The overall theme of Colossians is, Jesus, you complete me. Because Jesus alone completes you, he is our rock solid foundation.
At one time Colossae had been an important city but when Paul was writing to them it had begun to decline. Paul never visited this city, but we find out his connection to Colossae in Acts 19, Paul discipled Epaphras in Ephesus and he then planted a church in Colossae. An important point from this story is that God does not always need an apostle or full time Christian worker to establish a work of God, he needs ordinary people who are willing to be used by him.
Colossians is like the Rosetta Stone of the New Testament, because the Rosetta Stone was used to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphics and Colossians helps us to understand Paul’s other letters.
Paul introduces himself in the same way he did in Ephesians, but one of the main differences between Colossians and Ephesians is that Paul is having to address some false information that is troubling the Colossian church.
Today we’ll look at two truths that refute these lies that the Colossae church were facing and they’re still relevant to us today:
- Jesus alone completes you
- These false teachers were telling the church that Jesus was only part of the gospel, it was Jesus and something else, Jesus and good works, Jesus and following certain rituals etc. This lie can be just as prevalent and deceptive today.
- In these first 2 verses Paul begins to confront this. In his introduction Paul writes ‘Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God’ and he’s saying that these words are the will of God and the truth of the gospel.
- Paul speaks for God when he tells the Colossians and tells us, that Jesus is all we need to be complete.
- Colossians 2:9-10
- All of God’s fullness dwells in Jesus and we share in that because Jesus dwells in us. In Colossians the word ‘all’ is found 30 times, because he’s reiterating that we have it all in Jesus and that we’re complete in him.
- We are to exalt Jesus
- Paul doesn’t begin the letter by attacking the false teachers, he begins by exalting Jesus and shows us that Jesus is preeminent in every area of life
- It’s easy to fall into the trap of arguing with critics, false teachers and other religions, when what we’re called to do first and foremost is to exalt Jesus.
- Colossians chapter 1-2 are all about Jesus, because what you believe determines how you behave, so Paul exalts Jesus for the first two chapters and he doesn’t talk about behaviours until chapter 3.
- How do we change our behaviour and how do we battle false teaching? We exalt Jesus and the more we do that and understand what Jesus has done, the more we’ll want to glorify God and share him with those around us.
- What we believe leads to action, wrong doctrine leads to a wrong way of living, right doctrine leads to a right way of living.
- Colossians is full of truth and as we read this book ask the Holy Spirit to help you to grow, learn and see the riches of God’s grace.
In this world we hear these phrases a lot, ‘all religions are the same’, ‘each is as good as another’ but all of us need to hear that Jesus alone completes you, Jesus alone has dealt with your past, given you a place in heaven and made you complete.
Every day this week remind yourself of the truth ‘I am complete in Christ’ and focus on exalting Jesus, as the more we worship him the more we’ll change to be like him.