Beware

Colossians 2:8–Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

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Beware–This comes as a warning.  We are to be cautious and take heed.

Lest any spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit–We must be on guard as others try to lead us away from the truth through the wisdom of man and of the world or through their unprofitable deceiving lies and dishonesty.

After the tradition of men–These include man’s interpretations that have been handed down from generation to generation.  These consist of beliefs and ways of doing things.  “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days” (Colossians 2:16).  “These things are a shadow of things to come” (Colossians 2:17).

After the rudiments of the world–These are delusive speculations of cults and other religious theories.

And not after Christ–The teachings of Christ and the word of God are to be our one true source of authority for our beliefs and practices.  Our intellect, traditions, and experiences must be in agreement with Christ and the word of God or we need to forget them and turn away from them.  We are to “try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).