Much of the truth we have received in the New Testament is due to the apostles’ efforts to refute false teaching. Their efforts of course were superintended by the Holy Spirit so that what they wrote is the word of God. The false teachers threatening the Colossian believers were attempting to lead them astray through a philosophy of religion which depended on the traditions of men, and what Paul calls the “basic principles of the world.” They were teaching a way of salvation that did not fully depend on Christ (Col. 2:8). In essence it was salvation based on works. This philosophy seems to have combined the observance of the Mosaic Law (2:16-17), the practice of asceticism (2:20-23) and the worship of angels (2:18) as the means of salvation. Paul’s simple yet powerful answer to this heresy is that we are complete in Christ! Those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior do not need anything or anyone else to make them acceptable in the sight of God (Col. 2:9-10, also see 1:21-23).