God’s Saving Word: Love
Colossians 1:24—2:5: Paul describes how he has suffered for the sake of the gospel and affirms that his task, as a servant of the church, is to proclaim God’s message. He warns the Colossians not to let anyone deceive them with false arguments. Inasmuch as Paul states that he has also worked “for the people in Laodicea” (2:1), it is believed that his letter to the Colossians was meant to be read by the church in Laodicea as well, as noted at the end of the letter in 4:15, 16. Laodicea, a city in Asia Minor, was located about twelve miles west of Colossae.
Paul’s Work as a Servant of the Church
24 And now I am happy about my sufferings for you, for by means of my physical sufferings I am helping to complete what still remains of Christ’s sufferings on behalf of his body, the church. 25 And I have been made a servant of the church by God, who gave me this task to perform for your good. It is the task of fully proclaiming his message, 26 which is the secret he hid through all past ages from all human beings but has now revealed to his people. 27 God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. 28 So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. 29 To get this done I toil and struggle, using the mighty strength which Christ supplies and which is at work in me.
2 Let 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. 2 I 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. 3 He is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge.
4 I tell you, then, do not let anyone deceive you with false arguments, no matter how good they seem to be. 5 For 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.
Today’s Key Verse: Colossians 2:5b
[Paul writes:] I am glad as I see the resolute firmness with which you stand together in your faith in Christ.
What is the “secret” that Paul mentions in 1:26-27? What are your thoughts about being the recipient of this secret? What does Paul say is the source of his strength? How does Paul describe Christ in 2:3? In what ways does Christ give you strength?
Lord Jesus, thank you for the mighty strength that you provide and which is at work in me. In whatever struggles I may face, I know that you are there to help and guide me. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Colossians 2:6-19: The apostle Paul reminds the Colossians to remain united in Christ.