About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Chapter 2:1 - 5
Labour For The Church - continued
In verse 1
Paul says again that he is struggling for the Colossians and also for those at Laodicea.
was just one town away from Colossee.
You may remember
goes on to say that he is struggling for all who had not yet personally met him.
Here again, the text seems to suggest that Paul had not yet personally
met those in Colossee. We see Paul's very strong desire to preach the gospel to
all he could.
verse 2 Paul states his purpose for those in Colosse, Laodicea, and all those who had not yet personally met him.
It was to encourage them to be united in love.
Paul understood the community of Christ to be in fact the literal Body of
Christ on earth.
Christ's body only effectively functions with unity based on love.
also wanted his readers "to have full riches of complete
For Paul, and it should be for us too, understanding was important.
We see that for Paul understanding was a matter of richness.
Do we view understanding in terms of richness?
I don't think our modern western church views knowledge and understanding
to be important, let alone rich.
they may know the mystery of God", Paul says next.
In context, what Paul is saying here is that once we begin to understand
we can begin to know the mystery of God.
It's my thinking that without knowledge that leads to understanding, we
will not know what the mystery of God is let alone know that mystery.
rest of verse 2 and verse 3 tells us just what the mystery of God is.
It's Jesus, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Paul phrases this is to speak directly to the false teaching that was attempting
to influence the believers.
Again, the false teaching was a form of, or the beginning stages, of what
is called Gnosticism.
This false teaching stated that God could not come in contact with evil
men so He created a host of angelic beings to separate Him from us.
The most important of these created beings was Jesus, who in fact was not
the real Jesus because He was never created.
Those holding to this viewpoint believed they gained special knowledge,
understanding, and wisdom from these angels.
What Paul says here refutes that.
He says real knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, are hidden in Jesus,
and without knowing Jesus, one cannot obtain this knowledge, understanding, and
things are not found in angels.
They're found in Jesus and Jesus alone.
verse 4 Paul says, "I tell you this so that no one can deceive you with
Again, Paul was speaking against Gnosticism, or at least its predecessor
that was presenting itself in Colosse.
Those holding to Gnostic type thinking might have had fine sounding
teaching and arguments, but fine sounding doesn't constitute truth.
There are many teachers today who can eloquently preach and teach fine
sounding things, and, there are many who follow these people at their peril.
closes this section by saying that even though he is not with these people in
the flesh; he is with them in spirit.
We should not make this statement an overly spiritual statement and make
more of it than what Paul intended.
Paul does not have any ability to be with these people in some mystical
spiritual way. In
one sense of the word, we are all united in the Spirit as Christians.
That does not mean we are like ghosts and can see into another city’s
church gathering and spy on them.
Paul is simply saying that we are all united with Christ in and by His
Spirit, and in his heart, he feels as if he is with them, even though he is not.
The way Paul phrased this would certainly catch the attention of those
holding to Gnostic views.
Paul is even sounding a bit new age here.
It's not that he is a new age style Christian.
I believe he is simply using terminology and phrases that would catch the
attention of Gnostics who would use similar terms themselves.
goes on to say how he delights to see how orderly these people are.
They are not flakey, over spiritual Gnostics.
Like Paul, they were down to earth, real people who trusted their lives
with Jesus, as he says as he closed this section.
There faith was in Jesus, and that was the real Jesus, not the Gnostic
Jesus who was a created being.