Colossians 2:1-7 (ESV)
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, 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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Paul was always concerned with the people he had met, and more concerned with those whom he had not yet met. I think since he had heard rumors of false teachings and vain philosophies which distract believers from the truth about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he is warning the church here to avoid those things.
His admonition to stick with the faith they had been taught, abounding with thanksgiving is good advice that can be applied to us as well. We have many distractions available to us, but especially the false teachers that slip into the church and corrupt the Gospel. We must be constantly be on our guard against things that sound good, but are actually poison.
As pastor Rob spoke yesterday, Jesus promised us trouble in this world. So any prosperity doctrine which claims that if we just believe this, or give that, we will have success and God will bless us is a perfect example of the falsehoods that we need to steer clear of.
God wants to, and does bless us, but He has not yet taken us out of this sinful world. He has not promised us a rose garden life. The trouble that comes from those who hate God and all who follow Him, will certainly come to us if we are living for Christ Jesus. This world is changing, and the speed at which it is doing so is increasing.
We must certainly be on our guard even more now than we had to be in the past. It will get worse before it gets better. But we can take heart. Just as Jesus promised that as people hated Him, they would hate us if we are in Him, He also promised that if we stay committed to Him, we would receive a just reward. I don’t know about you, but I don’t worry so much about rewards in this life, but I am definitely looking forward to the next [eternal] life that we get to have with God.
May the peace of Christ be with us all. May we continue to seek His face and bring glory and honor to Him.
by Virgil Stripes