Posted by: The Simple Guy | September 17, 2014

The Main Thing:

Col 2:1-3
(1) For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face,
(2) that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,
(3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

 

I have been thinking over these three verses for the last couple of days.  The first verse seemed almost self-serving, or overly dramatic at first.  Paul wanted them to know how much he was struggling for them, even though they had never met??  If I wrote you a letter like that, what would you think of me?  But what he really says here is I want you to know the importance or priority of the struggle I have for you.  This corporate struggle, contest, or endeavor we are involved in as the family of Christ is the priority over everything.

The fact that it is corporate, and singular (together, and not our own separate struggles) is apparent in verse 2.  The word “encouraged” is a verb form of paraklete (the word used for comforter – see my post on 2 Corinthians 1)  It is to come along side, for help, or even for rescue.  The phrase “being knit together” is one word that means to come together and walk side by side.

For what purpose?  To reach some specific riches.  What are they?  Absolute certainty of understanding and knowledge of God’s (revealed) mystery. Namely Christ.

That’s a mouthful, let’s unpack it a little.

Understanding is the word “synesis” and means literally “to flow together”.  Has the idea of a train of thought or thought process.  Things fit together.

Knowledge in this case is “epignosis”  a compound “upon” and “know”  I means to recognize or to realize.  It is the “aha!”

So in this case, we gain riches as our thoughts flow to a recognition of Christ.  Not just a mental assent to specific facts, but the recognition of  “Hey, I know that guy!”

So imagine if the governor of your state walked by, and you suddenly realized, “Hey, I recognize that guy!  I knew him at such and such place, and we got along great!”  Suddenly you realize the riches you have available to you as a friend of the governor!

But this is better than that.  Because Paul is telling us about the mystery here.  Remember?

Col 1:27
(27) To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (emphasis added)

This isn’t someone I know.   This is someone in me, and I am in Him.

Verse 3.  In Him are hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (and He is in me, and I in Him)  But this isn’t my genie in a bottle to wield however I please.  Jesus is here for a reason, doing something intentional.  What is He doing? That is what is referred to as this “great struggle” or supreme contest or endeavor.

So what is this supreme contest?

Paul told us in chapter 1 what Jesus is about.

Col 1:15-22
(15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
(16) For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
(17) And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
(18) And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
(19) For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
(20) and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
(21) And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
(22) he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (emphasis added)

He is redeeming all things to himself.  And the part we play in this, is that He intends to present us holy, blameless, and above reproach to himself.  US.  not ME

This time through Colossians I have been struck by the resources at our disposal.  Jesus the unstoppable is restoring all of creation to Himself.

His glory as the Redeemer is the main point.  He is the Reconciler.  Our reconciliation to Him and to each other is the outward evidence of what He is doing in the world.

This is the supreme contest we have the privilege of sharing in.

Your thoughts?

The Simple Guy

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Responses

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading these emails and am glad you are back doing them. Thank you. I read them while I have down time at work. It’s perfect due to not getting much time outside of work. It helps get my scripture reading in.

    Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:01:45 +0000 To: blessedmom1@live.com

  2. Thanks for the encouragement today Helen,
    Hope you are well. Glad to be an encouragement.
    Haven’t seen you in awhile.
    Stay tuned!!


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