Coaches & Facilitators – BT8
The so-called “Wise and Understanding Ones” are the last to enter the Kingdom.
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Paul warns in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest anyone cheat (a) you through philosophy (b) and empty (c) deceit (d), down-from/according-to the tradition of men, down-from/according-to the ‘abc’ elementary principles (e) of the world (f), which are absolutely in fact not down-from/according-to (g) Christ. <Notes> a) sulagogeo: lead away, sway, or seduce from truth, carry one off as a captive, slave, or one’s booty or spoils, b) philosophia, c) kenos: useless, devoid of truth, fruitless, vain, d) apate: seductive, deceptive, delusion, e) stoicheion: fundamental, abc-like, even demonic-inspired elements f) context: the religion of the Gentiles and even the Jews, g) kata: down from, in the same manner of, according to.
Philosophy (philosophia): love for wisdom, zeal for or skill in any art, science, or any branch of gnosis info-knowledge. It may be used here in Colossians 2:8 of “the theosophy or sophistry of certain Jewish-Christian ascetics, which busied themselves with refined and speculative inquiries into the nature and classes of angels, into the rituals of the Mosaic Law and the regulations of Jewish tradition respecting practical life.” The Gnostic-like heresy at Colossae would undoubtedly have been regarded by Paul as an “elementary, abc-like teaching” at best, because of their “puffed-up” pride in acquisition of gnosis info-knowledge (a) and “secret mysteries” that people, who were members of the cult, were privey to. <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 8:1.
Paul is always attacking such people, saying that this gnosis doesn’t even come close to genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knowing the mystery of God that is Christ (a), The Unconditional-Love of Christ that surpasses gnosis knowledge (b), which the whole Church is to grow up to attain (c), the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of The Truth that is consistent with godliness (d), this full knowledge of every good thing that is IN US (by the Spirit) for the sake of Christ (e), so we can be effective and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (f), so we can escape the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (g), so we can grow in unconditional-favor-of-grace and/coupled knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (h), recognizing that the Son of God came to give us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true – and we are in Him who is true – in His Son Jesus Christ (i). The gnosis info-knowledge of religion, whether the OT religion of the priests, scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, or Gentile religions and philosophies, is completely different-in-kind than the New Covenant Way of knowing God through Christ – see Knowledge. <Notes> a) Colossians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:6, 10:5; Philippians 3:8, b) Ephesians 3:19, c) Ephesians 4:13, d) Titus 1:1, e) Philemon 1:6, f) 2 Peter 1:8, g) 2 Peter 2:20, h) 2 Peter 3:18, i) 1 John 5:20.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:17-31, “For Christ did not send me to water-baptize, but to preach the gospel, absolutely in fact not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the logos gospel message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the Spirit-enabling-power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding (a) of the understanding ones.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through [human] wisdom did absolutely in fact not experientially, relationally ginosko know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the logos gospel message preached to save (b) those who have trusting-relying-faith (c). For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Spirit-enabling-power of God and/coupled the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is mightier than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise down-from/according-to the flesh, not many mighty (d), not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that in possibility no flesh might glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God – and righteousness and sanctification (holiness) and redemption – that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Yahweh.'” <Notes> a) sunesis: connect-the-dots inductive reasoning, b) sozo: deliver, reconcile, restore to wholeness, heal, c) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, d) “might and power” is the external and internal resources of the flesh – see Identity.
Here we get see the “least among them” are the “weak things of the world” and “the base things of the world” and “the things which are despised” by the world -– these God has chosen before “the greatest among them,” which are the “the things which are mighty.” Why? So that NOBODY will be able to boast before God of any self-importance! Everything is upside down! The wise and understanding ones are destroyed and shamed by the logos gospel message of The Truth of Christ crucified that they deem foolish. All their efforts of sophia wisdom and sunesis rational reasoning never led them to experience God, never rescued them, never restored or reconciled them, never made them righteous, never set them apart as sanctified or holy, nor ransomed them for God. What vain glory many men will end up with!
In 1 Corinthians 2:1-6 Paul continues: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did absolutely in fact not come with [human] excellence of speech or of [human] wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined absolutely in fact not to experientially, relationally ginosko know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were absolutely in fact not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration/manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit and/coupled of enabling-power that your trusting-relying-faith should not in possibility be in the wisdom of men but in the [Spirit’s] enabling-power of God. However, we [do] speak [the Spirit’s] wisdom among those who are mature, yet absolutely in fact not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.”
This is a direct slam against the great thinkers and orators of Paul’s day that were trained as rabbis to endlessly debate the Torah Law of conditional-favor (just as Paul had been trained to do), and also an obvious slam against Greek philosophy, logic, and rational-thought sciences that all stem from the Greeks, like Plato and Socrates. Paul actually considered his intensive rabbinic training with the greatest teacher of his time, Gamaliel, a complete loss, detriment, and heep or excrement compared to the gnosis info-knowledge that belonged to Christ – if there was anybody to study under, it was Christ (a), and so now Paul is dedicated to destroying any arguments against Christ (b). Can you see by now that human wisdom and understanding is actually a great detriment! It can really keep you from coming to the Lord, and ignorant, foolish, little children (and the like) will actually see and enter the kingdom before them. I fear a lot of theologians don’t have a clue who the Lord is, but they can tell you so much “about” Him! <Notes> a) Philippians 3:8, b) 2 Corinthians 10:5.
As Christians musicians, are we “borrowing” from the “wisdom” of the world’s religions, even the Old Testament, and philosophies believing they are something more than simple abc’s common to them all, making such an approach laughable foolish to God? Instead, shouldn’t we be getting our wisdom down from Christ through a direct, genuine, progressive, experience with Him, exactly as the little children and other “least among us” do because they can’t read or comprehend as the so-called “wise and understanding ones” can? The Spirit’s enabling-power to ongoing save/restore us through the gospel message just doesn’t depend on reading comprehension of anything, even a bible, but seeing and hearing the signs & wonders that should be accompanying the genuine gospel message according to Paul and Mark 16:17-20 and then intimately engaging with Christ. This is something that “least among us” actually do more readily than the “wise and understanding” who don’t know they are trapped under their “pile” of bible knowledge.