I spent three months in Indiana serving with a small congregation. While there, I spent a week at a Christian camp as a counselor, eventually learning that their fondest tradition was the tug of war competition. To this day, I will never forget the thrill of seeing the boys faces when they beat the girls for the first time in six years.
Have you ever felt that you were caught in the middle of a battle? You may be surprised to learn that you are not alone in this regard.
The church at Colossae was a tug of war rope. Pressures of being in the religious minority caused many of them to revert either to the pagan or Judaism extremes, and they needed guidance. Paul reminds them that Christ is all they need, referring to Jesus in some way at least 15 times between eight verses (1:13-20). What Paul wants this church to know is crucial–namely, that the nature of God’s church is unified in Christ. This truth significantly implies that the church is not bound to the unpredictable whims or fallible leadership of men. Since Jesus was the firstborn of all creation (1:15), the one by whom all things were created (1:16), and the one by whom all things hold together (1:17), then what better authority would the church have besides Jesus Christ Himself? Paul admonishes Christians to continue in the faith (1:23) by proclaiming the gospel and serving others (1:28) as the body of Christ. Accomplishing this is so they “…may present every man complete in Christ” (1:28). All must remember that the church, by its very nature, is directly connected to Him who has all authority, wisdom, and power.
If the whole world was made complete in Christ, what changes would you see? Would this country close down every liquor store? Would every restaurant be closed on Sunday? Would traffic be backed up for hours just because everyone was trying to get to the same worship location? More importantly, would your life change if Christ, through His church, made you complete?
This week, let us endeavor to minister to those who need the peace and blood of Jesus Christ (1:20,25). Let us endeavor to make a simple switch, and find one opportunity to help one person by our encouragement as he/she endures one struggle. Let us endeavor to be make one person complete in Christ.