And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1)
This week in the Scripture Reading Plan, we are reading through Paul’s letters to the Colossians and the Thessalonians. If you’ve been reading with us, I would like to encourage you to set aside some time this week to read each of these letters all the way through — after all, that’s how letters are intended to be read anyway (might take you 15 minutes).
This morning as I was reading Paul’s letter to the Colossians, I observed the way in which he said he was praying for his fellow Christians. It’s clear from what he says that one of our greatest needs in this life is to “be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” It’s this kind of spiritual wisdom that helps us and equips us to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” and its what empowers us to “bear fruit in every good work.”
And so you see, despite our modern distaste for the diligent study of the ancient Scriptures, Paul declares that vitality in the Christian life actually comes from no better source.
I would argue that we would all find ourselves way more grateful and joyful in our daily lives when we’ve come to better understand the grand story of the ancient Scriptures and what it means that “God has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son.”
We now belong to the King of kings who not only rules over us as our Lord but is also the one who has sacrificially secured the redemption of creation and the forgiveness of our sins. But do we have a clear understanding of these truths and the implications that they have on our daily lives?
Paul goes on to explain the way that we have been set free from the reign of sin in our lives, but this doesn’t mean that we have been set free to now go and live with a sense of self-rule and freedom from authority. We have not merely been set free to live as we please in the name of grace, but rather we have been transferred into a Kingdom under a new rule that is governed by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Christian belongs to Christ.
The Christian is a citizen of Christ’s Kingdom.
The Christian is a servant of Christ as our King.
Now for many people, this idea of living under the authority of Christ seems rigid and restrictive, but how much more grateful and joyful might we find ourselves in our Christian lives when we’ve come to contemplate and understand that our King is a completely different kind of king that shatters all of our preconceived ideas and categories for “kings”?
Jesus is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of all creation. All things were created by him, and he mysteriously holds all things together in order. He is the head of God’s people and the firstborn from the dead. And in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him, God has reconciled all things back to himself and made peace by the blood of his cross.
This is a kind of King that the world has never seen before and one that unfortunately many of us still fail to understand. So do we have a clear understanding of who it is that we serve and the awe-inspiring glory of this kind of King? May the Almighty God of this universe graciously do something in all of our hearts and minds and fill us all with this life-changing knowledge, wisdom and understanding that we need to embrace this King with all that we have.