Tuesday, June 12, 2012

True Fulfillment

Colossians 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.

Tackling what breeds spiritual unfulfillment
As Paul wrote the short letter of Colossians to the church of Colosse, he was under house arrest in Rome. (Acts 28:11-31).  The church at Colosse was situated East of the Seven churches of Asia Minor to whom John wrote the book of Revelation.  The reason why the Holy Spirit prompted Paul to write this letter was to deal with a heresy that had arisen in that local church body.  Among it's beliefs was a diminished view of Christ, an elevated view of angels, an emphasized view on keeping the law and a mystical view of seeking mystical knowledge in addition to Christ. 

When you try to find fulfillment in anything else but Christ, you will remain unfulfilled spiritually and emotionally
The people of this small church were living in an atmosphere where they were told that Christ is both inadequate and insufficient to meet their spiritual needs.  By tacking on ritualistic practice and pagan philosophies, only then - according to these teachers - could one attain some sense of fulfillment. (compare Colossians 2:21-23)

Throughout this short letter such words as "fill", "fulfill" and "complete" appear, indicating Paul's main point: Fulfillment in Christ's Fulness.  Even where such words do not appear, the idea of the richness of Christ or His Word points to the chief point of Colossians: the Christian finds all they need and desire in Christ.

Below we will quickly jog through this short letter and show you how Paul communicates the idea of: "Finding Fulfillment in Christ's Fulness".

1. Spiritual Maturity is fulfilled in Christ. Colossians 1:9 "For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding"

2. Service to God is fulfilled in Christ. Colossians 1:24-25 "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. 25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God."  Colossians 4:17 "Say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
Colossians 1:28 "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ."

3. Assurance of Christian identity is fulfilled in Christ. Colossians 2:9-10 "in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority"

4 Solid Godly Living is fulfilled in Christ. Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God"

5. Certainty of God's will derives from fulfillment in Christ. Colossians 4:12 "Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God."

As you read through Colossians, note particularly Colossians 1:13-20, since it gives you a description of Christ Himself in all His fulness.  When you realize just how sufficient He is, you can understand why Paul's little letter of Colossians is so powerful in communicating true fulfillment.

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