Can you identify? We have two choices. Either draw into ourselves or look toward Christ. With more time at home, let’s take advantage of this season to draw close to Christ.
In Philippians that immediately precedes Colossians, Paul explained how Christ was our heart (life & emotions), mind (head & intellect), soul (goal & spirit) and strength (actions & behavior) that parallels Christ's Great Commandment to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Colossians explains how to practically love God with our whole being by putting Christ first.
1. Pray to Know God's Will
Paul thanked God when he heard about their faith in Christ, love for believers, and hope of heaven. They heard about the gospel, which is God's grace and the word of truth producing fruit. They continually asked God for the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and understanding to live worthy lives that pleased the Lord. They bore fruit in every good work, grew in God's knowledge, and strengthened in His glorious might with great endurance and patience. They joyfully gave thanks to the Father who qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. God rescued them from the domain of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son with redemption and forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:1-14). Pray to know God's will so you can to bear fruit, grow spiritually, and experience full redemption with sins forgiven.
2. Exalt Christ as Lord Over Every Authority
Jesus is the image of the invisible God by whom all things were created in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, powers, rulers or authorities. All things were created by Him and for Him. He was before all things and in Him all things held together. He is head of the body, the church, supreme over everything. God's fullness dwelt in Christ. He reconciled to Himself all things on earth and heaven by making peace through His shed blood on the cross. Paul proclaimed the gospel to every creature and reconciled them through Christ's death to be holy, unblemished, and without accusation (Colossians 1:15-23). Exalt Christ as Lord over every authority and reconcile them to God by proclaiming His death.
3. Admonish and Teach the Gospel
Paul took up Christ's sufferings for the sake of His body, the church. God commissioned Paul to present the word of God in its fullness so Gentiles would understand Christ as the hope of glory within every believer. They proclaimed Him, admonished, and taught everyone with all wisdom for completion in Christ (Colossians 1:24-29). Admonish and teach the gospel with all wisdom to present everyone complete in Christ.
4. Discover Wisdom and True Knowledge
Paul desired everyone know Christ where all treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. He taught them to be rooted and built up in Christ for the strengthening of their faith that overflowed with thanksgiving. They were to reject hollow and deceptive philosophy that depended on human tradition and worldly principles instead of Christ (Colossians 2:1-8). Be rooted and built up in Christ to discover wisdom and true knowledge while rejecting deceptive human philosophy.
5. Disarm Demonic Powers and Authorities
The fullness of Deity lived in bodily form through Christ. God gave them Christ’s fullness as head over every power and authority. After disabling the flesh by Christ's death, they were buried and raised with Him by faith in God's power who raised Jesus from the dead. He forgave sin and cancelled man-made regulations by nailing them to the cross. The cross disarmed powers and authorities (Colossians 2:9-15). Consider your identification with Christ's death, burial and resurrection by trusting in His Spirit to disarm demonic powers and authorities.
6. Reject False Humility
They found reality in Christ, not what they ate, drank or through religious festivals. They rejected false humility and worship of angels to prevent disqualification of the prize. An unspiritual mind puffed up with idle notions makes one lose connection with Christ as Head and opportunity for spiritual growth (Colossians 2:16-19). Find reality in Christ and reject false humility that puffs you up with idle notions.
7. Refuse Legalistic Commands
Believers died to worldly commands like "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" They had appearance of wisdom with self-imposed worship. Their false humility and harsh treatment of the body lacked value to restrain sensual indulgence (Colossians 2:20-23). Don’t obey legalistic commands for harsh treatment of the body since they can't restrain sensual indulgence.
I will make it my priority to be rooted and built up in Christ to discover wisdom and knowledge while rejecting deceptive human philosophies:
1. I will pray to know God's will to bear spiritual fruit and experience full redemption while I reject powerless legalistic commands
2. I will live out the true reality of Christ as I proclaim His death to reconcile every authority to Him and reject false humility
3. I will identify with Christ as I admonish and teach the gospel with all wisdom until I can present everyone complete in Christ