Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a very special one. Anyone who reads this letter, will find out there is a strong emphasis on the person of Jesus Christ. The reason for this is very serious. The church at Colossae is threatened by all kinds of false teachings, that resulted in a distortion of the Gospel.
Tempted to relax in dedication
It must have been a heart-breaking situation for Paul the apostle, because – according to 1 Corinthians 2:2 – he “decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” And now – just like the churches in Galatia – while the believers in Colossae have begun with the Spirit, they are tempted to look for spiritual resources and eternal life outside Jesus Christ!
False teachers in the church of the Colossians
Therefore, we read in the first two chapters how Paul tells he is suffering for the sake of the gospel (Colossians 1:24-2:5). Now the Colossians have been confronted to people who teach different gospels (see Galatians 1:6). These false teachers claim to have extraordinary experiences, by which they can come closer to God or even attain a higher spiritual level. They boast in supernatural experiences or disciplines like ascetism. Paul calls it “self-made religion, of no value” (Colossians 2:23).
Jesus and Jesus alone
In order to correct this false teaching, Paul comprehensively describes the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Son of God; by Jesus all things were created; all things were created through Jesus and for Jesus; on the cross, Jesus died for our sins and disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame; Jesus triumphed over Satan and his demons (Colossians 1:15-23; 2:6-15).
Look at Jesus
What Jesus has done has practical implications for the believer’s everyday life. Now they have a relationship with Christ and they are called to set their minds on the things that are above. That means: believers should always look to Jesus and the spiritual resources He provides (Colossians 3:1-4). The life of a Christian is hidden with Jesus in God!
Jesus instead of legal rules
Therefore, no Christian should feel condemned about matters on which God’s Word is not explicit outspoken. What food do you eat? What day do you observe? Paul wants us to answer these questions for ourselves, in dependence of God. He absolutely forbids to make matters of personal conscience a legal rule for every believer. Christians better focus on Jesus and His work. Only then, they can reflect God’s character (Colossians 3:10). Christians can’t do this by merely observing certain rules or laws.
Living in love
People inside and outside the church ought to see that love for Jesus binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14).
Love and thankfulness go hand in hand in the lives of God’s children. It will be shown in their marriages (husbands-wives), raising children (parents-sons/daughters) and work place (servants-masters). Jesus is our only reward. Christians are called to live out of this hope (Colossians 3:18-4:6).
To sum it all up: Jesus, and Jesus Christ alone is the great Creator, the great Savior and the only One who holds the world in His hands. Come to Him for life and if you are a Christian already, continue to live with Him by enjoying His presence and learning from His Word!
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