See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world. Colossians 2:8

Most people love the idea of being free to choose what they do with their time, energy, abilities and even their destinies. But from a biblical perspective, individual freedom is a delusional understanding at its best. When born into this world we are naturally captives to the fallout of Adam’s sin. (Rom. 5:12). In other words while in this captive state, we are not free agents whereby we can choose righteousness in order to satisfy God’s demands against our sinfulness. We are enslaved, to our personal, inbuilt bent away from God and toward our own autonomous selfish agenda.

This is referred to as being “dead in sin” or “enslaved to sin” (Eph. 2:1; Tit. 3:3) 

But for the believer in Christ, this ‘captivity’ this enslavement to the ‘fallout of Adam’s sin,’ has been nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ. It has been killed and put to death. We are now truly free people. We are those who no longer are captivated by Satan’s deathly and subtle schemes that take people to Hell. We are now free to choose God’s righteousness because we have been liberated (generated) from within, having received a new heart/mind from God through faith in Jesus Christ. (Rom. 6:17, 10:10).  

But the issue is for the believer; we now have the capacity (the fleshly nature of our beings) to choose to dabble in the enticements and subtleties of this world’s thinking. We can now choose to hanker after what the world offers, like the Israelites longed to go back so to eat the food of Egypt even after being miraculously freed from their enslavement. But the command in our text is clear “see to it that no one takes you captive…”

May we learn to be joyously ‘captivated’ by God’s glory as we discern and choose what is right and godly and walk in His righteous paths. Now that’s true freedom!