4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.
5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
this I say (v.4) — verses 1-3
beguile (v.4) — deceive by false reasoning
enticing words (v.4) — speech adapted to persuade
order (v.5) — a military term, used for disciplined soldiers
in the spirit (v.5) — Paul’s spirit
steadfastness (v.5) — a military term for a solid front
Paul was in prison when he wrote Colossians, chained to Roman soldiers at all times. No doubt that, in part, explains why he used so many military terms.
as … so (v.6) — by faith, and with the same doctrine
received (v.6) = received by instruction — the doctrines they were taught regarding Christ
Christ Jesus the Lord (v.6) — should be “the Christ Jesus the Lord” — His person, not just the gospel
rooted (v.7) — tense indicates a “once-for-all” experience
built-up (v.7) — tense indicates an ongoing process
in Him (v.7) — not upon Him — He is the sphere within which the bulding occurs (Ephesians 2:20).
established (v.7) = being made firm — tense indicates an ongoing process
abounding (v.7) — overflowing
spoil (v.8) — another military term — taking a captive in war for slavery
philosophy (v.8) = love of wisdom — speculations, particularly about God
vain (v.8) = empty, futile, to no purpose
rudiments (v8) — can mean “elemental spirits” and may be Paul’s warning against angel worship