I love the power packed prison epistles. Colossians is one of these letters that has much food for thought. I find Colossians especially pertinent today because although 2000 years have passed since Paul penned it in prison, many of the same challenges face the church today.
Like the Colossians, Christians today find there is opposition to the hope in Christ’s sufficiency. There are some in our churches today that seem uncertain or weak in their faith, tempted to compromise the Gospel in order to accommodate culture, not willing to live ethically above reproach. There remains a temptation to look for security in something other than Christ.
Colossians 1:21-23 says, “And you, who were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
Prior to these verses Paul established that Christ is indeed supreme and sufficient in all things. Because of this, as followers of Christ, he helps us to think and live differently than others. This does not mean we are better than others, (lest we forget Paul’s reminder that we were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds) but unlike those apart from Christ, we believe that Jesus is our head and that he gives the orders to us, dictating how we react/ respond to life/ politics/ culture/ philosophies. God’s word is what we sift new ideas through. We should sift old ideas through God’s word as well because there are more than a few things generally accepted in North American Evangelicalism that wouldn’t and shouldn’t make it through the filter.
Life is not easy and cultural trends and philosophical shifts on a macro level are not easy to navigate, but if we believe Christ is supreme in everything and sufficient for everything, then we can be grounded, steadfast, and unmoved by persuasive ideas that conflict with God’s word, however popular they might become. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord lives forever.