The Christian faith is quite simple. For many Christians, it seems too simple to sum up our faith by saying, “It is all in Christ.” Therefore, we often will seek and strive to make it more complex. As Christians, we must stand guard against the tendency to undo, nullify, or eclipse the simplicity of our faith.
Paul warns the Colossian church along these lines. False teachers were complicating the faith with what he calls “empty deceit” (Col. 2:8). They advocated adherence to Old Testament ceremonial laws—circumcision, dietary laws, and more—for a truer and higher spirituality in Christ. But Paul reminds the Colossians that they have fellowship with Christ, which means they have already received fullness in Christ. If there were a recipe for Christian salvation, it would read, “No other ingredients needed but Christ.” We have Christ—the very substance.
These additions are, as Paul says in verse 8, “not according to Christ.” These other voices are just that—other voices. They possess no authority in the Christian’s life.
Paul’s words recall John 10—that wonderful chapter in which Jesus presents Himself as the Good Shepherd and us as His sheep. He says the sheep hear His voice and follow Him. In fact, the sheep will not listen to any other voice—the voice of a stranger—that would seek to carry them off. Other voices that do not represent Christ have no authority over us. Our fellowship is with Christ, and He is our Shepherd who teaches and leads us. We dare not wander from His truth—from His Word.
If we wander from the truth of Christ, we wander from Christ. If we think there is something else that is needed for our salvation, for our life of faith, apart from Christ, then we deny Christ. Because fellowship with Christ means that we have fullness in Christ.