For the last few months in our Sunday morning worship gatherings, we have been making our way through the book of Colossians. For me this study has been both encouraging and challenging. I trust your time in this great book has been likewise. In this epistle, Paul provides great encouragement through his teaching on the deity of Christ, our new life in Christ, and God’s qualification of the Church. All of this is revealed in the first two chapters of Colossians. In chapter three, Paul’s instruction takes a familiar turn. Just as he does in many of his other letters, Paul begins to review what is expected of us, because of what has been done for us (reconciliation with the holy God). As some have said, “after reminding us of the indicatives, Paul gives us the imperatives.” Make no mistake, this is not an attempt to “pay back” God, for this can never be done. What Paul gives us in Colossians 3-4 is a reminder of how we are to live because of whose we are.
This week’s text, Colossians 3:15-17, is a great reminder of how we are able to live in a new way because of what Christ has done for us. Furthermore, Paul reminds us of the ultimate importance of the “word of Christ” dwelling in us. Obviously, this letter is written to the church at Colossae and meant to be shared with nearby churches in Laodicea and Hierapolis (Colossians 4:13). Yet, in order for any true church to function as God designed it, each individual must heed this instruction to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” The Word must be central in our church.
Currently, they are many issues that are being debated in the Church generally and specifically in the Southern Baptist Convention. Much of the discussion has turned ugly in recent weeks and resembles competing political parties more than brothers and sisters in Christ. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm in a world dominated by social media and its lack of accountability. Given this scenario, it is absolutely necessary, as Christians, that we heed the command in Colossians to make the word of Christ, central in our life. Indeed, if we have been made alive together with Christ and know that God has triumphed over the world through Christ (Colossians 2:13-15), then our desire will certainly be for that Word to dwell in us richly! This, my brothers and sisters, will make all the difference.
This space does not allow me to adequately cover the meaning of these powerful words of Scripture (Colossians 3:15-17), but we will make that attempt Sunday morning. I am hopeful that you will make it your priority to be present for our continued study of Colossians. I am trusting in God’s promise that He will accomplish the purpose for which he sends out His great word (Isaiah 55:11)! May we be faithful in our obedience. I am grateful for each of you and look forward, with great anticipation, to our worship on Sunday!
For His Glory,