November 1 – Prison Letters – Move on to Transformation and Maturity!

Read Colossians 2:1-23

Paul wasn’t the only one trying to influence the Colossian believers.  Just as he, from a distance, prayed and wrote in order that they might be “complete in Christ” (1:28), so too, others were also trying to lead the believers, but towards another goal.  These people were attempting to deceive the Christ followers (2:4).  Their goal was to “take them captive” (2:8).  Even though their arguments seemed to somehow sound wise, in the end it was a hollow philosophy that was void of true substance.  In spite of the fact that the rationale was consistent with human traditions and seemed to make sense with its list of rules, still it lacked any eternal, life-transforming power.

Don’t be naïve in thinking that God is the only One desiring to gain access to the way you think, what you do, and what you say.  Satan will use any of a number of influences to draw you away from genuine faith in and reliance upon the powerful, authoritative Son of God.  Christ is the only One who has raised us to life.  It is by the grace of God that you have experienced forgiveness.  Any human, fleshly, rule-based attempt to gain control over your life including your actions and thoughts will fall short.

Paul’s counsel to the Colossians and to us is simple:

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”  (2:6, 7)

Christ was not only adequate for our salvation, He is also the only source for our transformation.  Having begun by the Spirit, we cannot finish by the means of the flesh (Gal. 3:3).  We cannot replace God’s wisdom with human wisdom.  Our new life initiated by faith in Christ will only move forward as we draw from Him as the wellspring of power and wisdom.  This requires that we continue to allow His teaching to permeate our lives rather than listening to other voices, as wise as they may seem to be.

Steve Kern

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