Jeremiah 2:31-3:20; Colossians 1:1-10; Psalms 76:8-12; Proverbs 18:19
NT: “To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers and sisters. Grace to you and peace from God our Father. We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and came to truly appreciate God’s grace… For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God,” (Colossians 1:2-6, 9-10 CSB)
The Church in Colossae was not founded by Paul. It was actually founded by Epaphras, a convert of Paul’s from his ministry in Ephesus. Colossians is one of Paul’s prison epistles, likely written during his first Roman imprisonment. It is likely that Epaphras wrote to Paul asking for his help in addressing a false teaching that was threatening the church. The false teaching was apparently a blending of Greek philosophy, Jewish legalism, and mysticism. Among the heresies being taught was the belief that Jesus was not fully God nor fully man – He was one of the semi-divine beings that bridged the spiritual world of God and the physical world of humanity. Because Jesus was not fully God, He did not have the power or authority to fully save and fully empower His followers. However, believers could reach enlightenment through special teaching and self-discipline.
Because of this false teaching in Colossae, Paul’s letter to the Colossian Church contains one of the strongest defenses for the universal Lordship of Christ. This epistle established Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Heir to the Kingdom, Supreme Lord of All and sufficient in every way. As Paul began this letter to a group of believers he didn’t know, he commended their faith in the truth – that truth being the gospel of the kingdom, the good news of the complete work of Jesus Christ that not only brought about transformation in them, but was bearing fruit and growing all over the world. Paul also wrote that he was praying for them. His prayer wasn’t that they would achieve enlightenment from discovering special hidden teachings – but that they would be filled (by grace through faith in Christ) with the knowledge of God’s will, the wisdom of God, and the spiritual understanding that comes only through the Holy Spirit. It is not through the knowledge of some esoteric philosophy that you find wisdom and understanding. True wisdom and understanding – the kind that bears good and lasting fruit – only comes by grace through faith in the Son of God who is the Lord Jesus Christ. As we continue in our faith in Him, our knowledge of God will grow and our lives will produce good fruit from the good works we do by grace in the all-sufficient Christ. Christ is all in all. Everything that we need to live a holy, righteous, and fruitful life is found through faith in Him.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that by placing my faith in You, I am not placing my faith in a sub-standard spiritual being – I am placing my faith in the second person of the Triune God, Who together is the Creator of the Universe and Lord and Sustainer of all. You are not lacking in anyway. Therefore, I do not search for wisdom in the latest philosophy or for enlightenment and understanding from the mysticism of the world. Fill me, as I place my faith fully in You, with all the wisdom and understanding that I need. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.