“Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.”
“Let no one cheat you”
“Cheat” means to give judgment against, to condemn. It comes from two Greek words: kata–against, and brabeuw–to umpire against. Most of us have had umpires call strikes against us when they were balls. The noun for umpire occurs in the following verses:
1 Cor. 9:24, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.“
Phil. 3:14, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
The verb occurs in Col. 3:15, “And let the peace of God (‘Christ’ in some manuscripts) rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” When we let God’s peace act as an umpire in our hearts, we have tranquility with men. Let the peace that God gives cast the deciding vote in our struggle.
The umpire, however, in this passage, is the false teacher who tries to frustrate adherence to the truth. Another rendering is “let no man decide for or against you (as an umpire).” “Do not give yourselves up to the judgment of any man.”
“of your reward”
The false teacher judges as a referee that the Colossians were not worthy to receive a prize. They disqualified, condemned, and judged them as not worthy of a reward. False teachers can rob the Christian of his spiritual reward. We cannot lose our salvation, but we can lose reward. False teachers can bully you away from your reward. They can lead believers away from the truth only by the Christian succumbing to an attack from religion.
2 Jn. 8, “Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”
We want a full reward, not a half reward, at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We want everything we are entitled to when we see him. Salvation is free, but the rewards we earn. Since salvation is a gift, we cannot lose it. Because we work for rewards, we can lose them.
Rev. 3:11, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
False teachers can rob Christians of their reward by succumbing to error.
Are you jeopardizing your reward in heaven by your careless attitude toward the truth?