Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
LIBERATING FAITH FROM CORRUPTION
Colossians 1: 24-29
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)
First century Colossae was in an ideological upheaval with multiple philosophical streams flowing into it. The believers in Christ were in danger of syncretism – a term for the mixing together of various religions,
ideas, beliefs and practices. They were fond of mingling the truths of the Christian faith with incompatible ideas of the surrounding non-Christian culture. The result was predictably devastating! Some believers were drawn into extreme forms of legalism. Others abused their freedom in Christ and slipped into sexual immorality. The Colossian congregation was mired by debates and divisions. The message of the Gospel was compromised and the witness of the Church tarnished.
Paul’s purpose in writing this letter from his prison cell in Rome around AD 61 was to refute and liberate the Christian faith from corruption caused by heretical teachings. He modeled in his ministry what we are to focus on as well today.
1. Proclaim the Reality of the Lordship of Christ
Far from accepting an idea of Christ, as another God among many, Paul established earlier in Colossians 1:15-20 that Jesus Christ as God alone and was the pre-eminent Lord of the Universe. The reasons for Christ’s lordship were because He was the Creator of all things, Revealer of God and Head of the Church. In a day of moral and philosophical relativism in society it is vital to declare like Paul that JESUS CHRIST is the only LORD and SAVIOR worthy of our honor, worship and obedience.
2. Proclaim the Experience of the Indwelling Christ
In verse 26, the apostle used the word “mystery” but he gave it a new meaning. The mystery of God’s saving purpose to include Gentiles was largely hidden from them in the Old Testament. That mystery has become an open secret with the coming of Jesus, the Messiah who is Savior of all. Only believers in Christ can richly understand and experience this revealed mystery. The indwelling Christ (“Christ in you”) is God Himself indwelling every believer in His very person and power. That glorious reality gives believers the hope of eternal life who is the all-sufficient Savior (verse 27).
3. Proclaim the Pursuit of Maturity in Christ
In verse 28, Paul gives the perfect antidote to false teaching from corrupting the believer’s faith journey. Our task is to keep admonishing/warning and teaching/instructing “with all wisdom”. Our scope is every person. Our ultimate goal is to present every person mature in Christ. Therefore, we must strive to develop every spiritual babe to adulthood in Christ. This is why Christian Education is not optional in the ministry of the Church!
Prayer: Lord, God help us to learn to defend the faith that you once and for all gave to your people. Amen
Rev. Dr. T.V. Thomas, Director, Centre for Evangelism & World Mission, Canada