Thursday, September 20, 2007

Colossians, Chapter 1

We finally get to the last book on our journey of eating potato chips with God and I cannot be more excited. Just in going through these previous three books, especially Philippians most recently, I feel like Christ has really spoken to my heart and is teaching me some things I desperately needed to learn. Here again in Colossians we see Paul under house arrest, but he was writing to the church in Colosse, which is in modern day Turkey. The church there was under pressure by a local sect called the Gnostics that was undermining the work of Christ's gospel. What Paul writes is basically a treatise defending and proving the supremacy of Christ and how we can honor Him.

"9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." – Colossians 1:9-12

God's power is the ultimate strength, and I love the compassion we see here from Paul. He truly shows a Christlike attitude by taking this burden of prayer upon himself not only for this church, but all the churches he visited. It is a testament to the power of prayer that we see here in these verses. We also see again God's strength and mercy in that we can rely on Him for all things, and that we indeed have to rely on Him for all things. We cannot save ourselves, but we are only saved by His grace.

"17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." – Colossians 1:17-20

What better way is there to talk about the supremacy of Christ? In this one paragraph Paul sums up the entire argument for Christ and says all that needs to be said about Him. In the following paragraph we see how we are separated from Christ and why, but in this we see that lamenting is unnecessary because we still have hope and faith in Christ. We are reconciled in His blood.

Let's look at the Old Testament for the moment just to see the difference of how we are reconciled of our sins. Back in Old Testament days on the day of atonement you had to bring an absolutely pure, without blemishes animal to be sacrifices on the altar. The blood had to be poured out and you were cleaned, but it was a process that had to be repeated. Now imagine doing this for all the Israelites at the time. Even if it was as few as 50,000 people that's still a lot of animal carcasses, and this is in the middle of the desert. Plus you still have to go out and find these animals, as they didn't exactly have a Wal-Mart with which to pick up sacrificial turtle doves.

Can you see how man's attempt at reconciliation falls so horribly short then? This is why we need Christ! We are reconciled by His blood, and it is a binding reconciliation that cannot be taken away under any circumstances. We only need to ask Him for it and believe in the power of His name! How much simpler can that be, yet people try to make Him more complex and make salvation that much more difficult. This is the most basic thing we need to take from the message of Christ.


  1. If Christ reconciles all things, why do some still reject Him?
  2. How do you share the burden of prayer for those you care about?
  3. What was Christ's motivation in simplifying matters in the way that he did?

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