Thursday, November 04, 2021

2021.11.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ Colossians 2:4–10

Read Colossians 2:4–10

Questions from the Scripture text: Who is speaking (Colossians 2:4)? To keep what from happening with what other words? What is the apostle’s location (Colossians 2:5)? Where are his thoughts and affections? How does he feel? About what? What have they done with Christ (Colossians 2:6a)? What must they now do with Christ (verse 6b)? What two verbs does Colossians 2:7 use to describe the relationship to Christ of those who are walking in Him? In what have they been established? Through what mechanism? In what must they now abound? With what attitude of heart? What will such an attitude protect them from (Colossians 2:8)? What four things threaten to compete with Christ in their thinking and values? What is the truth about what dwells in Jesus (Colossians 2:9)? What does Jesus have that He does not have as God but only as man? What do they have, who are in Him (Colossians 2:10)? Of what is He head? How much of it?

Man longs for knowledge and power. God created us with knowledge of Him and with capacity to learn more. God created us to take dominion over the world. But we can’t. We’re fallen into wickedness and weakness, sin and misery.

How can man recover himself? It’s impossible. Impossible in a near-infinite number of ways. Impossible in every way except one: if God Himself is also the Christ (Colossians 2:2), in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 

There are many things that promise knowledge and power. Philosophers try. And history is full of snake-oil salesmen whose empty promises and infomercials have the same, subtle message of the ancient snake, “you shall be like God.” Manmade religious traditions stack up generations of devotion to produce the appearance of meaning and the experience of sentiment. Then there are the irreligious, who promise knowledge and power through “the basic principles of the world” (almost certainly some form of sorcery in which men believe that they can control hidden powers or beings that are behind the visible world). And to that list of illegitimate sources of knowledge and power, we can add anything else that we think is going to take us to the next level or get us over the hump. Anything, that is except Christ.

This is why the apostle was so willing to suffer (Colossians 1:24) great conflict (Colossians 2:1) for the Colossians: in order that no one would deceive them with persuasive words (Colossians 2:4), lest anyone should cheat them (Colossians 2:8) with anything that is not according to Christ. 

The Colossian Christians—and every true Christian—began by receiving Christ Jesus the Lord (Colossians 2:6a), being established in the faith (Colossians 2:7b). Having begun by being rooted in Him, they are now to be built up upon Him (verse 7a). We don’t begin by faith in Christ and then grow and walk in some other way. We begin by faith in Christ. We grow by faith in Christ. We walk by faith in Christ (Colossians 2:6b).

This is what the apostle rejoiced to work at for the Colossians: steady persistence in faith in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:5).

Not only is everything else an empty, deceitful cheat; it is something far worse. Blasphemy. In Christ, God dwells bodily. No, more than that. In Christ, the fullness of God dwells bodily. No, more than that. In Christ, all the fullness of God dwells bodily. The apostle has piled up the language in Colossians 2:9 to make it clear that this is no mere Man with a divine principle in Him or with Him. No, this is God Himself having added humanity to Himself.

This is the complete source of the Christian’s knowledge and power. Just as in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3), so also He is the Head of all principality and power. The only truth is truth that has as its foundation that Jesus Christ is God. The only power is power that has as its foundation that Jesus Christ is God. 

Anything else is an empty, lying cheat. And blasphemy. Walk by the Christ in Whom you were established, dear Christian!

What are you tempted to think will get you to the next level or get you over the hump in your faith or your life? What do you think will protect you from Covid, or government overreach, or your remaining sin, or the destruction of your life? How is Jesus Christ your God the foundation of all true science? Of all true spirituality?

Sample prayer: Our God, we thank You for Your mercy to us, that You have given Yourself to be our knowledge and power in Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus, in You all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. Forgive us for when we try to attain knowledge or power in any other way than those You have given to us. Make us to find our fullness only in You and from You, Jesus Christ our God, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN! 

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

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