Many lies are attractive, especially religious lies. Indeed, every idea about God which does not accept the Son of God as Creator, Sustainer, Ruler, Saviour and Judge - is a deception (2 John 7). Nevertheless, history is littered with theistic inventions which exclude, marginalise or alter the character of Christ. That was the background to the Apostle Paul's ministry; and is the context in which the church proclaims Christ today.
Paul's antidote to such spiritual poison was to proclaim the full riches of Christ, with his wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2-3). Although he had never visited Colosse and Laodicea (Colossians 4:16), he knew about the churches there, he watched over them in prayer and was determined they should know Jesus Christ in all His fullness. Paul knew that without Jesus at the centre of their churches, the little communities would soon become a prey for clever talkers who would be used by Satan to lure their hearts away from fellowship with God through Christ. Paul could not visit (he was in prison because of his preaching) but his writing had God's authority to keep the believers trusting in Christ.
Heresy is still a real risk for every church and every believer today. Most deviations from true faith are not grossly immoral, but they are all part of a process of spiritual seduction to draw our hearts away from Christ (Hebrews 3:2). They offer a less difficult pathway with more pleasures. But if you put those lies against the Word of God they are clearly seen as hopelessly wrong distortions of the truth. That is why we also need God's Word to check us, renew us and energise us to follow Christ; whatever the difficulties may be. Instead of allowing lies to lodge in our hearts, we must let the Word of Christ live in us (Colossians 3:16). That means more than a passing glance at a verse: meditate on it, pray about how it relates to you, discuss its practical implications with a Christian friend, share it in the workplace prayer group, and practise living out what God has said to you.
© Dr Paul Adams