Paul's second christological argument is a more direct response to the Christless philosophy in Colosse: Christ is the head over every power and authority (2:10). Paul is here alluding to his earlier confession that Christ is the head of God's new creation, the church (1:18). In expanding his earlier claim, Paul includes every power under Christ's lordship. He has in mind certain spiritual authorities, probably angelic (see 2:18), because the Colossian heresy contends that God's rule over the church is mediated by angelic agents. Paul's logic is convincing: if the Lord Christ rules over these authorities, who in turn supposedly mediate the human-divine relationship, then he is the ultimate mediator of God's rule (compare 1 Tim 2:5). Worship is due him alone. To suppose that any other devotion is required for salvation slights the centrality of the Lord Christ: for God's salvation is by him and is entered into only through him.
While few people today view the world as the ancients did, Paul's commentary on Colossian sophistry remains pertinent. Many of us so elevate our spiritual authorities, whether pastors or religious leaders, that we come to depend upon them and are devoted to their teaching to the exclusion of all else. When our focus is thus moved from Christ's lordship, the formation of authentic Christianity becomes impossible. In effect, the church is decapitated and rendered spiritually dead. Rather than proclaiming their pet project or special wisdom, pastors must teach their congregations about the Christ to whom they are submitted.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.