Throughout the New Testament we are continually admonished to guard and keep what we already have. Jesus says:
Rev 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Rev_3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
We already have something we are to hold on to. Our task is to cling to that which we have heard from the beginning, and not be moved away from it. Paul says that Christ will present us holy and without blemish in the sight of the Father. But we we must continue in this faith and not be moved away from the hope of the gospel:
Col 1:21-23 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister..
The teachings of the Apostles in the New Testament letters deal with what we received in the Gospel and the impact it should have our life. In addition, every epistle contains instruction and warning to not be moved away from the hope of the Gospel by embracing something else. Their ministry was full of exhortations to:
- Remember and focus on that which they INITIALLY heard, and continue in it
- Not be moved away from it by various teachings of men.
Consider this passage from Paul, which I consider to be a classic example of the two-fold exhortation to guard that which you have received (which has made you “complete”” and to not be moved away from it:
Col 2:6 -7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8-9 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. For in him dwelled all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power…
Paul first admonishes us that in the same way we have received the Christ as Lord, we need to continue walking in Him. How did we receive Him? By faith! We heard the gospel message which revealed Him as our salvation, and we believed. In the same manner, we are to continue. Paul says something similar in Galatians 3:1-5, telling the believers that they received the Spirit by the hearing of faith, and that going on to perfection was no different. They needed to stay in that initial sense of blessing (Gal 4:15) that comes from focusing on all the good things that come to us through the salvation that was announced in the gospel.
There is an initial sense of blessing that comes from hearing that our sins have been forgiven and that we have been reconciled to God and made His children, and the enemy loves to come and destroy this by getting us to focus on something other than the message we have received. So, it makes sense that Paul would then warn the Colossians not to be spoiled by men bringing a message speaking of anything other than Christ Himself.