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Philosophy or Christ?

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 1, 2022 4:00 am

Philosophy or Christ?

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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April 1, 2022 4:00 am

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Those look at Colossians, we see a suitable contrast is due to boards and will just look at them simply captured by philosophy as opposed to completing price. This is the story of every man is either captured by human philosophy or use all have one thing in common, all of them promise a more vivid religious experience, then you'll find in historic Christianity.

If you do what they say they claim you will truly get close to God. Well, as John MacArthur's been showing you here on grace to you in Jesus Christ.

You have everything you need for a vibrant spiritual life from the moment of salvation.

And as John continues looking at that theme today. He will show you why you and any believer can have a deep abiding powerful relationship with God. So here's John now continuing his study titled complete in Christ. Colossians chapter 2 verses eight through 10. In our study Colossians chapter 2 verses eight through 10. Really this is just the first part of a look at verses eight through 15 which should be taken as a composite right, title, our discussion, philosophy, or Christ, because really that's what Paul is dealing with in this passage.

Now, as you look at Colossians, we see a simple contrast, let me just give you two points and will just look at them simply captured by philosophy as opposed to complete in Christ and this is the story of every man because every man is either captured by human philosophy aureus complete in Christ, that so first of all, notice verse eight captured by philosophy. Let's see what happened you where 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. Now Paul is warning them and he saying this essentially beware lest those of you who were rescued out of the domain of darkness, and have already been translated into the kingdom of the son of God's love should be carried off like captives and enslaved again Paul. It was unthinkable that those who had been ransomed those who had been redeemed and those who had been liberated could submit to that all slavery again. People are always coming alive saying we found the truth. The truth of the matter is they have forsaken the truth for slavery to human wisdom. How is it that they're going to lead you how is it they're going to capture you. Verse 8B continually being aware that they don't carry you off like spoil or booty through philosophy and then you have an equivalent there even vain deceit and philosophy equals vain deceit the means of capturing people's philosophy high sounding knowledge and theory, but it's all human.

Incidentally, this is the only use of the word in the New Testament philosophy is human was human wisdom that sounds like it's divine human wisdom but supposed to be greater than anything else that you've ever heard. That's what the cults always offer you don't really know the truth until you know what we one writer says everything that had to do with theories about God and the world and the meaning of human life was called philosophy at that time not only in pagan schools but also in the Jewish schools of the Greek city historian Schlatter is his name says that the term philosophy was used of every single theory about God and the world, whether Jewish or Greek in that era. That was the common term. So anybody coming along with any new theory about God or new theory about the world, its origins, its meanings and its destiny constituted a philosopher with a philosophy. Josephus the historian of that day has shown that any elaborate system of thought and he says any moral or disciplinary thought pattern was called a philosophy. Josephus even says and I quote there are three forms of philosophies among the Jews, the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the Essenes. That's a quote from Josephus Jewish war number two that helps me to think maybe it was the SE who were propagating their philosophy, but whatever it was it was a lie because it vain deceit. He links this term with philosophy to describe it.

Philosophy is empty deceit theirs.

It doesn't give you what you expect the word deceit is interesting in the in the Bible.

One of the words used in second Peter two is guile or deceit, and it is the Greek the original meaning of the word is fishhook in the thing that's interesting about a fishhook is that is not what a fish expects what you see is not what you get in that circumstance anything philosophy is the same thing it's abated. You think it's going to be wonderful. It turns out to be deceiving.

For all of its claims. Philosophy is an empty illusion.

And that's why Bertrand Russell says after 90 years of it. It's a washout and that's why Hobbs and Hume lie on their deathbed, panicky without answers. It sounds good. It seduces the mind because it plays into the hands of pride, but it seems truth is in the revelation of God spoken finally and clearly in Jesus Christ. There is no value in speculative human philosophy that Herbert Carson has a good morning at this point. He says this. This does not mean that he should come with a blind unreasoning faith, but it does mean that instead of bringing philosophical presuppositions which will color his study of Scripture, and so prejudice is interpretation. A man comes as one conscious of the finiteness of his intellect and aware that his mind also was affected by his sinful nature. Thus he is willing to be taught by the Holy Spirit and acknowledges that it is the word of God rather than his own reason, which is the final arbiter of truth pulses.

Beware of philosophy, where of some human mode. Some human theory about God, about the world. Whatever stick with the Bible where human philosophies come from well he gives you two sources in verse eight philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, source number one source number two after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ to inadequate source number one tradition. It's always been the case. People have always believed what that does that just perpetuates inadequate depraved human thinking pattern tradition doesn't mean anything just because it's handed down doesn't mean it's true.

Got error to start with and handed down doesn't make it any better than what you started hear you saying philosophy comes after the tradition of man, one of the things it so interesting and we don't have time to really develop this when you study philosophy is that almost all philosophers build upon other philosophy. There's an incredible sequence that flows through the history of philosophy and one guy goes as far the next guy up a little bit of his philosophy and developed in the next guy in the next guy. So what you haven't philosophy today can go all way back in almost all philosophy finds its roots in Aristotle, Plato is all just a changing and a variation in the flow of the tradition of man years are perpetuated perpetuated perpetuated perpetual look at.

By the time Jesus arrived earlier, the Jews had built up such a monstrosity of philosophy such a mess of human wisdom, that they were unable any longer to tell what the traditions of man were and what the word of God. Mark 75 Pharisees and the scribes asked him why walk not by disciples according to the tradition of the elders they had developed a sophisticated system all on the basis of tradition.

Verse eight Jesus said, laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men.

Verse nine. Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition, nothing honoring about tradition, nothing sacred about tradition. It's just perpetuated human ignorance and so the Jews had their credit, the Gentiles had tradition you know that they passed their stable philosophies on first Peter four is much as you know, you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold, from your vain manner of life received by tradition from your fathers were all victimized by were all victimized by a passing on of of error. I see my little child go off to school and come home and say yeah we didn't really come from monkeys then way I said no income from monkeys, but everybody says we came from monkeys in the box as we came from monkeys and I asked the teacher why everybody says we came from monkeys and she said because that's what scientists always believe, and I said well that's good proof that no matter how smart you are. Without God's revelation.

You never get away from error to truth.

So where does this philosophy come from it comes from all the philosophies before it just perpetuates the same old stuff.

Second source rudiments of the world to say one of the rudiments of the world.

That's not an easy term to figure out. There are several possibilities. Let me just give you a general idea of what Paul has in mind the term in its literal sense, refers to the basic elements of learning rudiments would be ABC's name. It literally means things in a column or things in a row 123 ABC. He says this just comes from the ABC's of the world. They think it's a graduate work but it's Google you go to philosophy and you get a doctor of philosophy and Paul says that's a be see rudimentary principles of instruction for childhood not adequate for mature adults. That's rudiments thought that is that to return to philosophy would be to cast away the mature teaching of the Bible or the infantile poverty-stricken opinions of an immature religion drawing. It's being not from God but from this world. Galatians chapter 4.

Find the same phraseology verse three.

Even so, we were in bondage when we were children to the elements of the world. The elementary teaching of human religion is what he means in Galatians is talking about the Jews religion, perhaps in Colossians. He's combining it with the Gentile religion as well.

But what he means.

Here is just the basics of same old human religion and what is the same old basic in all human religion salvation by what works same old people same terminology is used also. This chapter of Hebrews. It just means basic human religion where this word is all the stuff coming from.

It comes out of tradition perpetuated error.

Where else does it come from it comes from man's own infantile primer type religion.

It is giving you some advanced deep new profound spiritual knowledge want to know who the really advanced folks are people know the word of God. The word also interesting thought. Colossians 2 again the word rudiments of the world has a second possible meaning in the ancient world and I would guess that the one I just gave you is probably the one Paul primarily had in mind but it's possible that the allusion could be broadened to include this and that was it referred to elemental spirits spirit beings, especially the people of that day were bound up in associating the spirits with the stars and the planets that's astrology. They were into it. Having and it's amazing today that people think they got a whole new thing astrology that is not new. That's the same old rudiments of the world you know Julius Caesar was an astrologer, astrology buff, I should say and govern his whole life by what the stars told you know Alexander the great did the same thing devout believers. Both of them and the influence of the stars. People who believed in this kind of stuff.

The elemental spirits connected with the planets were in the grip of a rigid kind of determinism that was sent by the stars and the influence of these spirits through the stars dominated their lives and they used to say it was only one way of escape. You are absolutely a prisoner of the stars in the spirits and the stars. Unless you knew the right passwords in the right formula so you could escape the fatalism built into the stars.

You had to have. They said a secret knowledge a secret teaching along come the false teachers and say we have the secret teaching can relieve you from the fatalistic determinism of the stars.

Jesus Christ can't save you from the spirits and the stars and planets. We have the secret information for that. Some of the people in the Colossian church had probably been in that kind of system and when they were saved out of it.

They still had lingering thoughts about it and the temptation may have been there to say well what if there right. Paul warns them and he warns us to be constantly being aware of the false truth that that stuff is just human tradition. It is perpetuated. Ignorance is infantile in adequate human religion of the past being revived and it's nothing more we have Christ that is not moving to a second point complete in Christ.

He says at the end of verse eight.

Not after Christ and any shift gears for in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and year are complete in him who is the head of all principality and power. You don't need to be captured by philosophy. You can be complete in Christ you can chuck all human flaws throw away all the traditional religions of the world. You can throw away all of man-made forms and theater for in him alone dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are completed.

The word dwellest in verse nine in him dwellest continuous presentation still dwells. Jesus Christ is still the fullness of the Godhead still word got it incidentally is the word for the essence of deity. He is still deity.

He is still the fullness of deity, just like he was in chapter 1 verse 19. It hasn't changed. Please the father that in him should all fullness dwell. The whole play Roma the whole fullness of God dwells upon. I believe it verse nine. Maybe the greatest statement of the deity of Jesus Christ in any of the epistles in him modifying Christ in verse eight continually dwells doesn't come and go like the Gnostics taught all play Roma the fullness of deity in her body. Hello, how you can deny some harebrained church comes along and says Christ is not God. We in the result of that reality to us. We don't need philosophy. Why, because verse 10 says if he is all there is of God, then ye are complete where in him the one who is the head of all other spiritual beings.

All other angelic beings called principalities and powers is fullness. Beloved is imparted to us. I know if you can understand we see if I can help you same terms are UT is the playroom of God and we are the play Roma in him. God literally passes himself to us through Christ, you are complete in him. That's a it's a perfect tense. We have been completed in him with eternal results. When you think about the fall of man you think about what happened.

It's pretty sad when man fell he fell into a sad state of incompleteness and unsaved man is spiritually incomplete for is totally out of fellowship with God. He is morally incomplete because he has no standard of conduct and if he did he could live up to it. He is mentally incomplete because he's incapable of knowing the truth so you have a spiritually, morally, mentally, incomplete man, Jesus Christ enters the scene and Paul simply says, and ye are what complete second Peter one for Peter says you become partakers of the divine nature.

Think of it, you become a partaker of the divine nature of man instantly becomes spiritually complete. He has fellowship with God, the life of God is in him, he becomes morally complete. Not because he's perfect. Practically, but because he recognizes the authority of God's will. He has a standard and the energizing Holy Spirit to give them the strength to obey and he is mentally complete. Not in the sense of knowing everything, but in the sense of having the truth and the resident truth teacher.

The Holy Spirit Christians are partners of divine life. What an incredible truth. You became a Christian you received. Every thing you need every Peter said. We have all things that pertain to life and godliness.

You don't need any higher knowledge you need any because you are complete in him know about you, but as a Christian I have a sense of the completeness. Don't you write truth search is over is your I found I can't even see of ever needing anything outside of Jesus Christ. Can you forward me.

Every man is a choice can choose human philosophy which will capture him, carry him off in incompleteness to a spiritual, moral, and mental sentence of do we can follow human wisdom would seem so high and so lofty and so fancy and is nothing more than the same old hat need tradition passed down century after century the same old ABCs of human religion Oregon come to Jesus Christ and be lifted from out of this world to a spiritual, moral, and mental completeness song and I used to love to sing the song says this is all I need is all I Jesus is all I'm father, thank you for our time just kinda scratch really the surface of these thoughts, but just for now. It's so exciting to know we are complete in him, nothing missing the life of God in us the spirit of God in us the word of God in us the power of godliness. All the fruit of the spirit. Manifest love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, all those braces that you've given faith and hope and love by the Holy Spirit wisdom and truth. Everything that could be conceivable to make life and eternity meaning.

Thank you for the words of Peter. You have all things pertaining to life and God's you are partakers of the divine nature. Thank you father for taking us who aren't necessarily the brightest, smartest, will have the Dr. of philosophy degrees who maybe never been educated by the brilliant minds and fancy systems of our world.

Thank you that you did those things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto us the babes because you get glory from simple trust father to my prayer that somehow you might speak to that struggling heart that one life that is hanging in the balance is between making a decision relative to being captured by philosophy of freedom. Christ, I just pray that your Holy Spirit will minister to their motivate them convicted no one would leave with a commitment to human wisdom. No one would leave trusting and logic trusting in education, trusting in the most brilliant philosopher, they would know that only in the word of God is there truth and only in the Christ of God is there complete your work father in their hearts, and in all our we already are complete and you make us thanks. Help us to live our lives to the level of that section.

Please Jesus name. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us.

John has titled his current study from the book of Colossians complete in Christ John this is something we've been talking about for days, but you summed it up perfectly today. You said that we can throw away all human philosophy because in Christ we have everything we need and that's all true but sometimes people will say that if they have Jesus and the Bible. They don't need anything else.

Literally they don't need to be part of a church or read commentaries or have fellowship with one another. So is there any sense in which you can take this idea too far. Both course and there are people who take every idea, too far to go, don't take it far enough. But look, if you say you have Jesus in your Bible. That's all you need yet open your Bible and go to the book of Hebrews and read. Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together is the manner of some is in much the more you see the Day approaching. You need to be in fellowship or mean that that's the whole picture of first Corinthians were Paul writes about the Lord's table and how your to come together and your to come together to love one another and to celebrate the death of Christ. Your become submissive to elders, your to your to honor those who lead you who rule over you and leadership in the church or to submit yourself to the teaching and preaching and reading of the word of God.

If you say you believe the Bible, you must be a part of the local church and I would just mention we have a tool to help you maybe get some clear thinking on that.

It's a booklet titled your local church and why it matters that that's really a very simple but foundational thing for you to understand.

So here's the deal. This booklet your local church and why it matters is free to anyone who asks. This is an issue today.

It's a particularly an issue because some people get comfortable watching church on television and since covert it's even made more people comfortable staying home and just watching their lifestream church. We need help with this area. That's where we put the booklet together. Your local church and why it matters you need to get a copy. Maybe more than one will send you a copy free of charge. If you just asking if you want more, they would be available as well.

Yes, this booklet is for anyone who wants one. Just go to our website or call us or even send us an email and request your free copy of the booklet your local church and why it matters. The toll-free number here 800-554-7223.

You can also go to our website Jide and our email letters at Jide TY.your local church and why it matters looks at how God designed the church and the role it needs to have in your life. It also answers questions like what is the mission of the church and how can I serve my church and how do I increase my love for the church again to get a free copy of the booklet your local church and why it matters, call us at 855 race or go to our website Jide and friend.

Let me encourage you to follow us on social media there. You learn about John's newest books, upcoming series latest grace to you news. You will find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson.

Remember to look for grace to you television this Sunday.

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