the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell.”
In the epistle to the church at Colosse Paul had to deal with many dangerous errors and mischievous practices, hence it is more distinguished for earnest warning than for those tender expressions which abound in the epistle to the Philippians.
Colossians 1:7 , Colossians 1:8
It is delightful thus to hear one servant of God praise another. There is far too little of this in our day. True soldiers of Christ set high store by their comrades and are glad to advance their repute. Paul does not point out the failings of Epaphras to the Colossians; this would have been destructive of the influence of that worthy brother, and so would have injured the cause of Christ.
The Colossian church needed understanding as much as that of Philippi needed unity; the brethren were too easily duped and decoyed from the gospel. We need in these days to know the gospel well, and hold it firmly; for many deceivers are abroad who will mislead us if we permit them to do so.
Colossians 1:10 , Colossians 1:11
To labour, to suffer, and in both to rejoice, is the peculiar mark of a Christian. For this we need the all-sufficient grace of God; nothing short of the glorious power of God can create a Christian, or maintain him when created.
Now that the apostle has touched this string we may expect sweet music, for never is his master-hand so much at home as when he is magnifying the Lord Jesus. Hear how he sounds forth the praises of the Son of God.
Colossians 1:19 , Colossians 1:20
If Jesus be not indeed God, such language as this is far-fetched, not to say blasphemous. What more could be said? Is not language put to its utmost tension to set forth the Redeemer’s glories? Blessed be his name, he is all in all to us. We adore him as Creator, Head, Fulness, and Peacemaker; and let others say what they will of him, we shall never cease to sing his praises. Happy will the day be when all those in heaven and earth for whom the Saviour died shall join in one happy band around his throne, united in one body through the atoning sacrifice. Even now we anticipate their victorious song, and sing, “Worthy the Lamb.”
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Paul continues to glorify the Lord Jesus, and to stir up his brethren to faithfulness. He shows how the death of Jesus has reconciled us to each other and to God.
Colossians 1:21 , Colossians 1:22
Thus the work of grace produces in us the highest degree of holiness: to be unblameable in man’s sight is much, but to be unblameable even in the sight of God is absolute perfection. This will be the condition of every believer when the Lord’s designs are accomplished in him.
Steadfastness in the faith is an essential of true religion: a tree often transplanted cannot thrive. Since the gospel is assuredly the truth of God, it is foolishness in the extreme to be enticed from it by the novel teachings of men. Paul gloried in being a minister of the old unchanging gospel.
All the body must suffer in order to have sympathy with the Head; and in order to gather in all the Lord’s chosen the church must undergo a measure of suffering and persecution; in this Paul was glad to take his share. The atoning sufferings of Jesus were finished long ago, his sufferings in his mystical body are not for the expiation of sin, but arise out of our conflict with the powers of evil.
Paul a second time declares his call to the ministry.
What wisdom, therefore, it is to know Christ: however simple the gospel may appear to be, it is in very truth far superior in wisdom to all the systems of philosophy, or schools of “modern thought.”
Colossians 2:6 , Colossians 2:7
May the Lord grant us so to do. The gospel which has saved us will do to live by and to die by. To turn from it would be to forsake fulness for emptiness, the substance for the shadow, and the truth for falsehood. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead us yet further into the knowledge of Christ crucified, and never may we in any degree cease from earnest belief of the truth, or lose our thankfulness for it.
I rest upon thy word,
The promise is for me;
My succour and salvation, Lord,
Shall surely come from thee.
But let me still abide,
Nor from my hope remove,
Till thou my patient spirit guide
Into thy perfect love.