Days of Praise

Philosophy and Vain Deceit

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

It is bound to be significant that, in the only place where the Scriptures even mention philosophy, we are warned to beware of it! Likewise, the only philosophers mentioned were evolutionary humanists who called the apostle Paul a “babbler . . . because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18).

The word “philosophy” literally means “love of wisdom,” and every philosophy—ancient or modern—is essentially a humanistic devotion to man’s wisdom for its own sake.

But such wisdom is false wisdom. It derives in type from “the tree of knowledge,” through the “vain deceit” of Satan, who tries to persuade us that partaking of it would “make one wise” and that “your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 2:17; 3:5-6). It has “indeed a shew of wisdom” (Colossians 2:23), but “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19), and eventually all “the wisdom of this world, . . . [and] of the princes of this world, . . . [will] come to nought” (1 Corinthians 2:6).

Genuine wisdom, on the other hand, is as our text reminds us, “after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:8-10). For in Him “are hid [literally ‘stored up’] all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

The Lord Jesus Christ is “the truth” (John 14:6), and is both “the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24). This true wisdom is freely available to all who desire it. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God . . . and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Therefore, we need never waste our God-given time on human philosophy. HMM

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