“If we add up all the grand moments of our lives, most of us end with a very small pile of memories, but they are indeed, golden. In contrast, a similar collection of all our mundane times yields a ponderous heap. It’s clear that the bulk of our lives’ efforts are consumed by routine tasks and ordinary occasions.” Visions of Grandeur, Ralph T Mattson
We must be the kind of men and women whose faith is immovable. We wont always perform the best, or be the best, but the one in whom we trust must not be shaken.
In Colossians, Paul is setting up a picture of Jesus Christ that is unsurpassed. He existed before time, He was there at the creation of the world, He has primacy over-all.
Once Hostile, Now Holy
As a note, whenever you read “in order to” in scripture, it’s a subjunctive phrase and you should underline it. Look for these in Pauline literature especially.
According to Paul, there’s no such thing as “agnostic.” There is no such thing as a person who is indifferent or apathetic toward God.
Some people still believe humans are basically good, but Scripture says that apart from Christ, we’re alienated and evil.
The baseline of humanity is that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, not one of us is righteous apart from Christ.
That’s a theological standard that doesn’t change because our culture says otherwise.
But if you are in Christ, the accused are exonerated and the condemned are free. That’s reconciliation.
Holy: to set something apart for a special purpose or use
Blameless: without blemish, same word in Ephesians 5:27.
Beyond reproach: without fault, free from accusation, unaccused.
Reconciliation frees us from a guilty conscience.
Once Hopeless, Now Hopeful
Continue in the faith.
“If the Bible teaches the final perseverance of the saints, it also teaches that the saints are those who finally persevere––in Christ.”
F.F. Bruce, p. 213.H.C.G. Moule, Studies in Colossians & Philemon(Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1977) p. 71
What’s widely taught today is that a true Christian perseveres to the end. What the reformers taught, and what the Bible says, is that it is Christ who perseveres in you.
Don’t merely ask God for a miracle, ask Him for an immovable faith.
If you get a miracle, you’ll need another one, and another, and another. But if you have an immovable faith, it doesn’t matter what happens.
Trust in Him, trust in His word. Not your experience.
Once Hidden, Now Heralded
I maintain no one ever grows in prosperity and ease. The only time we grow is in affliction.
Acts 9:4-5, Acts 9:16, Philippians 3:10
Even in suffering, Paul chose joy. This is, perhaps, one of the hardest lessons for any Christian.
Joy is not happiness. Joy is a choice we make theologically to smile at the future and to trust Christ.
Do you choose joy even in suffering?
Are you using what you’ve got?
Paul’s motivation and mission are very clear.
Proclaim (gk. καταγγέλλομεν, “katangellomen”): What is Paul proclaiming? Christ. Not a vision, mission, or idea. The person and work of Jesus Christ.
Admonish: to warn. Correcting those who are wrong, there is no way around it. Used in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, it’s a rebuke for wrong choices. In 1 Corinthians 4:14, Romans 15:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:12 it’s teaching proper behavior. To admonish is to advise someone of the consequences of their choices.
Knowledge + Understanding = Wisdom
Teaching with all wisdom, for everyone, that they may be complete in Christ.
A better word may be “mature.”
James 1:4, Hebrews 5:14, support the idea of full-grown or mature.
Colossians 1:29: labor, striving (agonize), and working.
It is an agonizing labor to proclaim, teach, and admonish all men to grow in Christ. The strength required in this growing work is superhuman, requiring nothing less than the power of Christ working mightily within.
Paul’s commission to the Colossians and to you and me is about the gospel of Jesus Christ: