Our fellowship group has finally finished our Colossians study today. This is our second time studying this epistle, and these words remain as rich as ever.
I was particularly amazed by these truths communicated by Paul here, that
- We have a hope laid up in heaven (1:5)
- The Christ in us individually and corporately is the hope of glory (1:27)
- We are to pray unceasingly first and foremost for God’s kingdom (1:6), for the church and one another, for open doors and opportunities (4:2-3)
- We are now citizens of another kingdom, for we have been transferred from the domain to darkness to kingdom of His beloved Son (1:12-13).
- We should set our mind on things above. It does not mean that we live as passive exiles but active participants of His mission.
- Not only should we ask for wisdom to discern empty philosophies or teaching, we are also to be aware of carving self-made religion or asceticism ourselves. This reminds of Eugene Peterson’s quotes from Eat This Book, “Pretentious language is just a violation of sacred text. We use them to keep others out of our neighbourhood.”
- Similar to Galatians 3, in Christ, all our earthly status are only temporary. Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman… Christ is all, and in all.
- Christ has disarmed all worldly rulers and authorities. We partake of the same victory.
- It is God who opens door and it is God who helps us to proclaim clearly (4:3-4).
- We are to walk in wisdom, not just to speak in wisdom (4:3).
- We are to redeem our time and to make the most out of every opportunity.
- Our speech ought to be gracious and seasoned with salt.
- The brotherhood Paul and his brothers share shows the real “we live together; we die together; and we shall rise together” in humility and trust.
- “Remember my chains. Grace be with you” – what a way to end the letter. Remember my chains! How often do we remember our brothers and sisters, including those whom we do not know but are suffering in others part of the world?
Nevertheless, the two truths that I cherish the most are the cosmic lordship of Jesus Christ and our union with Christ.
The cosmic lordship of Jesus Christ: The Lord is the Lord of all creation. He is before all things and in him all things hold together. That’s why fullness can only be found in Him. In the epistle, Paul lays out step by step how Jesus Christ is the lord over all creation, and the lord over the church (especially in the first half of Chapter 3: putting off our old self and putting on our new self), and the lord over a household (in the second half of Chapter 3)
Our union with Christ: We are united in Christ with a new identity. We have died with Christ and been raised with Christ just as symbolised by baptism. Only by understanding this can we truly also experience the union of saints in Christ. Paul’s oneness with his co-labours testifies about this.