Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world…
It is known —
I. BY ITS PROFITLESS SPECULATIONS.
II. BY ITS PURELY HUMAN ORIGIN. "After the tradition of men."
1. The human mind is limited.
2. All human knowledge is imperfect. "If any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."
III. BY ITS UNDUE EXALTATION OF ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES. "After the rudiments of the world." A true philosophy, while starting necessarily with elementary principles, conducts to increasing knowledge and spiritual exaltation and liberty. A false philosophy fetters the mind by exaggerating the importance of first principles and insisting on their eternal obligation.
IV. BY ITS CHRISTLESSNESS. "And not after Christ."
V. BY ITS DESTRUCTIVE INFLUENCE. "Spoil you" — not strip off, but carry away as spoil (Genesis 14:12-16). Man is never so grievously despoiled as when his soul is robbed by error. "The thief cometh not," etc. (John 10:10).
VI. AGAINST A FALSE PHILOSOPHY THE CHURCH MUST BE FAITHFULLY WARNED.
1. Because it is seductive in its pretensions.
2. Because it is baneful in its effect.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.