people, Christians not excluded? The answer is: “through ignorance and by default.”
By not knowing the truth or standing in our position “in Christ”, we empower Satan’s influence in our lives. He rules our emotions and life circumstances because… we let him do it! We have failed to embrace the manifold blessings that are ours “in Christ.”
If this is true, every believer should launch into a study of the fulness of Jesus Christ and every benefit that accompanies salvation. We should embrace the ministry of the promised Holy Spirit and invite His full and complete work in our lives.
I challenge you to start with this paragraph and begin to compile a list of the benefits you have “in Christ” or “with Christ.” As your list grows so will your faith and your spiritual capacity. Don’t stay small through ignorance or default.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Stop Setting Yourself Up To Be Looted! Colossians 2:8

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