COLOSSIANS Chapter 2:1-3

For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:1-3 NKJV).

         Of what great conflict is Paul speaking? It begins with a city named Laodicea. The Laodicea Church was a Christian community established in the ancient city of Laodicea. The church was established in the Apostolic Age, the earliest period of Christianity, and is probably best known for being one of the seven churches of Asia addressed by name in the Book of Revelation. In 60 AD, Laodicea experienced a significant earthquake. The leaders refused the help of the Roman Empire and rebuilt the city themselves. Wikipedia This could be the conflict that Paul is referring to.

It appears that the people of Laodicea were well off because of their clothing trade. Perhaps Paul’s conflict had to do with the distraction caused by materialism. That would correlate with Jesus warning to Laodicea in Revelation 3:17, “Because you say, I am rich have become wealthy, and have need of nothing—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”

One last thought regarding Laodicea relates to the “Jewish” persecution of Christians. We observe throughout the book of Acts and in the Epistles the radical resistance of the Jews to the message of the gospel of the kingdom. I am sure that Laodicea was no exception to the Jewish persecution against the Lord’s work. The Jewish persecution was one of the most difficult challenges that Paul experienced as he sought to be faithful to his calling of ministry.

Paul’s conflict was also for those who have not seen his face. Paul’s love for God’s people extended way beyond those of his ethnic background, or those who were part of his “apostolic team,” It also extended beyond those he knew. As he states, his conflict is for those who “had not seen his face in the flesh.”

Personal interaction is very vital for healthy and growing relationships. In essence, the church is not a “religious organization,” it is a living body of believers connected by the love of God expressed through Christ Jesus shed blood, His death on the cross, and His resurrection power as He is raised from the dead and seated at the “Right Hand of His Father.” The Holy Spirit regenerates each believer and baptizes the believer into Christ’s body. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit”

(1 Corinthians 12:13  ). We must begin to see our Lord’s church as “the body of Christ,” but also understand that it is “the holy nation.”

No one understood the work of the Spirit better than Paul. He knew how to be with God’s people and how to fellowship with the saints in the “spirit.” Paul refers to this in Colossians 2:5; 1 Corinthians 5:3-4.

Continuing on with Paul’s conflict for those at Colossae and all who have not seen his face in the flesh, he is clear about his desire for God’s people to have three things. First, in Verse 2, he states, “That their hearts maybe encouraged.” Discouragement is one of the biggest battles believers can experience. The trials and tribulations we must go through to access the kingdom of God, and the promises of the kingdom can hinder or prevent God’s people from knowing all the encouraging victories which Christ has for their lives.

Is your heart encouraged or discouraged today? What is preventing you from being encouraged by the love of God and the understanding of all the hidden treasures that can be found in Christ?

Next, Paul wants the believers to understand “being knit together in love.” Love is the foundation for everything else. God is love, so it is only reasonable that love is the core of the whole. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). “He that loves not knows not God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). Love is the actual substance of godly relationships. Out of which flows forgiveness, caring, encouragement, support in hard times, compassion, etc.

Lastly, Paul wants the believers to know how to access “all the riches of the full assurance of understanding” concerning “the mystery of God.” Paul is referring back to his statement in Colossians 1:27, To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. In the Father and the Son, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found through the Holy Spirit.

Do we really appreciate what we have been given? So many believers continue to live in the natural reasoning rather than the living from the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge’’ which are found in the Father and the Son. There are many ways we can access these treasures. Let’s consider a few:

  1. Nurturing what we received in seed form when we were born again. In our spirit man resides, love, faith, hope, true worship, and reverential fear of God. Many think that these areas belong to our souls, but they are “spiritual” and must be nurtured.
  2. We nurture these five senses of the Spirit by making them part of our everyday life. Letting love become central in all we do. Faith is the substance of things we hope for. Nurture faith by trusting God above all. As we do this, hope (or expectation) grows in us. Surround these three with true worship. True worship is anchored in a passion for being with the Lord in our daily affairs and sometimes alone with Him. Those times of intimacy increase our reverence for the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit at work in us. This is how our soul begins to change. Our soul begins to shift so that our reasoning, affections, memory, conscience, and our imaginations become more and more surrendered to Christ.
  3. Soon our life begins to be managed by the “core values” of God’s word as we spend time studying scripture and applying the kingdom of God principles to our daily life experience. The “Spirit and the Word agree.” We become Spirit-led, which is evidenced by how we treat people. By how we become less focused on our needs and more focused on others and their needs.
  4. We also begin to discover what belongs to the Spirit of God; He begins to be share with us and manifests in “the fruit of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit.” The fruit of the Spirit is a process of growth over time. The gifts of the Spirit given to believers as needed (see 1 Corinthians 12-14).

 

We do not have time today to develop this further, but I hope you are hearing some things that will help you grow in your “spirit-filled life” and know you are receiving from our Lord’s treasures of wisdom and knowledge with understanding. As you draw from the Lord’s treasures, it will be a mystery to others, but you will know where your life is feeding by what the Lord, by His grace, is giving you.