I'm finding myself very caught up in Colossians at the moment. It is so very full of what it means in practice to rejoice in the supremacy of Christ, day by day, actually in our lives.
Paul gives a great summary of the task of leaders at the end of ch1 and start of ch 2 - labouring to present everyone mature in Christ, so that they are encouraged in heart, united in love and have full riches of understanding in order to know Christ in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Wow! Just read that again - or better still with a Bible open.
You see what he says? Do you want to be encouraged in heart? Get to know Christ. United in love? Christ. Do want treasures of wisdom and knowledge? You only get them from Christ. Its not just that he imparts them, he is them.
So the obvious question he then needs to answer is "how do we live in Christ then?" Which is exactly where he goes next in 2:6-7. Just as you received Christ, continue to live in him. How do we do that?
- make sure you are rooted in him and not any other soil
- make sure you are being built up in him and not some other philosophy or competing worldview
- make sure you are strengthened in the faith as you were taught, not some other gospel or different teaching
- make sure you are constantly overflowing with thankfulness rather than letting the good news become over-familiar and not a constant cause of joy
He spends the rest of the chapter exploring three things that might distract us or tempt us not to continue to live in Christ, and why each is wrong:
- some hollow or deceptive philosophy for how to deal with sin, other than Christ (v8-17)
- false claims of super-spiritual experience for real first class Christians (v18-19)
- seemingly wise (but actually powerless) religious duty that seems to offer freedom from temptation through man-made rules (v20-21)
I will walk through these in following posts