By Graeme Tearle
We are not expected, nor capable, of knowing everything possible about God and His ways. But He has revealed to us the truth about Christ, and Paul was helping the Colossians to enter into that truth.
Paul had not met the Colossian church.
And yet he goes to great lengths in his ministry to ensure that they are built up, strengthened, and walking in the Christian life in a wholesome and healthy manner.
1. Knowledge of Christ.
The early heretics themselves, known as ‘gnostics,’ were so called because they were claiming to have special ‘advanced’ knowledge about God and His dealings with mankind. ‘Gnostics’ is the English word which derives from the Greek work ‘gnosis.’
Paul talks about riches and treasures, v2,3. These are only to be found in Christ, because it is only in Him that the mystery of God has been revealed, ch.1v26.
His desire is that they enter into the full assurance and knowledge of this mystery, and not be deceived because of the so-called ‘special knowledge’ of the gnostics.
2. Faith in Christ.
He encourages them that their faith is firm, v5. This has the implication of being on a firm foundation.
And he warns them not to be deceived by ‘beguiling speech’ – implying teaching that was contrary to the truth of Christ, and attempting to lead in another path, amiss, v4.
3. Receiving Christ.
In v6 Paul reminds them that they have received Christ.
The word Paul uses here, ‘paralambano,’ has the emphasis of personal invitation in having Christ within and alongside us.
A similar concept is mentioned by Paul in ch.4v17; Archippus had ‘received’ from the Lord a particular ministry, and he was exhorted to fulfill that which he had received.
4. Living in Christ.
Following on from faith in Christ and receiving Him, we must live the life He has ordained.
The word Paul uses in verse 6 for ‘live’ is ‘peripateo’. This means literally to walk.
But it has a far more significant applied meaning, ’choices of lifestyle, and actions taken; as governed by attitudes, the will, and personal desires’, suggesting our behaviour and life are led by the inner motivations.
The area and focus of this work is ‘in Christ’ – following His example and His will.
b. Established, rooted. The sustenance of our life, and the basis or foundation on which we rest, again, is our faith in Christ.
c. Abounding in thanksgiving
d. Knit together in love – this life in Christ flows into our relationships and sacrifices for our fellow believers.
Colossians : Points to Ponder.
Live in the knowledge you have attained in Christ, being led by His principles and Lordship.