“To reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments” (Colossians 2:2-4 ESV).
The first thing that drew my attention to the above verses was this concept of hidden treasures. “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs2:1-5 ESV emphasis mine).
In the above verses the word treasures is used a couple of different ways. The first speaks of how we should approach and value God’s Word. It is a treasure, and something which we should esteem above all else. Jesus told a parable to illustrate this concept. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46 ESV).
This concept of treasuring God’s Word involves not only valuing His Word, but also memorizing it. For once we have internalized it, it can never be taken away from us. “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:1-3 ESV).
Memorizing scripture also helps protect us from temptation. David understood this, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalms 119:9-11 ESV emphasis mine).
The second concept of treasure incorporates the first, esteeming God’s word highly, but also involves an enthusiastic and persistent search for full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. As we saw earlier, God’s word in our heart helps us stand up to temptation. But finding wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ protects us in another way.
“I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments“.
In my experience, the devil seldom deals with complete, out-and-out lies. He much prefers to season the truth with subtle lies. “You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:7-9 ESV). It doesn’t take a lot of falsehood to corrupt the truth.
If our adversary were to try to mislead us with blatant lies, he would fail every time. Instead he uses “plausible arguments” to try to lead us astray. If we can see that something could be true, we begin to move into the realm of doubt from that of faith. “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23b ESV).
And so we must guard our hearts from deception by filling our hearts and minds with the boundless treasures of God’s wisdom and understanding, that is found in Christ Jesus and in his Word.