“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy”. The word philosophy that is mentioned here is found only once in the New Testament. It doesn’t refer to the Greek philosophy from which Plato and Aristotle came. It refers to the worldly spirits that people used to believe in. This philosophy tempts you, kidnaps you and dominates you who have fallen in heresy in the Church of Colossi.

The worldly spirits that are connected to the universe are related to astronomical beliefs and to ascetic prohibitions and angelic worship. The rampant heresy in the Church of Colossi is a kind of fabrication (i.e. it is a mixture between different dogmatic components). The contrary of that is Christ only. In Him all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. The Rising Christ from the dead combines in his person all the Divinity that is found in him before incarnation and the created world that He directly took from the virgin, He also combines the universe with Himself through His resurrection from the dead.

If there was any power or authority in the physical universe, Christ would be the head of all components, and here Paul moves on to the dogma of Baptism, and as he went beyond the Pagan thought concerning the cosmic bases, he also goes here beyond the Jewish circumcision. In Christ you were circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands; it is not the putting off of the prepuce but the putting off of “the sinful nature” through the circumcision of Christ. Here he compares the sins to a body put in our entity. You put that off through the circumcision of Christ, through baptism, and baptism is your resurrection with Christ’s resurrection. This is an echo of what was written in the epistle to the Romans: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life”.

It is clarified through this passage that as Paul got rid of Paganism, of the bases of this world, he also wants to get rid of Jewish circumcision. And this is what happened in the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem. We pass beyond Jews and Pagans if they didn’t take Christ. Resurrection saves us from every old thing, and falling into Judaism again or into any kind of Paganism attacks Christians even if they were baptized like the Colossians.

This is possible in every generation. Paganism and Judaism are renewed in different forms. Only the person that sticks to the Savior’s resurrection being a new life can resist in front of all intellectual and philosophical temptations that we have joined day after day. We need to renew the baptism in us through examining every thought that attacks us and standing in front of it in the life that Christ gives us.

Every person that mixes Christ with something different or with something that is anti Christ would be committing a heresy even if he thought that he is in the Church. He is in it physically, but his mind belongs to something else. Christianity is not only baptism. It is a continuation of baptism; it is constant death with Christ and a constant resurrection with Him. The sad thing is that very few believers compare what they read or hear with the Gospel. The real believer goes back to the Gospel to examine every thought and asks knowledgeable people if he had little knowledge in Christianity.

The important thing is to live every thought through the Gospel that is in your hands.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “الحياة الجديدة بالمعمودية” –Raiati 01- 01.01.2012