Colossians 2:1-5 - "It's All About Christ!" - Part Five
"I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is." - Colossians 2:1-5
It is vitally important in sports that you keep your eye on the ball, the puck, or the birdie, so that you can take it where you want it to go; in the net, in the hole, in the hoop, across the goal, through the uprights. The determining factor between being winning or losing in the fields of competition is keyed on the ability of the athletes to keep their eyes on that which is most important. If you take your eyes off the ball and are unable to find it then you are no longer in control.
In a similar way, it is vitally important in your walk with the Lord to keep your eyes on Jesus. "It's All About Christ!" is a trustworthy phrase that keeps us focused on Jesus. I believe that Paul's teaching in Colossians 2:1-5 encourages us to keep our focus on the Lord for two reasons. First, we focus on Jesus because He is worthy. Second, we focus on Jesus so that we will not be deceived by fine-sounding arguments.
In Colossians 2:1-3 Paul encouraged us to focus on Jesus because He is worthy. He wanted his readers to come to a complete understanding of Christ because in Him is found all wisdom and knowledge. There is none who can compare to Jesus. No one was greater wisdom. No one was greater knowledge. The writer of the book of Hebrews put it this way, "Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
One outcome of our focus on Christ will be that our love for Jesus will overflow from us and influence all of our relationships. He will encourage our hearts. When our hearts are encouraged by Christ then we walk by faith and not by sight. This means that we are so secure in His love for us that we can trust in Him completely even though outwardly our world may be falling apart. We can stand strong on the promise found in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Paul wrote that Jesus will unite us with others by His love. Now, we have the same values and convictions which are to bring glory to Christ. Our love for Jesus brings us into the family of God and unites us as blood relatives.
We can see how valuable the mystery of God is. Paul used the terms "full riches" and "all the treasures" to describe "complete understanding" and "wisdom and knowledge." These items are priceless and should be valued highly. These items are found only in Christ. No other mindset, teaching, or philosophy can compare in value.
Paul encouraged us to focus on Jesus so that we will not be deceived by fine-sounding arguments in Colossians 2:4-5. Apparently, the false teachings and heresies were attacking so strongly the Colossian church that Paul needed to bring the antidote which is to focus on Jesus.
It is interesting that when we focus on Jesus our hearts are encouraged and we are united in His love with others. But, the moment we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on the problems of life around us then we become discouraged in heart and become polarized by disunity. This makes us vulnerable to the deceit of the enemy. The enemy then comes with fine-sounding arguments to explain why our world around us is falling apart.
The origin of the fine-sounding arguments goes back to the Garden of Eden as seen in Genesis chapter three. The serpent planted the seed of doubt in Eve's heart with the question, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'" Eve's mistake was that she listened to the serpent as if he had her best interest in his heart and as if he were God's equal. Who was the serpent that he should question the Creator?
We live in a fallen world that deals with the consequences of sin. As believers, we will experience heartache, illness, and even death. The world will present its explanations and philosophies of life in effort to show a "better way," a way of "enlightenment." But, who can have the answers to life that are better than Christ, the One "in whom are hidden the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"?
Here is a solid biblical test to see whether or not a philosophy or teaching is true. Ask this two-part question: "Does this teaching agree with God's Word and does it bring glory to Jesus Christ?" The philosophies and teachings of humanity may sound intriguing and they may draw the conclusions that you want to hear. But, that does not mean that they are proclaiming truth. Hold up the fine-sounding arguments in the light of Truth and you will see them exposed as heresy.
Paul wrote that he was struggling for the believers to know the mystery of God who is Jesus Christ. I do not believe that this struggle was aimed at directing them to start focusing their lives on Jesus because he complimented them for being "orderly" and "firm" in their faith. I believe that Paul labored to keep the believers focused on Christ so that they can stand firm in the midst of daily spiritual attacks.
It has been told that some reporters where interviewing the wife of the famed scientist Albert Einstein. As the story goes, they asked her to explain her husband's theory of relativity. Supposedly she replied, "I don't understand it. But, I do know Albert and if he says it's true then it's true." There are times when we feel incompetent to stand against the world's "fine-sounding arguments." But, our best defense is not our ability to articulate our beliefs but rather to keep our focus on the Truth, Jesus Christ, and to live a life that honors Him. In other words, "I may not understand your argument but I know Jesus and He is the One who has all wisdom and knowledge."
We are being directly to live our lives based on the theme of our study of Colossians: "It's All About Christ!" When we focus on Jesus then we will be encouraged in heart, united in love, and equipped to stand firm from the deceit of the enemy. When our focus goes off of the Lord then we become discouraged, divided, and susceptible to "fine-sounding arguments." The antidote is to examine our hearts honestly and to recommit our focus to Jesus. We can then follow Paul's example found in Philippians 3:13-14, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Let's pray.
Dear Jesus, I commit my heart, mind, soul, and strength to you. Help me to focus daily on you, my Savior and Lord. Teach me your Truth so that I can stand firm in your love and bring you glory. Amen.
For You to Consider
- List three reasons why you may become discouraged in heart and then state how Jesus can bring encouragement.
- What are some causes for disunity in the body of Christ? How can being focused on Jesus bring unity?
- Why do the "fine-sounding" arguments tempt believers?
- What must you do to come to a "complete understanding" of "the mystery of God, namely, Christ"?
- What must you do to keep the focus of your heart and mind on Jesus Christ?
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