“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
The third and last time Paul uses “according to” in this verse–”not according to Christ.” Christ is the proper standard for living the Christian life.
“and not according to Christ”
The world depreciates and undervalues Christ. They operate on a philosophy contrary to his person and work. However, the Word of God makes him the standard for our world view. The Bible ever exalts him. He is the center of our belief system. We must evaluate all other apparent philosophies in the light of who he is.
Those who place their belief system on men’s philosophy, rather than revelation, do not follow Christ’s philosophy. The standard operating procedure for the world is to completely overlook the supernatural. They are oblivious to the reality of Christ.
False systems of belief invariably undervalue Jesus the Lord. The Devil will systematically seek to lead the believer away from his Lord. He will tempt the believer to go off on religious tangents. He will do anything to woo us away from the Lord Jesus (II Cor. 11:3; II John 7-9).
These philosophies are not according to the standard of Christ. They do not base their belief on who Christ is. They are contradictory to his person and work. Religion undermines the finished work of Christ for our sin. It underestimates his mediation for us before God.
We can test any doctrine by its view of the person and work of Christ.
All that is false seeks to minimize the person and work of Christ. Satan systematically seeks to lead us away from Christ. He aims to lower Jesus’ rank and significance. True Christianity bends to his authority and seeks to exalt him. Any tangent that woos us away from him is false philosophy.