Beguiled and Enticed

By Henry Morris

“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.” (Colossians 2:4)

Any man can beguile us with words that are designed to capture our reason. The unusual word chosen by the Holy Spirit to describe the process is paralogizomai. The basic meaning is “alongside of reason.” It is used only one other time, in James 1:22: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

That self-deception is accomplished through “enticing words” (Greek pithanologia), used only here in Colossians. It couples the term for “reason” with “persuasion” and contains the foundation for the English word “analogy,” a very similar process of using familiar words to transfer a known idea to something else. It is deception accomplished by transferring truth onto an untruth.

During His training of the disciples, Jesus often warned that it was possible for His followers to be deceived by those who would come and make attempts to claim some role with His authority. “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:5). “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).

The stated purpose for gifted leaders in churches was to prevent the immaturity of disciples who would be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14). Although God has made provision for our stability in “wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3), we are warned that we can be beguiled by listening to the “enticing words” of those who deny Christ. HMM III

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