christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

colossians 2 chiastic structure

Read Colossians 2 at Bible Gateway.

Most of chapter 2 forms its own chiastic structure:

Col 2:3-23
1a) Col 2:3 In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;
1b) Col 2:4-8 (chiasm):
— 1b.1) Col 2:4, Lest any man deceive you with enticing words;
— 1b.2) Col 2:5, Rejoicing in the steadfastness of your faith in Christ;
— 1b.3) Col 2:6-7, Walk in Christ being rooted and built up (growing) in Him;
— 1b.4) Col 2:8, Philosophy + vain deceit + tradition of men/ elements of the world;
1c) Col 2:9-10a, In Him dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily + you are complete in Him;
1d) Col 2:10b, Who is the head of all principality + power;
central axis) Col 2:11-14, Two part theme repeated twice:
— 1.1) Col 2:11, Circumcision of Christ (of the heart) puts away the sins of the flesh;
— 1.2) Col 2:12, By baptism you were buried + risen with Him through faith in the working of God;
— 2.1) Col 2:13a, Being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh;
— 2.2) Col 2:13b-14, He had made you alive with Him by forgiveness + dismissal of sins by the cross;
2d) Col 2:15 Having disarmed principalities + powers, He triumphed over them publically;
2c) Col 2:16-17, Let no man judge you in foreshadows + the substance is of Christ;
2b) Col 2:18-22:
— 2b.1) Col 2:18, Let no man cheat you with self- mortification and worship of angels;
— 2b.2) Col 2:19a, Not holding fast to Christ the Head;
— 2b.3) Col 2:19b, From Christ the body is nourished + knit together/ growing with growth from God;
— 2b.4) Col 2:20-22, Elements of the world/ ordinances + commandments + doctrines of men;
2a) Col 2:23, Such have the appearance of wisdom, but no value.

Be rooted and built up in Christ, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:7

The C pair: “In Him dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily” relates to “The substance is of Christ.” His substance casts the shadow of Torah; His body contains the fullness of the godhead. “You are complete in Him” relates to “Let no man judge you in foreshadows.” Because we are already complete in Him, no man need judge us in matters of observance or obedience. The body of believers is to pay attention to their own obedience. We were never called to police the obedience of others, whether in the body or out of the body.  If someone is not where you are in a matter of observance, be at peace! If they are in the body, they will grow with growth that is from God! Torah policing and obedience policing has at its root a lack of faith in the wisdom and ability of God to shepherd His own sheep by His Spirit.

If someone sins against you, then their obedience or lack of it becomes your business, and it needs to be dealt with according to Mat 18:15-17. Likewise if you are an elder or authority in the church, the obedience of others may become your business, when someone comes to you with a grievance according to Mat 18. But only those who are spiritual have the business of restoring others in a spirit of gentleness (Gal 6:1). Someone who focuses on the obedience of others and not their own has already shown that they are not those who are spiritual (Mat 7:3-5).

The 1A pair makes its own chiastic structure:

Col 2:3-9
1a) Col 2:3, In Christ all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden;
1b) Col 2:4, Lest any man should deceive you with enticing words;
1c) Col 2:5a, I am I with you in the Spirit, rejoicing;
1d) Col 2:5a-6a, Beholding the steadfastness of your faith in Christ + as you have received Christ;
central axis) Col 2:6b, So walk in Him;
2d) Col 2:7a, Rooted in Him, established in the faith + as you have been taught;
2c) Col 2:7b, Abounding in it with thanksgiving;
2b) Col 2:8, Lest any man cheat you through philosophy and vain deceit;
2a) Col 2:9, In Christ all the fullness of the godhead dwells bodily.

Tomorrow we will study the Torah portion, and next week is the Day of Atonement leading up to the Feast of Tabernacles; so next week’s studies will be about these, Lord willing. We will pick up in Colossians 3 the following week.


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