“8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (elements) of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 1:8 KJV
8 See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah). Colossians 2:8 (Amplified Classical Edition)
This verse is all about being careful and watchful about what we choose to believe. Jesus plus anything is not the true gospel of love. He and He alone is our Savior and His Word is the authority. That being said, there is so very much available to all of us through the various electronic systems, that we are prone to believe what any other Christian says is true.
I had a student like that long ago. They bought every trinket, believed every messenger (at least until the next one came) and although they loved Jesus, they were unstable as water and just could not come to peace with what the Word said. It was never enough and since He loved everyone, everyone should be heard.
I realize most of us do more “picking and choosing” than she ever did, but the Body of Christ is very easily led into the next popular teaching and tradition. This statement in Colossians 2 by Paul lets us know the problem is not a new one as he wrote this warning over 2,000 years ago. As we are studying through this precious book, we will do well to heed this (and other) warnings. All of our systems of beliefs have traditions and ways of believing that can become a tradition or a way of thinking and that can become a hindrance to the purity of the gospel.
There is no “quick” avenue to changing hearts. It begins in an instant of willingness and then must continue through-out life for a true Spirit change that produces the fruit of that fellowship. Things that are helpful in the beginning can easily turn into “how it is to be done,” and then we have a custom or tradition or doctrine.
As we continually study the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to train our thoughts, we will begin to be warned when something is a “bit off.” I had this happen a few weeks ago. I was online and began to listen to a brother as he talked about a particular truth. What he said was actually correct, but the spirit within Him was fighting. He was not at peace at all. I had tried to listen before and did not know why I could not listen long. All of a sudden, in Spirit, I saw a man struggling to be right. Not struggling to hear in order to present – that brings peace. Whatever this was, it was enough to warn me. I did not finish the presentation. Your fellowship in the Holy Spirit will warn you.
“18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” Luke 8:18 KJV
It is very important to guard our hearts and one way we do that is to “take heed how we hear.” Our hearing-gate and eye-gates are very important. When something seems to be a bit off, check it out with the Word. Diligent students of the Word are always rewarded by the Spirit. He will begin to show you.