Thursday, October 28, 2021

2021.10.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Colossians 2:1–3

Read Colossians 2:1–3

Questions from the Scripture text: What does the apostle want them to do (Colossians 2:1)? Of what does he want them to know the greatness? For whom had he had this conflict? What was notable about these people? What effect did the apostle hope that this knowledge would have upon their hearts (Colossians 2:2)? On their relationship? Unto all of what riches? And unto what knowledge? Of both of Whom? What is hidden in Christ (Colossians 2:3)? How much of it?

If the apostle rejoiced in sufferings (cf. Colossians 1:24), he must have been FULL of joy, for he had great conflict (Colossians 2:1). This is one of the great differences that genuine Christianity can make—not that it gets us out of suffering (the contrary is often true), but rather that it turns the suffering into fuel for rejoicing.

Genuine Christianity enables great caring. Perhaps you have heard someone express the idea that they were unable to keep caring so much because of how much stress or pain it caused. For the apostle, not only does he care deeply for the churches that he himself had planted and pastored, but he cares for Colossae, Laodicea, and for other churches that had never even seen his face in the flesh. Does this caring cause suffering? This letter is evidence of that!

But treasuring Christ enables the apostle to value suffering for Christ’s sake, and it is exactly this treasuring of Christ that these Colossians are going to need (cf. Colossians 2:4-10). So, he lets them know that not only is his own treasuring of Christ what has transformed his own suffering, but that what he is battling and suffering for is that they, too, may treasure Christ.

What is that believers’ hearts need? Treasuring Christ (Colossians 2:2a).

What is it that knits believers together in love? Treasuring Christ (verse 2b). The “persuasive words” of Colossians 2:4 will not be able to “deceive” (Colossians 2:4) or “cheat” (Colossians 2:8) them, if their congregational fellowship is built around treasuring Christ together. How important it is, dear believer, that your congregation’s fellowship not be built around hand-wringing over the times in the nation, or even hand-wringing over the deceptions in the church, but rather around the all-surpassing value of Christ, which soundly answers these problems. How important it is to have a congregation whose hearts are knit together in love by treasuring Christ exceedingly!

What is it that gives us assurance of understanding—with the riches, with all the riches that this assurance of understanding brings? It is to treasure Christ. The most important thing to understand is that “glorious mystery” of Colossians 1:27—God’s way of making and growing Christians is through union with Christ… their certainty of entering glory comes from the fact that the Lord of glory already dwells in them

This is the “mystery of God” from Colossians 2:2. God is Triune. He is Father, Son, and Spirit. God the Father has given His Son not only for us to die in our place, but also to us to be united to us and dwell in us by His Spirit. God the Son has not only died on the cross, risen again, and ascended into heaven, but He has come to reside in believers by His Spirit Who He gives to them. 

Any wisdom or any knowledge that does not point you back to this gospel of God becoming a Man to die for sinners is no true wisdom at all and no true knowledge at all. This gospel is the mystery of God, the story that no one could have anticipated, but that God has planned, and God has revealed: God has died for believers and come to dwell in believers. Whatever we see about Him in His world and in His word should make us marvel that THIS is the One Who died for us; THIS is the One Who dwells in us! And this is the treasure of all wisdom, and the treasure of all knowledge—to know this about the Christ Whom we treasure!

Who died to atone for sinners? Who dwells in believers? How does this impact your suffering? What part does this have in your fellowship? How does this relate to everything else that you know?

Sample prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we praise You that You have revealed Your triune nature by this marvelous salvation with which You have saved us. Not only has the Son been the One Who became man to atone for us, but now He has come and dwelt in us by the Spirit! Forgive us when we seek to have our hearts strengthened by lesser things, or when we build our fellowship upon lesser things, or when we seek our assurance from lesser things. Grant instead that our hearts would be strengthened by treasureing Christ. Grant that our fellowship would be built upon treasuring Christ. Grant that our assurance of understanding would come by treasuring Christ—all of which we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly I Am with You” or TPH508 “Jesus, Priceless Treasure”


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