Colossians 2:1-7: Five Ways to Encourage Strong Faith
July 3, 2019
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
1 Chronicles 5-6, Psalm 126, Luke 7:36-50, Colossians 2:1-7
Paul is concerned that the Colossian Christians stay committed to Christ and do not wander off into false teaching. How to do that? How to ensure that we stay believing the right things and doing the right things? How to show them that what they have already believed about Christ is what they need to stay with – rather than drift off into something new and different, which the false teachers were trying to encourage them to do? Here are 5 ways.
First, Paul tells them what his goal is. It is sometimes easy to think that someone has nefarious intentions or is not wanting your true best, and so Paul is clear with the Colossians regarding what he is aiming for. He wants them encouraged in heart and united in love. Make that your goal when you are ministering to other people. Don’t tear them down. Encourage them. Don’t divide them. Unite them.
Second, he continues to elevate Christ in their eyes. He wants them united in love so that they may know the mystery of Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” If they could truly grasp that Christ is all they need – for in him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge – then they would not drift off into any false teaching. Christ is what they need, for he has everything they need and more. In all your ministry with other people, ensure that your goal is to make Christ massive in their eyes. Elevate him, and you will lift them as they center their lives upon him.
Third, he encourages them. If you are about to warn someone, it is wise to point out what you can that is good about what God is doing in their lives. He says that he delights “to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.” It is easy sometimes to think that other people know what they are doing which is good, and need only to have pointed out to them how they can improve. But make sure that you affirm what is good, encourage it, so that you can also teach what could be better.
Fourth, he then gives them clear instruction – an instruction which in many ways is the heartbeat of this book. “Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him.” This is what the Colossians needed to remember. As they have received him, so they should continue to live in him. The way on in the Christian life is the way in. Their faith needs to be strengthened, as they were taught, but all they have need of is found in Christ and faith in him.
Fifth, he encourages them to overflow with thankfulness. A great remedy to forgetting that we have all we need in Christ is to overflow with praise and thanksgiving for Christ. Take some time today to praise Jesus for who he is. Perhaps play a YouTube version of “In Christ Alone” and sing to it — or some other hymn to Jesus that you love. Sing it. Thank God for all he has given you in Christ.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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