God’s Renewing Word of Love
Colossians 2:1-19: The apostle Paul warns the Colossians not to let anyone deceive them with false arguments. He encourages them to remain strong in faith, rooted in Christ Jesus, and to set their hearts and minds on the things of heaven, putting aside earthly desires. The opening verse mentions that Paul has also worked for the people in Laodicea, which was located about twelve miles west of Colossae. It is believed that Paul’s letter to the Colossians was meant to be read by the church in Laodicea as well.
1Let me tell you how hard I have worked for you and for the people in Laodicea and for all others who do not know me personally. 2I do this in order that they may be filled with courage and may be drawn together in love, and so have the full wealth of assurance which true understanding brings. In this way they will know God’s secret, which is Christ himself. 3He is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge.
4I tell you, then, do not let anyone deceive you with false arguments, no matter how good they seem to be. 5For even though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I am glad as I see the resolute firmness with which you stand together in your faith in Christ.
Fullness of Life in Christ
6Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. 7Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving.
8See to it, then, that no one enslaves you by means of the worthless deceit of human wisdom, which comes from the teachings handed down by human beings and from the ruling spirits of the universe, and not from Christ. 9For the full content of divine nature lives in Christ, in his humanity, 10and you have been given full life in union with him. He is supreme over every spiritual ruler and authority.
11In union with Christ you were circumcised, not with the circumcision that is made by human beings, but with the circumcision made by Christ, which consists of being freed from the power of this sinful self. 12 For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ through your faith in the active power of God, who raised him from death. 13 You were at one time spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were Gentiles without the Law. But God has now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave us all our sins; 14 he canceled the unfavorable record of our debts with its binding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross. 15And on that cross Christ freed himself from the power of the spiritual rulers and authorities; he made a public spectacle of them by leading them as captives in his victory procession.
16 So let no one make rules about what you eat or drink or about holy days or the New Moon Festival or the Sabbath. 17All such things are only a shadow of things in the future; the reality is Christ. 18Do not allow yourselves to be condemned by anyone who claims to be superior because of special visions and who insists on false humility and the worship of angels. For no reason at all, such people are all puffed up by their human way of thinking 19 and have stopped holding on to Christ, who is the head of the body. Under Christ’s control the whole body is nourished and held together by its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God wants it to grow.
Today’s Key Verse: Colossians 2:6
Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him.
According to verse 3, how does Paul describe Christ? What does this verse teach you about Christ? In today’s reading, what warnings does Paul give? Are there messages in the world today that attempt to lure people away from the life that God offers through Christ Jesus? Reread verses 11-15. What good news does Paul convey?
Lord Jesus, I have accepted you as my Lord and Savior. You give meaning to my life. Keep me rooted in you, and strengthen my faith each day as I live to serve you. Amen.
And now, join us in praying for the people in the Arabian Peninsula who are meeting Jesus through Scripture: Sovereign God, thank you that through the generosity of Bible Society donors, Bibles and Christmas booklets, in eleven different languages, were distributed this past December throughout the Arabian Peninsula, so that people will learn who Jesus is in their heart language and come to know the hope that Jesus Christ brings. Bless these efforts and may they bear much good fruit. Amen.
Colossians 2:20—3:4: The apostle Paul discusses dying and living with Christ.