We’d all love to live life to the fullest, as God intends for us – complete, mature, and ready for good use under Christ’s leadership. But often times it is a tough road to become mature and develop Christ-like character. If only spiritual maturity were as simple as going a straight line from Point A to Point B, right?
After describing his desire to have all believers reach maturity, Paul speaks about Jesus, and says
In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.
And then Paul gives the Colossians a direct application of this foundational truth:
I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments. For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the strength of your faith in Christ.
Paul is just one man, and therefore his ministry is limited to one place at a time. At the time of this writing, he cannot be with the Colossians to personally protect them from the variety of nice-sounding, but very dangerous, false ideas about God that would come their way. So Paul gives them encouragement for the ways they are currently guarding their faith. However, he also gives them direction for how to continue to mature, despite the reckless ideas about God they will also encounter.
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
The path to maturity and the path for protection against false teachings is actually the continuation in the direction they started with, to be in Christ. Their relationship with God started with their faith in Christ, when they received Him as their Savior from sin’s penalty. Remember, Jesus said to His disciples:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jesus is the way to the Father.
Jesus is the truth of the Father.
Jesus is the life we are given from the Father.
That is why Paul tells the believers in Colossae to walk in Him. Walk in His ways. Walk in His truths. Walk in His life. This is the way we protect ourselves from false teaching about God. We know the real God so well that we aren’t swayed away when the counterfeit philosophies come our way.
We don’t have to know all the variations and deceptions out there – we only need to know the truth, and continue to walk in Him.