I have been reading and studying the book of Colossians written by the Apostle Paul.
I have been reading and studying the book of Colossians written by the Apostle Paul. The first chapter is clear in explaining the awesome work of God through Jesus Christs life, death, and resurrection to save humanity.
Colossians 1:21-22 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
It was a promise to God in the Old Testament, being fulfilled in the New Testament
Colossians 1:12-14 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Did the people of Colossians know this? Yes! It was their faith in Christ that made them a people Paul commends and lifts up so many times in the opening of his letter. In vs 4 Paul writes that he has “heard of their faith” in Christ and how they show “so much love” to others because of it. Paul says in vs 6 that they have been “growing” and “bearing fruit” since Christ entered their lives. He said in vs 9 that they “love in the Spirit”. This is what having a life in Christ looks like. So Paul is intentional in this letter as he is in almost all his writings. The things we do in Christ, the love we show cannot happen until the Grace of God poured on us through our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ alone makes us clean, makes us holy, presents us before God without blemish. This is the order of things. Jesus first and only Jesus. No works of our own. No amount of goodness on our own part. Simply Jesus. Paul is always reminding us of that fact before he reminds us of the other benefits of having Jesus in our lives. And that’s being the hands and feet of Jesus. Showing the love of Jesus. Growing in Jesus and bearing fruit because of Jesus in our lives. This should be a byproduct of Jesus in us.
Paul is clear Jesus appears in us and through us by Gods Holy Spirit. It’s a promise of God (read John Chapter 14 and 16). Because of this Paul seems to allude to some statements we might find hard to accept. Statements like
Colossians 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
Wait just one minute! Does this mean we can live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way? Does this mean we can bear fruit as we work and grow in the knowledge of God. Does this mean we could or even should have great endurance and patience? Yes! The Colossian church knew it. Paul knew it. The disciples knew it. And yes, we should know it too. The problem is that the Colossian church was beginning to be deceived by a world that was telling them falsehoods. That’s why in the next chapter Paul pens these words:
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
I believe so many people miss out on the awesome power of Jesus Christ. The awesome patience and endurance God gives through His holy Spirit. This happens because we are drawn away from the promises of God by deceptive philosophies, humanistic ideals, which in reality is the powers of darkness at work to draw us as a people and a society away from the awesome love, power, work, patience and endurance of God. 3 times in this past week I’ve witnessed road rage by people bearing this sticker. A picture of a cross, a plus sign, followed by a heart (cross = heart). Yes Jesus died on a cross to show an amazing love for us. But there is an awesome bonus to putting our faith and trust in that. It means we can hold on to Gods truth without being impatient and unloving. It means we can live out Gods word as it is outlined in the Holy Scriptures with endurance. It means we have power to become like Christ and we have the power to change the world. We even have the power to stand up for Gods word in a way that can be impactful to those who may be deceived. But it starts by building up that strength within a church family. Paul writes to a group of people. Encouraging them to hold each other accountable, and to encourage and lift each other up. Read the 1st Chapter. Its to a church. The greatest deception and the first step towards being drawn away from God by the world is buying into the premise that we don’t need a church. Paul isn’t writing to individuals here. He writes to his churches reminding them of what they once knew, and what they believed before the deception crept in. The deceptive practice of removing God from every aspect of our lives has had and will continue to create a Godless society that will become increasingly confused about why God created. And the confusion gets even more tricky when we accept that God didn’t create. A life without purpose, any real meaning, any real standard, becomes a life of self-centeredness and darkness. Be enlightened this Sunday. Lets Get back to basics. Whether you’ve never been to church or have simply fallen away. Find a church that will help you find your purpose through Jesus Christ our Lord. And if you belong to a church. Read Pauls letters that encourage us to allow Jesus to have a powerful place in our hearts and lives.