The Apostle Paul understands the power of hearts of believers being knit together in love. This is where we can grow the most in understanding His love for us
Colossians 2:1-3 “1 For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Remember that the church in Colosse was most likely an outcropping from the church in Ephesus where Paul stayed from about 52-55 AD. Colosse was near Laodicea and the two churches new of each other. It is also worthy of mentioning that this Laodicea is the same one in Revelations 3:14; the lukewarm church. I point this out since Paul’s letter to Colosse was one of almost combativeness in defense of the Lordship of Jesus. Paul was combating Gnosticism which was undermining the fervor for the gospel and deity of Jesus Christ. I recommend reading Revelations 3:14-22 to understand the potential of loss for the believer that falls into mental ascent of Christianity coupled with a legalistic way of life instead of leaning Jesus and the gospel of Christ. This is not unlike the typical battle going on in the church today.
Paul wants them to know that he has a great love and burden in his heart for them and for their true salvation. This is not any different than the pain he spoke of in Galatians 4:19 and is typical of a person that understands the potential loss for people that slip away from the gospel of Christ. The Colossians knew of Paul, but had never seen him which makes it even more difficult for Paul to fully express his concern; they did not have a personal relationship with him to stand on. Readers of the gospel today are in the same boat, so to speak, in that we must rely on the written word instead of personality traits of the man. This is exactly how God wants it, in that all too often men lean toward following a specific person instead of the word of God as it stands.
There is a principle in verse 2 that is sometimes overlooked in our “me first” world today. In the KJV the word comforted was used instead of encouraged and Paul ties their “comfort” to their being knit together in love. The body of Christ is just that, a body of believers. God’s plan was never intended to be one of self-centeredness, but rather of community. This does not advocate commune living where everyone looks, acts, and does the same thing. Paul is focusing the Colossians on the like mindedness of Christ where others are put first before self. God’s plan is so much more than dressing, looking, or living alike. A man by himself can never grasp the full understanding of God and His word, it takes all of us together, each bringing a Psalm, Hymn, or Spiritual song to understand the fullness of God and all of the riches He has in store for us (1 Corinthians 14:26). Paul’s letter is one of love and encouragement which is very different to many of the teachers and preachers today. In fact there are even some denominations that lean so far the other direction that the members do not feel they have been to church unless their hearts have been pricked. I believe the knowledge of the true mystery of God is not fully preached today. Believers do not need greater understanding of their sin actions and techniques to overcome them; they need a deeper understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what He actually did for us on the cross. My concern is that Christians today are often not necessarily true believers; but rather doers, always looking for the next fix or task to complete in order to stay in right standing with God. This is the furthest from the truth of the gospel of Christ. We are not called to be a “doer” of Christianity; we are called to “be” in Christ Jesus.
All of our worries, pains, shortcomings, and difficulties in this life whether brought on by our own bad actions or just from living in this world have been nailed on the cross and paid for by the blood of Jesus. We don’t need more money we need more understanding of Jesus. We don’t need more rules we need more understanding of Jesus. We don’t need more political regulations we need more understanding of Jesus. We do not need more faith; we need less of us in our face. We do not need more of anything other than a fuller understanding of Jesus and His love for us. Colossians 1:9-23 needs to be read and read and read until it becomes a part of your personal understanding. Paul prayed this over the Colossians, pray this over you.
Notice that being knit together in love comes before attaining all riches and fullness of understanding. The Greek word SUMBABAZO was used in Ephesians 4:16 and translated as “compacted” in KJV. Allow the word of God to “compact” us together to the point that believers are inseparable from each other as we all have “Christ in us”. Our brothers and sisters in the Lord should come first in our lives over self. This can only happen as each believer truly becomes a believer of the gospel of Christ and not just a partial believer still working legalisms for righteousness, and comes to the understanding that Jesus is in each of us.
Verse 3, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” is the accumulative fruit of verses 1&2 fulfilled. As humans we tend to put so much focus on the have or have not of life, that we miss the depth that Godly wisdom and knowledge can offer. Everything we need has been given to us spiritually according to Ephesians 1:3. This wisdom and knowledge goes far beyond the short sightedness of just salvation that Christians tend to focus on. If you look at the nine spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit that are found in 1 Corinthians 12 it is clear that wisdom and knowledge were written first for a reason. Godly wisdom and knowledge is the foundation of everything we need while living here on earth. Why would we need wisdom, knowledge, faith, or any other spiritual gift once we are in heaven in the presence of our Lord? The Spiritual gifts are for us today while here on earth. Although some people seem to have larger depths of Godly wisdom and knowledge than others, a person by themselves can only grasp a limited understanding. Collectively however, we can learn and grow together and this is what Paul is trying to help the Colossians understand. Our walk as Christians has far more ramifications than just each individual’s personal understanding and knowledge of God. Remember that Paul is combatting Gnosticism which leans heavily toward each individual’s mental ascent over the collective support and faith of several like-minded believers coming together for a single purpose.
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