8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,Colossians 2:8-9 ESV
Built in to our discipleship is accountability. There is a charge to be responsible for our relationship with the Father through Christ. We engage the processes of discipleship (Matt. 11:28-30) —
In discipleship, we learn to follow our Teacher. We receive teaching from a unified voice and allow our perspectives to adjust to Truth. We grow in grace and knowledge, and take on the nature of our Teacher. We learn to discern what disagrees with our teaching, and how to respond.
Paul taught the Colossians that their new lives were in Christ. All sufficiency is found in Christ. Any good is done and received in Christ. Christ is the answer and solution, the source of their discipleship.
Paul emphasized that discipleship extends beyond receiving Christ. We must go on in Christ — walking in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith (Col. 2:6-7). Discipleship is relationship. The goal of God is stability. Become a true adherent to and proponent of the teaching of Christ. Walk it, and live it out. Get rooted and drop anchor in His teaching. Be built up in the teaching, or gain strength through insights. Be established in the faith — confident, sound, and a pillar. Become a disciple who disciples others.
Growing in Christ requires our participation. We do the walking. We permit the rooting, the building, and the establishing to occur. We become resolute in our understanding, insulated even, so we can bear witness to truth in real life.
Paul further instructed the Colossians to not let themselves be overtaken by false teachers. Be grounded, built up, and rooted to keep from being overtaken by false teaching. Colossians, Paul exhorted, YOU SEE TO IT. You make sure that false teaching does not plunder you. Take all the teaching you received and turn it on its ear to learn and glean insights from various perspectives. You make sure that your discipleship anchors you in faith so that demonic teaching does not draw you away.
We participate in our discipleship There is neither blind leadership nor blind followship. There is relationship with Christ that leads to growth, stability, and transformation. We must own our relationship with Christ and hold truth to great value in our hearts. The pricelessness of Truth in the heart of the disciple is part strength and part buffer to the seductive sarcasm that keeps us critical of the Lord’s church and unengaged in the advancement of Kingdom objectives.
When we lack roots and strength, we should not blame our teachers. Neither should we point blame outward if/when we are deceived by false teaching. Discipleship happens in relationship.
Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the lead contributor to The Bereans Commentary. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership with a concentration in educational ministry.
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