Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Colossae. More specifically, today’s passage begins with the sixth verse of the second chapter and continues through the seventeenth verse of the third chapter. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7).
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:8-15).
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh” (Colossians 2:16-23).
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which. Ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another , if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:5-17).
When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will encounter additional language the apostle Paul wrote unto the Colossian saints—language that bears a strong similarity and connection to the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints. If the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Galatian saints bears a strong similarity in language to that of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome then the epistle written by the apostle unto the Colossian saints closely resembles and mirrors the epistle written unto the saints which were at Ephesus. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this incredible reality for at the very heart of these two epistles is the tremendous reality of the inheritance the saints of God have in Him by and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only this but that inheritance has its foundation in the fact that we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and the blood of the cross. What’s more is we have indeed and have in fact been taken and transferred from the kingdom of darkness unto the kingdom of light by and according to His glorious grace. In the opening chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Ephesus he speaks of God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who is blessed forever and who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings. Before I delve into the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I would like to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in this opening chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints of Ephesus beginning with the third verse:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predstinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:3-14).
If you want to truly understand the words which are found in this particular section of the epistle written unto the Colossians it is necessary to begin in the first chapter and the words the apostle Paul wrote unto these dear saints. Beginning with the third verse of the first chapter the apostle Paul emphatically declared unto these saints how He gave thanks to God and the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ as he prayed always for them. What we must needs recognize and understand is that the source and foundation of his prayers and thanks unto the living God was the faith which they had in the Lord Jesus Christ and the love which they had to all the saints. Although the apostle Paul wasn’t physically present with these saints and was sitting in a prison cell while writing this epistle news and report of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and their love for all the saints had reached his ears. Pause for a moment and consider what it would be like for the apostle Paul to be sitting in a prison cell and to hear of one of the churches he labored and ministered in and how they were flourishing and thriving. The more I think about and consider the epistle written unto the Colossian saints—and not even just this epistle but also the epistle written unto the saints which were at Ephesus and Philippi—the more I am brought face to face with the incredible and tremendous truth that the apostle Paul was writing unto churches who brought great joy to his heart and soul because of their fervent love for all the saints and their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found within this epistle as well as the epistles which were written unto the Ephesian and Philippian saints is that the apostle Paul was writing unto churches whom he received a good report concerning. The apostle Paul heard and received a good report about their well-being and their life in the Lord Jesus Christ—something which is a stark contrast between the reports he received concerning the churches in Galatia and the Corinthian congregation. It is absolutely remarkable and astounding to consider the epistles written by the apostle Paul unto the Ephesian saints, the Philippian saints and the Colossian saints for he not only spoke of that which he heard about their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ but also their relationship with the saints and the brethren. Oh there is something truly astonishing and powerful about this when you think about it for the apostle Paul was writing unto saints who were truly living and acting as the body of Christ. Please note that this isn’t to say that the Corinthian and Galatian churches were in any way inferior to the Ephesian, Philippian and Colossian churches but merely that the epistles which were written unto them were necessary to correct certain errors in thinking or living that were present among them. The Corinthian congregation had divisions, strife, contention, fornication and so much more present among them in their midst while the Galatian church was allowing false teaching and false doctrine attempting to bring legalism and religion into their midst. There were false teachers and false brethren which were present among them who were attempting to bring them into bondage unto religion and legalism through their false teaching and false doctrines.
If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning the epistles which were written unto the saints which were at Colosae, the saints which were at Ephesus and the saints which were at Philippi it’s that the apostle Paul was writing unto churches whom he had personally heard reports of their well-being among the saints and brethren in the earth. In the third verse of the first chapter of this epistle the apostle Paul not only speaks of hearing of their faith in Christ Jesus but also of the love which they had to all the saints. The apostle Paul spoke of this faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the love which they had for all the saints and how at the very heart and center of it is the hope which was laid up for them in heaven which they heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel. This truth of the gospel was that which they heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel which had come unto them as it had in all the world and brought forth fruit among them. How absolutely and incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and consider the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the Colossian saints and how not only were they such who had faith in the Lord Jesus Christ but they were also those who bore much fruit and had a love for all the saints. Oh I have to admit there is something truly powerful about a church and congregation of believers who not only bear much fruit in the earth but who also have an unbridled love toward all the saints. There is something truly remarkable about a church that is truly walking in love one for another—a church that loves their neighbor as themselves and a church that loves the way the apostle Paul spoke of in the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints.
In order to understand this all the more we must needs recognize and understand that while He was still walking among us as the Word made flesh the Lord Jesus not only declared that it would be by our fruits we would be known but it would also be by the love we have one for another. With this being said there is a great need to recognize that love is perhaps the single greatest proof and testimony the saints of God have in the earth among men. When Jesus walked upon the earth—not only did He call and invite us to love our neighbors as ourselves but He also invited us to love our enemies as ourselves. The Lord Jesus Christ did not draw a distinction nor a dividing line between loving our neighbors and loving our enemies and instead commanded us to love both equally without reservation, without hesitation and with equivocation. Oh there is something truly powerful about a group of believers who are not only walking with and following the Lord Jesus Christ but who are also walking with and fellowshipping together with the saints and brethren. In all reality we must needs understand that at the very heart of walking together and fellowshipping with the brethren is loving our neighbor as ourselves just as walking with and following the Lord Jesus is not only loving the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength but also loving the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. I continue to be captivated with and by the awesome and powerful truth that when we made the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus Christ we also made the decision to walk with and fellowship together with the saints and brethren in this life as the corporate body of believers within the earth.
If you continue reading the epistle written unto the Colossian saints you will find the apostle Paul going on to speak of that which he heard about these dear saints and how as a direct result of what he heard he did not cease to pray for them with intense and fervent desire. That which the apostle Paul prayed and desired for these saints was that they would be filled with the knowledge of the will of the Father in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. This is incredibly important for us to recognize and understand for what we find here is a transition into the place where the apostle Paul goes on to speak of their walking worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing as they were fruitful in every good work and increased in the knowledge of the living God. At the very heart and center of the apostle Paul’s writing unto the Colossian saints concerning their walking worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing and being fruitful in every good work was their being filled with the knowledge of His will. Not only this but intrinsically inked and connected to being filled with the knowledge of the will of the Father was all wisdom and spiritual understand. It was Solomon king of Israel who emphatically declared that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and the beginning of the knowledge of the LORD and what we must needs recognize is that there is a great need within our hearts and lives to be those who are filled with the knowledge of the will of the living God with all spiritual understanding and wisdom. It was the apostle Paul who wrote unto the saints which were at Rome beseeching them to present their bodies as living sacrifices which were holy and acceptable. Not only this but the apostle Paul would go on to beseech them to no longer be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds that they might prove what was the good and acceptable will of the Lord.
As you continue reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find the apostle Paul going on to speak of their being strengthened with all might according to the glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. Pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible this is for the apostle Paul seems to link strength and being strengthened with patience. With this being said I would dare say that strength and our being strengthened is intrinsically linked to endurance and patience together in harmony and unity. If you want to truly understand strength we must recognize that it is the joy of the Lord that is our strength and that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Having said this there is also a great need for us recognize that patience and endurance are paramount to our being strengthened by the living God for strength alone isn’t enough. I am absolutely and completely convinced that strength in and of itself is not enough if it is not mirrored together with patience and endurance. Oh when I think about this patience and endurance I can’t help but be reminded of the three Hebrews—Azariah, Hananiah and Mishael—who not only refused to bow down and worship the image of gold made by Nebuchadnezzar but also Daniel who refused to cease praying when Darius the Mede issued a decree that any who prayed to anyone else other than him for thirty days would be cast into the lion’s den. Not only this but I am also reminded of the words which are found in the final portion of the eleventh chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words found in the Old Testament book of Daniel as well as the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews:
“Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, And Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden. Image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Mechasch and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Daniel 3:13-18).
“Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of ruy, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent,and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshac, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellers, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellers, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them” (Daniel 3:19-27).
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into hise house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thierty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the Law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. The answered they and said before the king, That Danile, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, o king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king established may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel” (Daniel 6:10-17).
“Then the king went to his palace, and passed the nigh fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his seleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel. O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den” (Daniel 6:18-24).
“And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subudue kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:32-40).
The apostle Paul spoke of the Colossian saints being strengthened with all might according to the glorious power of the living God unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. Oh it is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found here for at the very source and center of our strength is the power of the living God. What’s more is the power of God at the very center of our strength enables us to be men and women who are patient—and not only patient but also longsuffering. I am convinced that in the day and age in which we are living there is a great need for men and women to be strengthened with all might—and not only strengthened with all might but strengthened according to the glorious power of the living God. Not only this but this glorious power enables us to be men and women who possess an inner patience, longsuffering and endurance as we walk through this life and face each and every challenge that is before us. The apostle Paul diligently desired of the Colossian saints that they were strengthened with might—and not just might but all might according to the glorious power unto all patience, longsuffering and endurance. There is a great need for us to recognize the need for this strength within the depths of our hearts and souls—a strength that originates and comes directly from the glorious power of the most High God and is infused into and upon our hearts and souls by the eternal Spirit of God.
If you continue reading the words which are found in this epistle you will find the apostle transitioning to the work which takes place within the life of the saints of God—a work that begins with the predeterminate will, counsel and plan of the living God. In the twelfth verse of the first chapter the apostle Paul gives thanks unto the Father—not only because He has but also because he continue to makes us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light and has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Moreover the apostle Paul goes on to speak of the saints of God and how they have redemption through the blood of the Lord Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. Not only this but the apostle Paul also goes on to paint an incredible portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ and how he is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature. The apostle Paul goes on to describe how by the Lord Jesus as the eternal Logos all things were created which were in heaven, and which are in the earth—both visible and invisible and whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. The apostle Paul declares how all things were created by Him and for Him and how He was and is before all things and by him all things consist. As if this weren’t enough the apostle Paul also goes on to describe how the Lord Jesus is the head of the body which is the church and is the beginning and firstborn from the dead that in all things he might have the preeminence. Oh stop right there and ask yourself if you are truly willing to live with this reality present within your heart and life. Are you willing to live in the light while also at the same time live in the shadows? It’s interesting that the psalmist declared that he who dwells in the shadow of the Almighty shall abide under His wings—under His care and His protection.
I sit here today thinking about the tremendous reality of the living and eternal Christ and how He is indeed the Light of the world. The eternal and only begotten Son of God the Father is indeed the light of the world and all darkness flees before Him and is expelled and driven back from His presence. With this being said we must needs understand that while we called to walk in the Light and while we are called to be children of the light we are also those who indeed live in the shadow of the Almighty. It is the living God, his eternal Christ and the eternal Spirit who are the light and we have indeed and have in fact been called to live and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who is above all, in all and through all and we have been called to be those who live in the shadow of His light, the shadow of His grace, the shadow of His glory, the shadow of His presence and the shadow of His majesty. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful truth that the God whom we serve with our spirits and with our hearts and souls is indeed Light itself and we have been called to dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Oh how truly wonderful it is to consider the awesome and powerful truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and how He is indeed Light—and not only Light but also the light in which we live and walk.
The eternal and only begotten Son of God the Father is the express image of the invisible God, is the firstborn of those who will be resurrected and raised from the dead, and it pleased the living God that in Him should all the fulness dwell. It was through the Lord Jesus that peace has been made by the blood of His cross that by him all things might be reconciled unto Himself whether they be things in earth or things in heaven. We who were aforetime alienated and enemies in our minds by wicked works have been reconciled in the body of his flesh through death that we might be presented as holy and unblameable and unreproveable in the sight of the living God. With this in mind the apostle Paul spoke unto the Corinthian saints and his desire that they continue in the faith grounded and settled and be no moved away from the hope of the gospel which they heard and which was preached unto every creature in heaven. The apostle Paul earnestly desired that these dear saints would not only be established but also that they would be rooted and grounded in the faith which was preached unto them and the faith which was present within their hearts and their spirits. Oh how truly wonderful it is to think that we can be grounded and settled and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which we have heard preached according to the gospel of the living God. What’s more is that we must needs be those who are willing to not only endure sufferings but also bear up under them as good and faithful soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul spoke of rejoicing in his sufferings for them and that which was behind the afflictions of Christ in his flesh for His body’s sake which was the church. What’s more is the apostle Paul drew a clear connection between the sufferings which were experienced in the flesh and the ministry of the gospel as the apostle Paul recognized that there were indeed times when suffering was directly and intrinsically linked and connected to the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As you continue reading the epistle written unto the Colossian saints you will find the apostle Paul going on to speak of the great conflict he had for them as well as for those who were in Laodicea and as many who had not seen his face in the flesh. The apostle Paul desired that their hearts would be comforted being knit together in love and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father and of Christ. Moreover the apostle Paul goes on to speak of all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in the heart, the mind and the person of the living and eternal God and are revealed unto men. The apostle Paul was careful to speak of this for he was concerned that there would be men who would beguile them with enticing words leading them astray and moving them away from the hope that is in the gospel. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the awesome reality and truth surrounding. The apostle Paul goes on to write unto the Colossian saints concerning his joying and beholding their order and the steadfastness of their faith in Christ. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this awesome and incredible truth surrounding the words which the apostle Paul wrote in this epistle for the apostle Paul was careful to reveal unto the saints in Colossae that they be such who were steadfast and unmoveable in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul desired that the saints of the most high God were such that were rooted and grounded in their faith, in their trust and in their confidence and that they would be entirely and altogether steadfast in their faith.
If you continue reading the words which are found in this epistle you will find the apostle Paul continuing to write unto these dear saints and how as they have received Christ Jesus the Lord so also they were to walk in Him being rooted and built up in him as they were established in the faith. Oh there is a great need to pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words which we see here bring us face to face with the truly awesome and powerful truth concerning us as the saints of God and that we have been called to walk in the Lord Jesus Christ while we are being rooted and built up in Him and are established in the faith. Perhaps one of the greatest questions we must needs ask ourselves when considering these words is whether or not we are those who are walking in the Lord Jesus Christ and are not only being rooted and built up in Him but are also stablished in the faith. If there is one thing that is so absolutely necessary and vital within our hearts and lives it is the establishment of our faith—and not only the establishment of our faith but also the growth and the increase of our faith. With this in mind I am reminded of the words the apostle Peter wrote in the first chapters of both epistles he wrote unto the scattered and suffering saints which were present in the earth. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these passages of Scripture beginning with the third verse of the first chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Peter unto these dear saints:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the powr of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:3-12).
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and previous promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue. Knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged form his old sins. Wherefore the father, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:3-12).
As you continue reading the words found in the epistle written unto the Colossian saints you will find the apostle Paul calling them to beware and to be on guard lest any man spoil them through philosophy and vain deceit after the traditions of men after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ. It is absolutely necessary we pay attention to this for immediately after the apostle Paul speaks of them being aware lest any man spoil them through philopshy and vain deceit and after the tradition of men and the rudiments of the world he goes on to speak of and present the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul spoke of and warned of the dangers against being led astray away and apart from the Lord Jesus Christ and then immediately presents them of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul goes on to write how in Christ dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily and how we are indeed complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power and in who we are circumcised with the circumcision made without human hands in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. Moreover the apostle Paul goes on to describe how we are buried with the Lord Jesus in baptism wherein we are also risen with him through the faith of the operation of God who raised him from the dead. Not only this but we who were dead in our sins and the uncircumcision of our flesh have been quickened together with him having been forgiven all our trespasses. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to know that we have not only been forgiven our trespasses but have been forgiven all our trespasses as we have been crucified and buried with the Lord Jesus Christ. We who were once enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ and we who were once alienated from Him have been made and brought near by and through the blood of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If there is one thing I absolutely love about the words which the apostle Paul wrote in this epistle it’s his presentation of God the Father blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us which were contrary to us and took it out of the way nailing it to the cross. Stop for a moment and think about the long list of charges which were raised against you and the long list of offenses which were brought against you because of your rebellion, your transgression and your sins and iniquities. Stop and consider the truly awesome and powerful truth that surrounds our being those who were enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ and enemies of the divine glory and presence of the living God and yet who were made and brought close unto Him. We who were uncircumcised in our hearts, uncircumcised in our minds, and uncircumcised in our souls were given the circumcision which was not of human hands but was of the very Spirit of the living God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh there was indeed a list of ordinances, crimes and offenses which were raised up against us and we stood guilty before the living God of all our crimes, offenses and deserved judgment and punishment. Much like the woman who was caught in the act of adultery—in the very act—we were guilty of committing treason and trespasses against the living God. There were crimes, offenses, iniquities and trespasses we committed before and against the living God and yet even while we were enemies and alienated we were brought near. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the eighth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, the words which are found in the eighth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome, the words which were found in the fifth chapter of the same epistle as well as the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the second epistle written unto the Corinthian saints:
“Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they said unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger, wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulations worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being not jstufieid by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:1-11).
“There is therefore now no concemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,a nd for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:1-11).
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predstinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-39).
“Wherefore henceforth know we know man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:16-21).
As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary for us to recognize that our old man and our own self was crucified with the Lord Jesus Christ and that we have been buried together with Him in baptism unto death. The apostle Paul wrote that if we are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world we are to longer allow ourselves to be entangled once more in those things which would ensnare and entrap us. If we are and have therefore been risen with Christ we are to seek those things which are above where Christ sits on the right hand of God. The apostle Paul calls us to set our affection—those things we desire and pursue with our hearts and our souls—on things above and not on the things of the earth. If we are indeed dead our life is hid with Christ in God. Not only this but when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall then also appear with Him in glory. With this we have also been called to mortify the members which are upon the earth—fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry. The wrath of God is revealed against all manner of evil and wickedness and we aforetime walked and lived in such a manner and have been called to put off all anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of our mouth and ought not to lie to another. Not only this but we have been called to put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created us—a new man where neither Greek nor Jew matters, where neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, where bond nor free matters but where Christ is all and in all. We as the elect of God which are holy and beloved must put on bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and longsuffering as we forebear one another and forgive one another if any man have a quarrel against us even as Christ forgave us. Oh that we would indeed be those who would be entirely and completely changed and transformed into the image, the nature and the likeness of Christ as old things are passed away and all things are becoming new in the sight of the living God.