Daily Archives: September 13, 2019

September 13 The Believer’s Security System

Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 2:18–21

Key Verse: 2 Peter 2:21

For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

While every child of God has a built-in “spiritual security system,” some Christians are far more vulnerable than others to spiritual predators. False teachers, or “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” will seek out immature believers and exploit their ignorance. The wolves also hunt down people with unresolved guilt, in an effort to salve their consciences with phony remedies.

People who fail to confess and forsake sin according to Scripture remain highly susceptible to Satan’s trickery. Another group of people at risk of seduction are those who have gained a head knowledge of Jesus and religious practices but have not followed through in genuine discipleship. They may be church members, and they may even be baptized, but something is missing. They have no root in true godliness and end up entangled in a worse state than before.

Fortunately, believers are equipped to avoid these potholes. We have a security system designed to protect us if we keep it well tuned. First and foremost, we have to saturate our minds continually with God’s truth. In so doing, we will eventually develop a mental grid that reacts in alarm when something false comes our way. In this manner, we become rooted and grounded in the truth.

Christians must also learn to know the Holy Spirit personally and listen to Him. He enables us to have a discerning spirit, and He will educate our conscience to provide timely warnings when we start down the wrong path. We can escape the snares of the devil and rest secure in Jesus.

Thank You for Your security system, Lord. Warn me when I start down the wrong path. Help me escape the snares of the devil and rest securely in You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 268). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 13 Following Jesus

Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:12–25

Key Verse: Matthew 4:19

He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

When Jesus called Peter and Andrew to be His disciples, all He said to them was, “Follow Me.” Peter and Andrew had heard Him teach before; that was not the first moment they had laid eyes on Jesus or heard what work He was about. Yet at the moment of calling, Jesus said only a few words.

The hearts of Peter and Andrew were already prepared to answer His call; they immediately left their nets and livelihood and went with Jesus. The two disciples had an extreme sensitivity to the Spirit of God. They were able to recognize the difference between God’s prompting and the urging of their hearts.

Peter and Andrew also possessed a mind-set of service. The New Testament had not yet been written, but their lives exemplified these verses about their Savior: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:5–7 nasb). They were ready to sacrifice anything for the cause of Christ, even the security of a known future as fishermen.

Jesus Christ gives you the same call: “Follow Me.” It does not matter where you are in life. All that matters is that you adapt your own plans to His.

Precious heavenly Father, two words have changed my life—Follow Me. I have heard the call. I am ready to respond. I will follow You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 268). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Obama Hypocrisy on Privacy Inspires Snowden to Reveal Scope of US Gov’t. Spying – Memoir | Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Former US President Barack Obama’s about face on privacy – first campaigning against President George W. Bush’s surveillance of Americans and then expanding surveillance when in office – motivated whistleblower Edward Snowden to tell the world of US spying on its own citizens, according to Snowden’s newly published memoir.

“Snowden says he was affronted by the rank hypocrisy of it all”, a New York Times review of Snowden’s memoir said. “Here was President Obama, who had run for office as a critic of the Bush administration’s extraordinary invocations of executive power, not just continuing his predecessor’s surveillance programs but entrenching them”.

Snowden has lived as an asylee in Russia since 2013, escaping US law enforcement after revealing a massive US government programme that deployed new surveillance technology to collect reams of raw data from all Americans allegedly in an attempt to prevent terrorist attacks.

The book offers a view of events in Snowden’s life that foreshadowed his eventual role as perhaps the United States’ best-known hacker.

Snowden writes that he began hacking before the age of internet and cell phones by turning back clocks in his house so he could stay up late on his sixth birthday.

© AP Photo / Friso Gentsch/dpa

Edward Snowden, a former CIA worker before turning whistleblower, speaks via satellite at the IT fair CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, Tuesday March 21, 2017

In school, he would examine the course syllabus to figure out how to get by with doing as little work as possible. Snowden writes that he now lives in a two-bedroom apartment with his wife, Lindsay, in Russia and earns a living by giving speeches.

He avoids being recognised in public, ironically aided by the widespread use of smartphones.

“Nowadays everybody’s too busy staring at their phones to give me a second glance”, Snowden writes, as quoted by the newspaper.

The US government has charged Snowden with violating the Espionage Act for giving reporters details of top-secret surveillance programmes.

Many in government, including both Obama and President Donald Trump, consider Snowden a traitor, while human rights groups and privacy advocates regard him as a hero.

Snowden’s revelations resulted in the 2015 passage by of the USA Freedom Act, which outlaws the bulk collection of phone records of US citizens and requires a court order for authorities to examine an individual’s telephone usage.

Source: Obama Hypocrisy on Privacy Inspires Snowden to Reveal Scope of US Gov’t. Spying – Memoir

09/13/2019 — Wretched


•New ways to get to the Gospel on college campuses
•A Bible verse that says pedophilia is wrong
•Where do we draw the line for age of consent?
•How should we host a Reformation Day party?
•Women can have it all, but shame on them if they choose family
•Why doesn’t the IRS go after prosperity preachers?
•Autistic kids seeking community in Australia
•What is the goal of worship leader training?
•Can women be deacons?
•IS God wrong to show mercy?
•What do we repent from?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 09/13/2019 — Wretched

The Myth of Sexual Orientation — Christian Research Network

“Why would a child of God who has been justified by the blood and righteousness of Christ alone, adopted into God’s family, and freed from slavery to sin by the powerful regenerating work of God in their life fight to apply such an abominable label, homosexual, to themselves? Our Lord bled and died not only to forgive people of the sin of homosexuality but also to liberate them from its enslaving power.”

(Patrick Hines – The Aquila Report) In an excellent lecture on homosexuality still available from Ligonier Ministries from long ago, the late Dr. R. C. Sproul said:

First of all, to deal with the homosexual is one of the most difficult problems we have to deal with. It would be so much easier for all concerned to just ignore the problem and say to people and to the world and to the homosexual, “Look, it’s ok. It’s alright. You’re just left-handed. It’s fine.”…

For me to do that is to commit perjury to the Word of God. … The problem is that so many have bought the myth that they are intrinsically homosexuals … and they have no hope of changing. They’ve been listening to a society that tells them they are sick and there is no cure for their disease. … That is telling them, in effect, “there is no hope.” There is no transforming power available to change my nature. … What we must do in order to help them is begin with this fundamental thesis: Biologically, essentially, and intrinsically, there is no such thing as a homosexual. Let me say that again. Biologically, essentially, and intrinsically, there is no such thing as a homosexual.

The surest way to guarantee you will lose a debate is to allow your opponent to define the terms, parameters, and worldview that will lie beneath your conversation. If we let them do this, our opponents will have won the argument before it even starts. While they pretend to be neutral, they are not. While they tell us to be open-minded, they are not. View article →


There is no ‘gay gene,’ comprehensive study finds


LGBTQ Agenda

via The Myth of Sexual Orientation — Christian Research Network

Tulsi Shut Out From Debate Despite Polling 4th Place In N.H.; Still Googled More Than Booker, Beto, Klobuchar — The Gateway Pundit

If you were daring enough to watch the third episode of the 2020 democrat Presidential debate (spoiler alert: More arguing over who would give out the most “free stuff”), you’d have noticed the absence of Tulsi Gabbard. She was shut out of the debate, along with Marianne Williamson, Tom Steyer, and Kirsten Gillibrand. This is despite Gabbard now polling in 4th place in the most recent New Hampshire poll via HarrisX, ahead of several candidate who were invited to the debate.

It’s not an anomaly, as she polled higher than five of them in another recent poll.

Five Thirty Eight shows her consistently polling ahead of several of the debate participants in New Hampshire.

Even though she wasn’t invited to the debate stage, the first post-debate poll, via College Pulse, shows Tulsi polling ahead of Booker, Castro, and Klobuchar.

What’s more, even after the debate on ABC, Tulsi is still beat out Booker, Beto, and Klobuchar in Google searches afterward.

via Tulsi Shut Out From Debate Despite Polling 4th Place In N.H.; Still Googled More Than Booker, Beto, Klobuchar — The Gateway Pundit

RenewAmerica Newsletter for September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019
LLOYD MARCUS — Hello, America. The recording session for my Trump Train 2020 song could not have gone better. If you remember, my music producer is based in Baltimore. I asked him to gather singers to form a choir for the recording of the song. He reported back to me that all the singers he knows do not support Trump or are passionately against him. This prompted me to launch a clarion call for pro-America / pro-Trump singers. The response was tremendous…. (more)

September 13, 2019
CURTIS DAHLGREN — (Quoted by the Britannica from Grant Showerman’s ‘The Great Mother of Gods’ [Bulletin of the University of WISCONSIN, No. 43, Madison, 1901].) Here are some more pithy excerpts from the Britannica: “During the brief revival of paganism under [Caesar] Eugenius in A.D. 394, occurred the last appearance of the cult in history [the last open one at least]……. (more)

September 13, 2019
FOX NEWS — There were two special elections in the state of North Carolina on Tuesday night. Both of them were billed as close races. In the end, Republicans won both of them, and they won handily. In the more competitive race in the Ninth District, Republican Dan Bishop finished substantially better than the last Republican who ran during the midterms just 10 months ago…. (more)

September 12, 2019
Injunctions had blocked Trump’s ban on asylum for anyone trying to enter U.S. by traveling through a third country without seeking protection there

FOX NEWS — In a major win for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court issued an order late Wednesday ending all injunctions that had blocked the White House’s ban on asylum for anyone trying to enter the U.S. by traveling through a third country, such as Mexico, without seeking protection there…. (more)

September 12, 2019
Immigrants can be arrested at any time for possible deportation after they have served time for other crimes
WORLDNETDAILY — The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with the Trump administration, affirming in a 5-4 decision that federal authorities can arrest immigrants at any time for possible deportation after they have served time for other crimes…. (more)

September 12, 2019
NEWSMAX — The average voter identifies closer with President Donald Trump on ideologies than former Vice President Joe Biden and all other Democratic presidential contenders, according to a poll conducted by the University of South California and the LA Times, reports the Daily Caller…. (more)

September 12, 2019
PJ MEDIA — On Thursday before the third Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas, the Trump campaign is flying a banner warning that socialism will destroy Houston’s economy. The ad is being flown from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. local time. The debate begins at 7 p.m. Central…. (more)

September 12, 2019

FOX NEWS — U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended moving forward with charges against Andrew McCabe, Fox News has learned, as the Justice Department rejects a last-ditch appeal from the former top FBI official and current CNN contributor. McCabe – – the former deputy and acting director of the FBI – – appealed the decision of the U.S. attorney for Washington all the way up to Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy attorney general, but he rejected that request, according to a person familiar with the situation…. (more)

September 12, 2019

WASHINGTON TIMES — The U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s 150th judicial nominee Wednesday, helping to fulfill the president’s campaign promise to remake the federal bench with a conservative bent. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham called the number of confirmations a “historic milestone.” “These conservative judicial appointments will impact our nation for years to come,” the South Carolina Republican said…. (more)

September 11, 2019

YOUTUBE — On September 6, 2019, Liberty University welcomed the Honorable George & Candace Farmer to Convocation… (more)

September 11, 2019
NATIONAL REVIEW — Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) derided her fellow Democratic presidential candidates during a recent interview for embracing permissive immigration policies, accusing them of support for “open borders.” Asked if she believes “open borders” is a fair descriptor of the positions embraced by her Democratic primary opponents, Gabbard told YouTube host Dave Rubin that it was an accurate label and dismissed the oft-repeated Democratic rejoinder that conservatives use the phrase to tar their political adversaries…. (more)

September 11, 2019
WORLDNETDAILY — Those who promote the belief in so-called “man-made climate change” may have a meltdown of their own upon learning this. A ship carrying 16 “climate-change warriors” looking to document purported melting ice conditions got trapped in ice last week in the Hinlopen Strait, halfway between Norway and the North Pole…. (more)

September 11, 2019
‘False and malicious libel, and they’re going to answer for it’

WORLDNETDAILY — Liberals and Hollywood types in recent years have freely made unsubstantiated claims about conservative media, labeling outlets “haters,” “propaganda” and “bigots.” Now the One America News Network is pushing back with a defamation lawsuit filed Monday morning against MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, her network and its owners…. (more)

September 10, 2019
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS — Todd Palin appears to have filed for divorce from former Alaska governor and one-time vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, his wife of 31 years. In a document filed Friday in Anchorage Superior Court, Todd Palin, 55, asked to dissolve the marriage, citing an “incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.”… (more)

September 9, 2019
JOAN SWIRSKY — According to 2018 statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about one in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), up from the one in 68 in 2016. This updated CDC chart – from 2019 – reveals the shocking escalation of autism in the U.S., which is predicted to be one in every 40 children in the near future…. (more)

September 9, 2019
Border arrests are plummeting after Trump agreement with Mexico in June
POLITICO — President Donald Trump’s plan to force Mexico to stem the flow of migrants across the southwest border of the U.S. appears to be working. Border arrests, a metric for illegal crossings, plummeted to 51,000 in August, according to preliminary government figures obtained by POLITICO Wednesday, down more than 60 percent since a peak in May…. (more)

September 9, 2019
NEWSMAX — Saying his deal-breaking stance against a full withdrawal in Syria might have helped the U.S. keep troops there – – and slow the pullout in Afghanistan – – former Defense Secretary James Mattis will let the “historians” weigh his lasting impact on the Middle East and Afghanistan peace deal talks with Taliban leadership…. (more)

September 9, 2019

NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel Afghan peace talks will cost more American lives, the Taliban said on Sunday while the United States promised to keep up military pressure on the militants, in a stunning reversal of efforts to forge a deal ending nearly 20 years of war in Afghanistan…. (more)

September 9, 2019

September 9, 2019

LIFE NEWS — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg suggested Friday that unborn babies can be aborted up until they draw their first breath, saying parts of the Bible mention “how life begins with breath.” The South Bend, Indiana, mayor spoke with “The Breakfast Club” on Friday morning about his comprehensive Douglass Plan, his thoughts on whether America is ready for a gay president, and whether black voters should vote for him…. (more)

September 9, 2019
NATIONAL REVIEW — A study purporting to show area hate crimes tended to spike following Trump rallies, which went viral earlier this year, is fatally flawed in its methodology, according to a new analysis by two economics P.h.D. students at Harvard University…. (more)

September 7, 2019
REV. MARK H. CREECH — I am a registered lobbyist for the Christian Action League in the North Carolina General Assembly. The following thoughts stem from an experience I had this year in that role: During the recess of an NC House Alcoholic Beverage Control committee meeting this year, I overheard a lawmaker snidely say to another, “These Baptists and religious fanatics who rail against the perils of alcohol, I see these hypocrites in the liquor store. I see them buying their beer and wine at the grocery stores,” to which he and the other person snickered while glancing back at me…. (more)

September 7, 2019
‘Threatening our democratic system and undermining the rule of law’

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Attorney General William Barr is calling for an end to nationwide injunctions, which have become recurrent obstacles in the way of President Trump’s agenda…. (more)

September 7, 2019
WORLDNETDAILY — Joe Biden’s “gaffes” aren’t the real problem with his candidacy, contends former Obama White House adviser David Axelrod, it’s the former vice president’s regular habit of distorting his own record…. (more)


September 13, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump on Thursday ruled out asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to take on a dual role as national security adviser and said he has about 15 candidates for the post last held by John Bolton.

The Democratic presidential contenders head back to the campaign trail on Friday after a debate that reinforced former Vice President Joe Biden’s front-runner status and left his rivals searching for a formula to knock him out of the top spot.

A U.S. House of Representatives panel on Friday demanded internal emails and other company records from Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, and Alphabet Inc’s Google as it seeks evidence of anticompetitive behavior.

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers asked the Pentagon on Thursday to name companies owned by the Chinese military operating in the United States, as they seek to curb what they called Beijing’s effort to “steal” technology for military purposes.

Indonesia on Friday blamed four Malaysian companies, including the world’s biggest producer of sustainable palm oil, for causing some of the forest fires within its borders, in an escalating row between neighbors over regional haze.

Three people have been killed in two days of torrential rains in southeastern Spain, where emergency services have rescued people stuck in flooded tunnels and an airport, local train networks and dozens of roads were closed on Friday.

The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran will discuss the difficult situation in Syria’s Idlib province when they meet in Ankara early next week for a summit, Yuri Ushakov.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE.L) emphatically rejected the Hong Kong bourse’s $39 billion takeover offer on Friday, opting to stick with its planned purchase of data and analytics group Refinitiv.

A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Friday, the U.S. military said, a move likely to anger Beijing.

Ford and GM are racing to design radical new takes on their most profitable models, replacing petroleum-fueled engines with batteries in a bid to outflank Tesla Inc’s plan to eclipse their brands. Ford’s F-150 pickup and GM’s Chevrolet Silverado are the top selling vehicles in the U.S. market.

U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in August, pointing to solid consumer spending that should continue to support a moderate pace of economic growth.

AP Top Stories

Havana awoke Thursday to long lines at gas stations and public transportation stops after President Miguel Diaz-Canel warned fellow Cubans to expect fuel shortages and blackouts that he blamed on US sanctions.

Hong Kong police banned a planned Sunday march and gathering called by the organizer of some of the city’s biggest protests, days after demonstrators set fire to a central subway station as the pro-democracy movement carries on into autumn.

According to officials with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), sightings of feral hogs along the northern US-Canadian border have increased in recent years, and the prospect of the invasive species has wildlife experts worried.

A former Roman Catholic priest is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Santa Fe, where a jury found him guilty this year of sexually abusing an altar boy in the early 1990s before fleeing the country.

Iran has detained two travel influencers who were traveling the country and said they were documenting their trip on social media as a way to “break the stigma” around countries with scary reputations.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper was arrested Tuesday on 61 criminal counts stemming from an ongoing pattern of offering leniency to women he pulled over in exchange for sexual favors, officials said.

Iran cannot resist maximum pressure forever and its economy is not going to last. Iran and the US are as close to direct conflict as they have been for three decades, since Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 which was, at the time, the largest surface naval engagement since World War II.

An 18-year-old’s vaping-related illness left him with lungs that more closely resembled a 70-year-old’s than those of a teenager, according to his doctors.

US Ambassador Kelly Craft took up her post at the UN, vowing to defend America’s values and interests nine months after the departure of her high-profile predecessor Nikki Haley.


A Kenyan judge has ruled that Rastafarianism is a religion that deserves to be treated like any other. The ruling is part of a case involving a minor who was banned from school for having dreadlocks.

The world’s first malaria vaccine is being rolled out in parts of Kenya from Friday, after previously being released in Ghana and Malawi. It will be added to the routine vaccination schedule, and more than 300,000 children are expected to receive the vaccine over the next three years.

Air strikes have been targeting hospitals in the rebel-held province of Idlib, Syria, despite the fact that it is a war crime. Medics have been forced underground in order to survive.


A lesser-known gun organization is thriving: the National African American Gun Association, the largest minority gun group in the country.

Nearly three in four (73%) Californians would support a highway lane intended for exclusive access by self-driving cars.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Sept. 13, 2019

The Foundation

“On the other hand, the duty imposed upon him to take care, that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will ‘preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.’ The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for offence, or defence; for the redress of grievances, or the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people.” —Joseph Story (1833)

Demo Debate: Gun Confiscation

Beto O’Rourke seeks attention. The DNC hopes to push the envelope further left.

House Passes Sweeping Gun Regulations

Pelosi seeks to pressure McConnell into accepting Democrats’ draconian gun measures.

DOJ Rejects McCabe’s Appeal, Indictment Imminent?

The former FBI No. 2 will now likely have to answer for his lying about leaking to the press.

The Makings of a School Shooter

The father of a Parkland victim recounts what happened to allow a dangerous young man in school.

Vaping: Banning Smoke (& Mirrors)

Of course, like other useless bans, this one’s couched as being “for the children.”

Trump Bridles Obama’s Water Power Grab Rules

The president has rolled back yet another of his predecessor’s regulatory power grabs.

Wealthy Warren’s Rich Wall Street Hypocrisy

She condemns the wealth created by capitalism, from which she herself has greatly benefited.

Forgetting September 11th

Reflections from a Vietnam vet on how quickly some folks lose site of important lessons.

Video: The Biggest Problem With Modern Conservatism

Andrew Klavan on the biggest challenge conservatives will face going forward.

Video: Google’s Ability to Affect Election Outcomes

Dr. Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology joins Mark Levin.

Today’s Opinion

David Limbaugh
Buttigieg Distorts Logic and Scripture on Abortion
Erick Erickson
Free-Market Wokeness
Tony Perkins
Facebook Faces Facts on Bias
Gary Bauer
Impeachment Process Begins
Michael Reagan
Making Schools Less Safe, California Style
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Friday Top News Executive Summary

Democrat melee, McCabe’s legal jeopardy, 9/11 justice, Ukraine aid, California rent control, and more.

Friday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Robert Johnson, Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, Frank J. Fleming, and more.

Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Headlines – 9/13/2019

European powers condemn Netanyahu vow to annex Jordan Valley

Netanyahu, Likud fined for electioneering during Jordan Valley declaration

Despite stepping down, US peace envoy hints he may not be done brokering

IDF raises its level of alert out of concern that Gaza terrorist organizations will expand the range of the rocket fire

Netanyahu: War in Gaza could break out ‘before the elections’

Netanyahu: War in Gaza to topple Hamas likely inevitable

Netanyahu: ‘No choice but to bring down Hamas’

Rivlin warns Lebanon to rein in Hezbollah or face a war neither side wants

Israel accused of planting mysterious spy devices near the White House

Trump says he doesn’t believe report of Israel spying on White House

Putin to Netanyahu: “It’s important to us who gets elected to the Knesset”

Meeting Putin after 3-hour wait, Netanyahu vows to stop Iran’s attacks on Israel

US President tells reporters he believes that Iran’s leadership wants a meeting

Russia targets opposition leader Navalny with mass raids

Tiny Pacific Nation Makes a Go of Its Own Digital Currency

The European Central Bank cut rates to a surprise record low and launched a sweeping round of stimulus

Economists see no end to US-China trade war: Poll

House Dems move on Trump impeachment, as Republicans mock ‘giant Instagram filter’ hiding disarray

GOP lawmaker ‘double dog dares’ House Democrats to pursue Trump impeachment inquiry

Democratic debate descends into melee over health care, Obama, socialism as Dems struggle to show unity

O’Rourke’s debate-stage vow: ‘Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15’

Sanders Distances His Democratic Socialism From Venezuela’s ‘Vicious Tyrant’ Maduro

Bill Maher says 2020 Dems’ far-left policies are a ‘cancer on progressivism’

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Carlagan, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Mid-Indian Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits Southwest of Africa

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Aktash, Russia

Ubinas volcano in Peru erupts to 23,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 14,000ft

How a volcanic eruption in Russia caused a purple sunrise in Colorado

Tropical Storm Humberto expected to form, hit Florida this weekend, forecasters say

Bahamas issues tropical storm warning as disturbance nears area hit by Hurricane Dorian

Midwest Farmers Facing Crisis After Heavy Rain, Epic Flooding, and Trade War with China

Worst storm in over a century hits Spain, major floods and tornadoes reported

The coffee industry is starting to get jittery with no significant rain in the forecast for Brazil

Austin to be first US city to fund abortion support services

Chinese scientists use CRISPR tool on HIV patient for the first time

Gay ‘chemsex’ is fueling HIV epidemics in Europe, experts warn

Top Philippines court refuses to legalize same-sex marriage in unanimous decision

US-Israeli gay married couple sues after daughter denied US citizenship

Apostasy Watch Daily News

The Ephesians Road Out Of Dispensationalism part 1

Suicide is Apostasy

The Myth Of Sexual Orientation

Former Port Huron pastor takes plea deal in federal child porn case

Planned Parenthood Exec Makes Major Admission About Baby Body Part Harvesting

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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

September 13 Fostering Friendships

Scripture reading: John 14:15–21

Key verse: Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Many times, lonely people fall prey to the wrong kinds of friendships. When someone is hungry for companionship of any sort, he is less likely to be choosy in forming intimate friendships, and God calls His people to be selective.

From the earliest Old Testament times, when God guided the nation of Israel out of Egypt and into a land filled with strangers, He gave them specific instructions about how to treat the Canaanites, who were sometimes interested in forming alliances with Israel. Why? God knows the importance of avoiding close associations with those who do not have a relationship with Him.

In their book Happiness Is a Choice, Dr. Minirth and Dr. Meier explain,

Select your friends very carefully, because you will become more and more like your friends whether you intend to or not!… You should have a few non-Christian friends as well, but if you are a committed Christian, you will want your most intimate friends to be committed Christians also.

Don’t overestimate your own spiritual strength. It is much easier than most Christians think for a non-Christian friend to bring a Christian down spiritually. In Proverbs 27:17, wise King Solomon wrote that “as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

Father, I want to be close to people who have a relationship with You. Help me foster genuine friendships with those who know and love You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 268). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 13, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Sufficiency of Christ

rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (2:8b–10)

This is one of the most blessed passages in all of Scripture. It presents the glorious majesty of Christ’s Person and His complete sufficiency. Verse 9 is perhaps the most definitive statement of Christ’s deity in the epistles. It is the rock upon which all attempts to disprove Christ’s deity are shattered. Obviously, these heretics were saying Jesus was not God, and that was the most damning and disturbing element of their “satanology”—as it still is in any false system.

The false teaching just described was part of the satanically devised and humanly propagated religious system, and it was not according to Christ and what Scripture reveals about Him. It, like all false systems of religion, cannot save. That is the peak of its deadliness. In Christ alone all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form. He alone has the power to save. Plērōma (fulness) is the same term used in 1:19. As noted in the discussion of that passage, it was a term used by the Colossian errorists. They believed the divine plērōma was divided in its expression among the various emanations. Each got a decreasing share as they descended the ladder from good to bad. Paul, however, insists that all the fullness of Deity, not a part of it, dwells in Christ. Katoikeō (dwells) means “to settle down and be at home.” The present tense indicates that the essence of Deity continually abides at home in Christ. Deity is a word emphasizing divine nature. That nature of God that continually abode in Jesus Christ was not some divine light that merely lit Him up for a while, but was not His own. He is fully God forever. And as the One possessing all the fullness of Deity, Christ is the head over all rule and authority. He was not one of a series of lesser beings emanating from God, as the false teachers maintained. Rather, He is God Himself and thus the head over all the angelic realm.

As we have noted, the Colossian false teachers also apparently taught a form of philosophic dualism, believing that spirit was good and matter was evil. Hence, it was unthinkable to them that God would take on a human body. Paul counters that false doctrine by emphasizing that all the fullness of Deity dwells in Christ in bodily form. The One who took upon Himself human nature at Bethlehem will keep that humanity for all eternity. He will forever be the God-Man.

Because Christ is who He is, we have been made complete in Him. His fullness is imparted to us. Peplērōmenoi (been made complete) is a form of the verb plēroō, from which the noun plērōma is derived. Christ is the plērōma of God, and we are filled with His plērōma. John wrote, “For of His fulness we have all received” (John 1:16). The perfect tense of the participle peplērōmenoi indicates that the results of our having been filled are eternal.

As a result of the Fall, man is in a sad state of incompleteness. He is spiritually incomplete because He is totally out of fellowship with God. He is morally incomplete because he lives outside of God’s will. He is mentally incomplete because he does not know ultimate truth.

At salvation, believers become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4) and are made complete. Believers are spiritually complete because they have fellowship with God. They are morally complete in that they recognize the authority of God’s will. They are mentally complete because they know the truth about ultimate reality.

To maintain, as the Colossian errorists did, that those who were made complete in Christ still lacked anything is absurd. Those who are “partakers of the divine nature” have, through “His divine power,” been “granted … everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). All true believers are complete in Christ and do not need the teachings of any cult or false teacher.

Everyone has a choice, whether to follow human wisdom or to come to Christ. To follow human wisdom is to be kidnapped by the emissaries of Satan and his false system, which leaves a person spiritually incomplete. To come to Christ is to come to the One who alone offers completeness. May those of us who have found Christ never doubt His sufficiency by turning aside to follow any human wisdom. (For a more thorough treatment of the matter of our sufficiency in Christ, see my book, Our Sufficiency in Christ [Dallas: Word, 1991].)[1]

9–10 Whereas the “philosophy,” according to Paul, is a vacuous deception built on human tradition and linked to worldly principles and oppressive powers, “in Christ,” the apostle proclaims, “all the fullness of the Deity lives [dwells or resides] in bodily [sōmatikōs, GK 5395] form” (cf. 1:19; Jn 1:14). Some exegetes take the adverb sōmatikōs to mean “in reality, truly” (so Garland, 146; Fowl, 136; cf. 2:17) as opposed to “in bodily form.” Regardless of how one construes the term, Paul’s point is clear: Jesus is fully God, and the “philosophy” is therefore folly. The Colossians are called to live in Christ because in Christ lives the whole fullness of God. If this is the case, and Paul insists that it is, then it is wholly unnecessary for the Christians in Colossae to supplement their spiritual lives with anything or anyone else, including the “philosophy.” Such supplementation of faith could result in the subversion of faith. Paul wants the Colossians to perceive the “philosophy” and the gospel as contradictory, not complementary.

The fullness of God dwells in Christ, v. 9 informs. In v. 10 Paul contends that the Colossians have been made full in Christ. Bruce, 101, observes, “If the fullness of deity resided in [Christ], his fullness was imparted to them.” The perfect passive participle peplērōmenos (GK 4444) suggests that this filling occurred at a point of time in the past and that the results of this infilling remained. In Christ the Colossians have been and will be made complete (1:28). The assembly’s fullness results from their connectedness to him who is “the head over every power and authority.” Christ is sovereign not only over his body, the church (1:18; 2:19), but also over the very principalities and powers that were created through, reconciled to, disarmed by, and triumphed over by him (1:16, 20; 2:15). If the Colossian philosophy was concocted in part to pacify various spiritual beings and cosmic forces, then it is rendered redundant, Paul contends, by Christ’s rule and reign over all (cf. Lincoln, 623). Why devise and devote yourselves to an elaborate religious system, Paul wonders, when you have all that you could ever want and need, along spiritual lines, in one Person?[2]

9  The teachers of error may have talked of the fullness of divine being as distributed among a hierarchy of spirit-powers, through which it was filtered down to this world: Christians had something better. They had Christ, the personal revelation of the Father, the one mediator between God and human beings, in whom (truly man as he was) the plenitude of deity was embodied. Far from there being any inherent impossibility in the nature of things for God to communicate directly with this world, he who shared the divine nature had become flesh and made his dwelling with men and women. The adverb (meaning “corporeally”) at the end of v. 9 no doubt implies his incarnation, but probably carries something of the sense which the noun “body” bears in v. 17—the substance as opposed to the shadow (hence the rendering above: “in bodily reality”).[3]

9 The opening word of our verse—“For”—translates the Greek hoti as a causal conjunction. The Colossians are not to fall captive to the deceptive, human-based philosophy and tradition (v. 8) because “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” Christology alone renders the philosophy false.

Colossians 2:9 affirms four convictions about Christ: (1) that “fullness of the Deity” expresses what in other places is called God’s glory; (2) that all the fullness of Deity is in Christ—and either nowhere else (“all the fullness with nothing left over”) or all in the sense of all of God’s glory is present in Christ. This is a breathtaking claim because it implies that in Christ we see God most clearly and that theology proper from now on must be approached through Christology.61 (3) All of God’s fullness is now dwelling “in Christ,63 and (4) this indwelling of God occurs in Christ’s embodied condition—the creator and covenant God who became present in Israel’s history (from the days of the covenant with Abram to the presence in the tabernacle and temple and Wisdom and Spirit and Torah) is now fully present in the embodied (and glorified) life of Jesus. Some think the body in this dwelling of God’s fullness in “bodily form” refers to the ecclesial body, while others see here an adverb expressing “actually” or “substantially” or “personally.” The more likely view is that this refers to the incarnation: it refers to God’s fullness indwelling the body of Jesus himself both in his earthly and in his glorified existence. Somatic existence, as Dunn has commented, creates “accessibility (come-at-ableness)” and potential for direct encounter and relationship. And he adds, “To be a Christian is to recognize Christ as the point and means of that access.”66 Marianne Meye Thompson puts nuance to what has been said:

Paul’s statement does not simply collapse God and Christ into one, but Paul does deny that there is some remnant of deity to be found or known in another form or through means other than Christ.… While some philosophers of religion label (and also reject) as “exclusivist” this claim of Christian faith, others have pointed out that it is properly called “particularist.” That is, the primary claim of the Christian faith is a positive one, namely, that God has become manifest in the particular person of Jesus of Nazareth and is therefore known in the particular narrative of this man’s life, death, and resurrection. Therefore a Christian understanding of the identity and character of God is inseparably linked to and with this particular human being and his story.

It seems reasonable that the indwelling of God in Christ is at threat in the deceptive philosophy the Colossians are hearing, which means that there was probably a denigration of the body in some kind of dualistic philosophy. Mirror reading, as has been said, needs to be done with cautious eyes, but it needs to be done nonetheless.[4]

A challenge to veracity (vv. 9–10)

The aim of the ‘spoilers’ philosophy is to weaken trust in the Son of God. Paul sounds a warning call to vigilance, but what is the real truth? It is that ‘in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in him’. This is what the ‘spoilers’ were opposing and denying. Paul once again points to the greatness of Jesus Christ and tells them again that when they look at Jesus Christ they see God in human flesh (John 14:9; 1 Tim. 3:16). Thus all that God is, in his divine essence, Christ is also. So Paul emphasizes that ‘all the fullness’ of the divine essence dwells in Jesus Christ. There must be no doubt about who Jesus Christ is. The word ‘fullness’ indicates that our Saviour is so complete of the divine essence and grace that nothing can be added to him.

What has all this talk about ‘fullness’ to do with the Colossian believers? Does it have some effect, some power, some meaning? Yes, it results in believers being ‘complete in him’ (v. 10). When Christ is in you (1:27) there is no room for another on the throne of your heart. The Colossians need to grasp three things:

believers are complete at conversion. It is not by works but by faith alone that sinners are saved (Eph. 2:8–9).

believers are complete only in christ. Spirituality has a location and it is ‘in Christ’.

all believers are complete. There is no class or ‘caste system’ in Christ. ‘God completed believers through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who applied the positional benefits of Christ’s redemptive work to them’.

Paul challenges the Colossians to believe that they are ‘complete in him’ and to reject anything less than this, for Christ ‘is the head of all principality and power’ (v. 10). Two of the four classes of angels are given here. In 2:15, these celestial beings represented fallen spirits that needed to be disarmed. The ‘spoilers’ asserted that God’s rule over the church was by angels; the cross, however, has brought victory and an end to their power.[5]

2:9 / In this verse Paul returns to a theme already developed in the Christ hymn (1:15–20) and reemphasizes that the Colossians do not need any additional source of revelation or authority for their spiritual life. Christ is not simply another of the spiritual forces that make up the fullness (plērōma) of the universe (cf. 1:19). He is superior to all others because he alone is God incarnate and the whole fullness of deity is found in him.

2:10 / But there is more to this wonderful message: The one who is the fullness of the Godhead is likewise the fullness of each believer. The community is fulfilled in him. The Colossians do not need to look beyond Christ for their understanding of the universe; nor do they need to supplement him in their personal lives, because those who are “in Christ” participate in his fullness now (the Greek present tense este, “you are”). In other words, there is nothing lacking in their relationship to God. Paul ends by reasserting (cf. 1:15–20) Christ’s preeminence over all alien powers (who is the head over every power and authority). There is no need, therefore, to pay homage to them![6]

9. For in him dwelleth. Here we have the reason why those elements of the world, which are taught by men, do not accord with Christ—because they are additions for supplying a deficiency, as they speak. Now in Christ there is a perfection, to which nothing can be added. Hence everything that mankind of themselves mix up, is at variance with Christ’s nature, because it charges him with imperfection. This argument of itself will suffice for setting aside all the contrivances of Papists. For to what purpose do they tend, but to perfect what was commenced by Christ?2 Now this outrage upon Christ is not by any means to be endured. They allege, it is true, that they add nothing to Christ, inasmuch as the things that they have appended to the gospel are, as it were, a part of Christianity, but they do not effect an escape by a cavil of this kind. For Paul does not speak of an imaginary Christ, but of a Christ preached,4 who has revealed himself by express doctrine.

Further, when he says that the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Christ, he means simply, that God is wholly found in him, so that he who is not contented with Christ alone, desires something better and more excellent than God. The sum is this, that God has manifested himself to us fully and perfectly in Christ.

Interpreters explain in different ways the adverb bodily. For my part, I have no doubt that it is employed—not in a strict sense—as meaning substantially. For he places this manifestation of God, which we have in Christ, to all others that have ever been made. For God has often manifested himself to men, but it has been only in part. In Christ, on the other hand, he communicates himself to us wholly. He has also manifested himself to us otherwise, but it is in figures, or by power and grace. In Christ, on the other hand, he has appeared to us essentially. Thus the statement of John holds good: He that hath the Son, hath the Father also. (1 John 2:23.) For those who possess Christ have God truly present, and enjoy Him wholly.[7]

9. For—“Because.” Their “philosophy” (Col 2:8) is not “after Christ,” as all true philosophy is, everything which comes not from, and tends not to, Him, being a delusion; “For in Him (alone) dwelleth” as in a temple, &c.

the fulness—(Col 1:19; Jn 14:10).

of the Godhead—The Greek (theotes) means the essence and nature of the Godhead, not merely the divine perfections and attributes of Divinity (Greek,theiotes”). He, as man, was not merely God-like, but in the fullest sense, God.

bodily—not merely as before His incarnation, but now “bodily in Him” as the incarnate word (Jn 1:14, 18). Believers, by union with Him, partake of His fulness of the divine nature (Jn 1:16; 2 Pe 1:4; see on Eph 3:19).[8]

Ver. 9.—Because in him dwelleth all the fulness (or, completeness) of the Godhead bodily (ch. 1:19; Phil. 2:6–8; Rom. 1:3, 4; 9:5; John 1:1, 14). In ch. 1:18–20 we viewed a series of events; here we have an abiding fact. The whole plenitude of our Lord’s Divine-human person and powers, as the complete Christ, was definitively constituted when, in the exercise of his kingly prerogative, “he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” “From henceforth” that fulness evermore resides in him (comp. note, ch. 1:19). The undivided pleroma of ch. 1:19 now reveals its twofold nature; it is “the fulness of the Godhead,” and yet “dwells corporeally in him.” “Godhead” (θεότης) is the abstract of “God” (θεός), not of the adjective “Divine” (θεῖος: the Vulgate therefore, wrongly, divinitatis: comp. Rom. 1:20; Acts 17:29; Wisd. 18:9), and denotes, “not Divine excellences, but the Divine nature” (Bengel); see Trench’s ‘Synonyms.’ Schenkel and others, guided by a conjecture of Theodoret, have found here the Church, supporting their view by a very doubtful interpretation of Eph. 1:23. Still more groundless is the identification of this pleroma with the created world. The apostle unmistakably affirms that the Divine nature, in its entirety, belongs to the Church’s Christ. The literal sense of “bodily” (maintained by Meyer, Alford, Ellicott, Lightfoot, Hofmann, after Chrysostom and Athanasius) has been avoided by those who render it “wholly” (Jerome); “essentially, substantially” (Cyril, Theophylact, Calvin, Klöpper), as opposed to “relatively” or “partially;” “truly” (Augustine, Erasmus, Bengel, Bleek), as opposed to “figuratively” (ver. 17). The adverb σωματικῶς (always literal in classical usage, along with its adjective) occurs only here in the New Testament; the adjective “bodily” in 1 Tim. 4:8; Luke 3:22. “The body of his flesh” in ch 1:22 affords a truer parallel than the language of ver. 17, where σῶμα bears an exceptional sense (see note). Elsewhere St. Paul balances in similar fashion expressions relating to the twofold nature of Christ (see parallels). The assertion that “all the fulness of Deity” dwells in Christ negatives the Alexandrine “philosophy,” with its cloud of mediating angel-powers and spiritual emanations; the assertion that it dwells in him bodily equally condemns that contempt for the body and the material world which was the chief practical tenet of the same school (comp. notes on ch. 1:22 and 2:23).[9]

8–10. There is a very close connection between verses 6, 7, on the one hand, and verses 8–10, on the other. What has been stated positively in verses 6, 7, namely, “Continue to live in Christ Jesus the Lord,” is stated negatively in verses 8–10, the sense of these three verses being, “Do not allow yourselves to be carried away by any teaching that is not according to Christ, for he will supply all your needs, since in him all the fulness of the godhead dwells bodily and since he is the supreme Ruler of all.” We have a restatement, therefore, in somewhat different form, of what the apostle had said in verse 4, “I say this in order that no one may mislead you by persuasive argument.” It becomes clear, therefore, that in this entire section (verses 1–10) Paul indicates that he was deeply concerned about the false teaching of those whose speculative theories, cleverly presented, might tend to undermine the confidence of the Colossians in Christ as their complete Savior. He calls this subversive system of thought and morals, of rules and regulations “philosophy and empty deceit.” He uses words like “man-made tradition” and “worldly rudiments” to describe it.

There is, however, another interpretation of these verses, differing rather sharply from the one set forth in the aforegoing summarizing paragraph. It is to the effect that the apostle here sets Christ over against “the elemental spirits of the universe,” the words between quotation marks being the R.S.V. rendering of the Greek phrase which in both A.V. and A.R.V. is translated “the rudiments of the world” (verse 8). For comments about this interpretation which, with due respect for the erudition of those who advocate it, I cannot adopt, see footnote  at the close of my treatment of the entire passage (verses 8–10).

The apostle, accordingly, continues as follows: Be on your guard lest there be any one who carries you off as spoil by means of his philosophy and empty deceit. Let not those who were rescued out of the domain of darkness and transplanted into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love (see Col. 1:13) be carried off as so much booty and become enslaved once more (cf. Gal. 5:1).

Brought under bondage by someone’s “philosophy”! As Josephus has shown, any elaborate system of thought and/or moral discipline was in those days called a philosophy (cf. our term “moral philosophy,” when the scientific aspect is not stressed). Thus he states, “For there are three forms of philosophy among the Jews. The followers of the first school are called Pharisees, of the second Sadducees, and of the third Essenes” (Jewish War II.viii.2). When it is borne in mind that in several of its traits the body of error which Paul here opposes resembles Essenism, the relevancy of this quotation from Josephus becomes all the more clear. Philo also, when speaking about Hebrew religion, uses such terms as “philosophy according to Moses” and “Jewish philosophy.” Paul is warning against the kind of philosophy that amounts to nothing more than empty deceit. It is empty, futile. It is deceptive, for, while it promises big things to those who obey its ordinances, it cannot redeem its promises (see on verse 23). Paul continues: according to the tradition of men (see footnote  above). This was not apostolic tradition, nor was it tradition that belonged to the main stream of Judaism, though it did have something in common with Judaism and embraced some of the latter’s tenets. It was rather a mixture of Christianity, Judaistic Ceremonialism, Angelolatry, and Asceticism, as verses 11–23 indicate. It was a philosophy according to the rudiments of the world. Rudiments are elements, either in the physical or in the non-physical realm. The original uses the term stoicheia, indicating elements or units in a row or series, like the figures (1, 2, 3, etc.) in a column, or the letters (A, B, C, etc.) in the alphabet; then also the basic elements of which the physical world is held to consist (cf. 2 Peter 3:10, 12). The ancients sometimes spoke of earth, air, fire, and water as elements. By an easy transition the meaning advances to rudiments or elements of learning; hence, elementary teaching (Heb. 5:12). We speak of “Rudiments of Grammar,” “Elements of Arithmetic,” etc. The expression “rudiments of the world” also occurs in Gal. 4:3 (cf. Gal. 4:9). This is admittedly a very difficult passage, proving the correctness of 2 Peter 3:15, 16. It is true, indeed, that “our beloved brother Paul” sometimes wrote things “hard to understand.” One thing should be borne in mind, however, namely, that in Galatians and in Colossians we are dealing with rudiments of the world, a modifier that does not occur in Hebrews and in II Peter. Now in Col. 2:8, in harmony with the immediate context which speaks about “the tradition of men,” the term world (kosmos) must probably be taken in its ethical sense (as often in Paul’s epistles), as indicating “mankind alienated from the life of God.” These are rudiments of worldly men. They are worldly rudiments. In all likelihood that interpretation of the modifier of the world also holds for Galatians (cf. Gal. 4:9, “weak and beggarly rudiments”). Worthy of serious consideration, in the light of the contexts (in Gal. 4:3 and 4:9), is therefore the view according to which in Galatians the expression “rudiments of the world” indicates rudimentary teaching regarding rules, regulations, ordinances, by means of which, before Christ’s coming into the flesh, people (Jews and Gentiles, each in their own way) tried by their own efforts to achieve salvation. With the coming of Christ and the work of his apostles this sinful, autosoteric tendency and teaching continued, sponsored now by enthusiastic Judaists. In their teaching the latter tried to combine faith in Christ with trust in Mosaic-Pharisaic ordinances. And this same danger of trusting in ordinances to supplement faith in Christ asserted itself also at Colosse (see Col. 2:11–23), though in a somewhat different, more complicated, form. That some of these regulations dealt with angel-worship need not and should not be denied (see verses 15 and 18), just so it be borne in mind that the term rudiments itself does not therefore necessarily mean angels. It is the erroneous teaching that is here condemned.

It thus becomes evident that when the meaning rudimentary instruction is ascribed to the word rudiments, as used in Col. 2:8 and 2:20, this sense cannot be quickly discarded as if it were definitely out of line with the use of this same word elsewhere in the New Testament.

Now if people will but see the implications of faith in Christ in all his glorious fulness and adequacy, they will die to these rudiments, as verse 20 makes very clear. Cast aside then will be these crude notions regarding regulations and ordinances with respect to such things as circumcision, feasts, food and drink, angel-worship, etc., as means toward the achievement of salvation in all its fulness. It is evident that at least in one respect the rudiments mentioned in Galatians and those against which the apostle warns in Colossians are alike, namely, in being “weak and beggarly” (Gal. 3:9). This philosophy is definitely “of the world,” as any system must be that does not give Christ all the honor. It is empty, deceitful, and not according to Christ. It has a tendency to take men away from Christ, to weaken their trust in him as all-sufficient sufficient Savior. It is not in harmony with the fulness which believers have in him.

Hence, Paul continues: for in him all the fulness of the godhead dwells bodily. For the interpretation of all but the adverb (“bodily”) see also above on Col. 1:19. When the apostle thus describes Christ he has in mind the latter’s deity, not just his divinity. He is referring to the Son’s complete equality of essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, his consubstantiality, not his similarity. He is saying that this plenitude of deity has its abiding residence in Christ, and this bodily.

Many different interpretations have been given of this adverb; such as, personally, essentially, universally (in a manner that embraces or affects the entire universe), ecclesiastically (in a manner that affects the entire church), antitypically, genuinely, etc. Now all of these can be rejected without much argumentation since they are out of harmony with the immediate context, attach a connotation to the adverb that is out of harmony with the main clause, invest that adverb with too much meaning, and miss the main purpose which the apostle had in mind in writing as he does.

There are, however, two theories that deserve more than passing notice:

  • The view of Lightfoot (op. cit., pp. 182, 183), etc.

According to him bodily means “with a bodily manifestation,” that is, “as crowned by the incarnation.” Expositors of repute have endorsed this attractive view. They appeal to such arguments as the importance which Paul attaches to Christ’s incarnation (Gal. 4:4), the possible parallel in John 1:1, 14, the reference in Heb. 10:5 to Christ’s body (“a body didst thou prepare for me”), etc.


(1) Paul uses the present tense. He does not say that the Word became flesh but that the fulness of the godhead dwells or is dwelling in Christ. And surely that indwelling did not just begin with the incarnation. It is an eternal indwelling. Moule, who is inclined to favor Lightfoot’s view, nevertheless correctly observes: “The chief objection to taking σωματικῶς [the adverb] thus, as representing a stress on the fact that the godhead became really embodied, is the present tense κατοικεῖ [“is dwelling”], which is not easy to treat as a reference to a past event in history (like John 1:14, σάρξ ἐγένετο [became flesh]” (op. cit., p. 93). That is exactly the point!

(2) Lightfoot’s argument to the effect that the main clause (“for in him all the fulness of the godhead dwells”) refers to the pre-incarnate Christ (“the Eternal Word in whom the pleroma had its abode from all eternity”), but that the adverb (“bodily”) which modifies this clause refers to the incarnation, would seem to involve contradiction.

(3) If the adverb “bodily” is interpreted literally, and we should allow this adverb really to modify, in a natural way, the main clause with its verb “dwells” or “is dwelling,” would not the objection arise that the Son of God is surely not so dependent upon a physical body (or even upon the human nature) that apart from it the godhead cannot dwell in him?

It is, therefore, not surprising that among the earliest writers few adopted this interpretation, and that even today, with some prominent exceptions, it is widely rejected by scholars.

  • The view of Percy (op. cit., p.77), and, in the main, also of Ridderbos (op. cit., pp. 176–178).

They interpret the adverb to mean “in a concentrated, as it were visible and tangible, form.” Faith clearly sees that the fulness of the godhead dwells from everlasting to everlasting in Christ, this fact having been thus visibly and tangibly demonstrated by Christ’s works both in creation and redemption. It sees that the entire essence and glory of God is concentrated in Christ as in a body. It is in that sense that it can be said that this fulness of the god-head is embodied, given concrete expression, fully realized, in him. This is but another way of saying that from everlasting to everlasting he is “the image of the invisible God” (see on Col. 1:15).

I believe that this gives the proper sense, a meaning which is also in harmony with the context, both preceding and following. Since, therefore, all the fulness of the indwelling essence of God is thus completely concentrated in Christ, there is no need of or justification for looking elsewhere for help, salvation, or spiritual perfection. Hence, the apostle immediately adds: and in him you have attained to fulness; that is, in Christ you have reached the Source whence flows the stream of blessings that supplies whatever you need for this life and for the next. Abide, therefore, in him (John 15:4, 7, 9), and you will continue to experience that “out of his fulness we all receive grace upon grace” (John 1:16; cf. Eph. 4:13). To the very utmost limits of human capacity the church that remains in vital union with Christ receives love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control (Gal. 5:22), yes, every Christian grace. Christ is the Fountain that never fails. Why, then, O Colossians, commit the folly of hewing out cisterns for yourselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (Jer. 2:13)? Why trust in circumcision when you have been buried with Christ in baptism (verses 11–14)? How foolish to resort to principalities and authorities when in him you have attained to fulness, namely, in him who is the head of every principality and authority (cf. verse 15). For the meaning of “principality” and “authority” see on Col. 1:16. He is their head, not in fully the same sense in which he is the head of the church (see on Col. 1:18), which is his body, but in the sense that he is supreme Ruler of all (1:16; cf. Eph. 1:22), so that apart from him the good angels cannot help, and because of him the evil cannot harm believers. It seems that it was especially this last thought which the apostle wished to emphasize (see below on verse 15).[10]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1992). Colossians (pp. 103–104). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Still, T. D. (2006). Colossians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 312). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 100–101). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] McKnight, S. (2018). The Letter to the Colossians. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (pp. 229–231). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] McNaughton, I. S. (2006). Opening up Colossians and Philemon (pp. 42–43). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[6] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (p. 52). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (pp. 182–183). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 376). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[9] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Colossians (pp. 86–87). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[10] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Colossians and Philemon (Vol. 6, pp. 108–113). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.