EXCERPTS FROM THE MINISTRY
HAVING THE ONE WHO IS ALL
In this Epistle Paul seemed to be telling the Colossians, “Why are you so foolish? You have received Christ, the One who is everything. He is the first in the old creation and in the new creation. What need is there for you to take in something else? Why do you worship angels and turn to Gnostic philosophy? Why do you follow the elements of the world? Don’t you know that the very Christ you have received and now possess is everything? He is the Head of all the angels, and you are in Him. In Him you have been made full.”
Chapters two and three reveal that the Colossians had turned to various isms—Gnosticism, mysticism, legalism, and asceticism. These isms are the elements of the world. Because we have the all-inclusive Christ, we do not need isms. We do not need philosophies, theories, and practices, for we have the One who is all in all. Christ is profound. What philosophy can equal Him? All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him (2:3).
This Christ is the image of God, the full expression of God. He is not the hidden God, the concealed, mysterious God; He is God expressed, the image of the invisible God. Furthermore, He is the first among God’s creation. As we have pointed out, this indicates that He is everything. He is the alpha, the omega, and all the letters in between (Rev. 22:13). He is everything in the universe, and He is the first in the new creation, the church.
INFUSED AND SATURATED
Perhaps you are wondering how this understanding of Christ can help you in a practical way. If for a period of thirty days you are occupied with the revelation of Christ in Colossians, you will be revolutionized, reconstituted, and transformed. Pray over these messages on Colossians and have fellowship concerning them, and you will see what a difference it will make in you. I can testify that it makes a tremendous difference when the vision of the all-inclusiveness of Christ pervades our being. When you see this vision, you will hate everything that issues from the self. You will despise not only your hatred, but even your love, kindness, and patience. As this vision causes you to hate the self, it will constrain you to love the Lord. You will say, “Lord Jesus, I love You because You are everything. Lord, there is no need for me to struggle or strive to do anything. O Lord, You are so much to me. You are God, You are the firstborn of all creation, and You are the firstborn from among the dead.” I suggest that you pray-read Colossians for thirty days. Pray until all the aspects of Christ revealed in this book saturate your being. We do not need regulations or teachings—we need to be infused and saturated with Christ as the all-inclusive One.
If Christ is infused into you, you will drop everything that is not Christ, and you will be constituted with Christ in your very being. Religion gives people doctrines and teaches them how to behave. The book of Colossians, on the contrary, speaks of the all-inclusive Christ. This Christ is already in us, but we need to see Him, know Him, be filled with Him, be saturated with Him, and become absolutely one with Him.
THE FULL ENJOYMENT OF CHRIST
In Him we are made full. We may be familiar with these words in 2:10, but, sorry to say, we may take them for granted. Have you seen that in Christ you are made full? I doubt that many see the reality of this verse. We may know this as a doctrine, but not as an experience. In our actual living, we may not yet be full. Thus far, our partaking of the unsearchable riches of Christ has been very limited. Christ is our good land, but we do not yet enjoy Him in full as this land. Paul’s purpose in Colossians is to bring us into the full enjoyment of Christ as the all-inclusive land.
ALL THINGS RECONCILED TO GOD
In 1:20 Paul goes on to say, “And through Him to reconcile all things to Him, making peace through the blood of His cross—through Him, whether things on the earth or things in the heavens.” “Through Him” means through Christ as the active instrument through which the reconciliation was processed. To reconcile all things to God is to make peace with God for all things. This was accomplished through the blood of the cross of Christ.
Not only the things on the earth but also things in the heavens needed to be reconciled to God. This indicates that things in the heavens also are not right with God due to the rebellion of Satan, the archangel, and the angels who followed him. His rebellion has contaminated the heavens.
Verse 21 says, “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by evil works.” Because we were sinners, we needed redemption. Because we were also enemies of God, we needed reconciliation to Him. Our enmity toward God was mainly in our corrupted mind.
In the body of His flesh Christ has reconciled us to God in order to present us holy, blameless, and without reproach before God (v. 22). However, we still need to “continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast and not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (v. 23). The faith here does not denote the act of believing, but the object of our belief.
Here Paul speaks of the hope of the gospel. Christ in us is the hope of glory (v. 27), from whom we should not be moved away.
(Life-Study of Colossians, Chapter 9, Section 3)
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