by: Dr. Allen Domelle
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
Have you ever gone to the refrigerator wanting to drink a cool glass of milk only to be disappointed because it was spoiled? When I was in high school, I would often order a carton of milk from the cafeteria to drink with my lunch. I can remember how every once in awhile I would go to drink the milk and literally spit it out because it was spoiled. There was nothing worse than the taste of spoiled milk; it ruined the whole meal.
In the verse above, God warns the Christian not to allow their Christianity to get spoiled. Nothing ruins the taste of Christianity more than a spoiled Christian. Nothing will ruin the opportunity to reach the lost for Christ more than a Christian who has allowed their faith to spoil. What is it that causes a Christian’s faith to spoil?
First, man’s philosophy will spoil your faith. God says, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy…” Philosophy may sound good, but it is not what your faith should be based upon. Many people have gotten caught up in teaching the philosophy of a man, but God said that man’s philosophy spoils your Christianity. It doesn’t matter how spiritual the person may be whose philosophy is being taught; it will spoil your Christianity because man is not the foundation of your faith.
Second, man’s traditions will spoil your faith. Christian, be careful about allowing tradition to be the basis for what you do. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t make it right. Many traditions have been followed only to spoil the Christian’s faith. There is nothing wrong with tradition as long as the tradition is founded upon God’s Word.
Third, worldly acceptance will spoil your faith. God talks about being spoiled through the “rudiments of the world.” A Christian will spoil their faith when they form their methods of executing the faith upon how the world will respond to it. You will never have a pure faith that helps others to come to Christ by trying to do things in a way not to offend the world. My friend, I don’t believe you should do things to try to be offensive, but you shouldn’t base what you do to avoid being offensive. You serve the LORD and base what you do, and how you do it according to what the Word of God teaches you to do.
How do we avoid allowing our faith to get spoiled? I believe Psalm 42:1-2 has the answer when it says, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” The answer is in having a thirst for God. When you desire to have God’s mind more than you do man’s opinions and philosophies, you keep your faith pure. The thirst for God and his truth is like keeping the milk in the refrigerator: it keeps your faith from spoiling.
Christian, what do you desire the most? Do you desire to get to know the mind of a man the most, or do you desire to get to know God’s heart and mind? It all comes down to who your focus is upon. If you keep your desire upon God, you will keep your faith from being spoiled and becoming distasteful to those who your faith influences.