Reading for Monday, Aug. 13: Colossians 1
I love this chapter for several reasons. First, I love what Paul says about the gospel, how it is bearing fruit in his day “and growing throughout the whole world” (v6). This declaration continues today as the power of the Good News is continuing to be unleashed in every corner of God’s earth. I also love the demonstration of spiritual discipline here: “Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you,” (v9). “Live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father…” (v10-12). Paul’s heart of prayer is disciplined, lifting these brothers up continually. And the content of this prayer is that they might live the kind of lives that bear fruit, that declare to the world the power of God, lives brimming over with Good News.
I also love this chapter for the information Paul gives us about Jesus. Some of the highest Christology in the New Testament comes here: “The Son is the image of the invisible God,” (v15). If we want to see God, look to Jesus. “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth…all things have been created through him and for him,” (v16). Everything was created by Jesus, for Jesus, through Jesus. It’s all about Him. “And he is the head of the body, the church,” (v18). The church is his bride, his treasure. A high ecclesiology flows from a high Christology. “He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy,” (v18). As surely as Jesus was raised, so, too will His followers be raised. “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,” (v19). The fullness of God rests in Christ. Again, in Jesus, we have seen the fullness of God’s love.
Now, through Jesus, we stand reconciled before God, “without blemish and free from accusation” (v22). This only occurs, though, THROUGH Christ. He is the essential mediator on our behalf. We are incapable of approaching God on our own; we need Him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. “This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant,” (v23). And this is the Gospel we proclaim, too.