Dwell – Colossians, Week 2

I'll be the first to say that theology feels daunting. It sounds like a much more pleasant experience to read a book detailing how Christ's love should represent itself in my daily life as opposed to a book on the mystery of God's holiness. 

However, in Paul's letter to the Colossians, he makes something very clear: knowledge of God is the way to understanding how to live out the Christian life. There is no other path. It's impossible to live like Christ without studying who He is. The church at Colossae was struggling with a few forms of heresy – they were confused about whether or not they should worship angels, what they should touch, what to eat or drink, but mostly they were hazy on where Jesus fell in relation to God and man. They thought that perhaps he wasn't God. Paul wrote to them this encouraging letter to clear the air and inform them of Jesus's supremacy. It is in this letter that Paul describes Jesus with some of the loftiest (and most beautiful) language in all of the New Testament, focusing on Christ's preeminence and supremacy in all things. Christ was and is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 2:9). Because of His divine nature, Jesus is sovereign, above all things with an authority given Him by the Father. As such, Jesus is also Head over the church. He has reconciled all things to Himself through His death on the cross, making believers alive to God and setting them on the path to life. 

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So how does this knowledge affect the the way we live? Sure, we can agree and say, "Jesus is God"... but how does that affect what we do with our daily lives? Paul writes that the result of knowing this is that we will walk like Christ, and overflow with gratitude. Both of these things are pretty difficult for me on a daily basis. I fail daily (sometimes hourly) in following Christ's teaching. I'm constantly getting wrapped up in my own selfish ways and setting high expectations for those around me. I'm consistently forgetting how much grace I've been given – and how, in return, I can freely give. And I can say confidently that my heart does not always overflow with gratitude. But I desperately long to live like this.

Thank goodness that knowledge of God's Word, of who He is, opens the door to walking in Christ – to being hidden within Him. He covers all of my shame and looks at me through eyes of endless grace. By walking in Him, I don't have to worry about whether I'm being a "good Christian" and following all of the rules perfectly. I get to receive and give grace and overflow with gratitude and joy. Doesn't that sound a lot better than worrying if you're "doing things the right way" and avoiding "doing things the wrong way?" It's for freedom we've been set free, and the way Christ instructs us to live – the way the knowledge of the Bible instructs us to live – is completely freeing. The boundaries He's set out for us make an open door to living life to it's fullest joy, and frees us from the chains of sin and idolatry. 

Each week, I create an iPhone background with a verse and share it here on TPA. Having God's Word in front of me several times a day helps me in so many ways – it soothes my heart and mind with truth, strengthens my faith, and helps me memorize Scripture so that I can accurately share it with others. Feel free to download the image for your own phone (and pin it and share it, too!) as many times as you'd like.