For the past month we have been unpacking Colossians chapter 2, verse by verse, thought by thought, to understand Paul’s main point. The good thing about moving slowly is you are able to consider each piece in depth. The risk in doing this, is that one can miss the forest for the trees. So this morning, I came into my office with the desire to take a step back and appreciate the chapter as a whole. And I did it. And now I’m floating…
The second chapter of Colossians marks a transition in the letter from greetings and reflections on Christ and Paul’s own ministry, to Paul’s concern about the false teachers that were prodding at the new church in Colossae. And what is so shocking…and amazing…and convicting…and wonderful, is that Paul’s response to every one of their false assertions boils down to basically this… “but you already have way more in Christ Jesus.”
- ASSURANCE – Are they offering you ways to attain greater assurance in your faith? All the riches of full assurance of understanding are in Christ (2:2)
- KNOWLEDGE – Are they offering you knowledge and wisdom about mysteries? In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (2:3)
- WAYS – Are they offering you ways of life that they claim will lead to righteousness? “You have already received Christ, so walk in Him” (2:6, 8)
- FULLNESS – Are they offering you a path to the fullness of God? In Christ the fullness of deity dwells bodily (Col 2:9).
- SECURITY – Are they claiming to offering ways to secure spiritual protection from the empire? Christ is the head of all rule and authority (2:10).
- CIRCUMCISION – Are they asserting that circumcision makes you a true God-worshipper? You have already received true circumcision in the death of Christ (2:11)
- LIFE – Are they offering you a way that they claim leads to life? With Christ you died, were buried and have been raised to new life already (2:12)
- FORGIVENESS – Do they claim that you have fallen short of what the Torah commands? “God has forgiven all of your trespass and sins” (2:13)
- PENAL EXONERATION – Do they claim that you have an outstanding moral debt that must be paid? God dealt with your debt by nailing it to the cross in Christ. (2:14)
- POWER – Do real threats remain from the empire, and the dark powers behind them? Yes, but God has disarmed the rulers and authorities, triumphing over them in Christ Jesus. (2:15)
- REALITY – Are they passing judgement on you over issues of food and drink and festivals and sabbath? Those are just shadows, Jesus Christ is the reality to which those things point (2:17).
- GROWTH – Are they trying to disqualify you because you don’t engage in ascetic practices, invoke angels or feel a need to entertain their puffed up ranting about visions? You have a life giving Head, the Lord Jesus who will nourish you and knit you together and cause you to grow together with growth from God (2:19)
- WISDOM Do they have the appearance of human wisdom from the elemental spirits of the world? In Christ you have died to those things and now your life is hidden with Christ (2:20-3:1)
- HIM – Do they have self-made religion and other self-help methods for stopping the flesh? You have the life giving Lord. And He is so good, that simply making a practice of thinking about Him can transform your entire moral life (Col 3).
Believer you have Him. And in Him you have all.
Are you feeling empty? Come to Christ and be filled. Are you feeling foolish? Come to Christ and find wisdom. Are you feeling guilty? Come to Christ and be forgiven. Are you feeling weak? Come to Christ and find power. Are you feeling alone? Come to Christ and find everlasting fellowship that will transform you for glory.
He is the true gift. The benefits are secondary. He is the true treasure, and in Him is every good and precious thing. This is what it means to be in relationship with Christ…to have Him and every other good thing also. He is yours, and you are His. Let’s float away to our various days with a fresh resolve to never seek any of things apart from Him ever again.