The Heart of a Faithful Minister - Colossians 2:1-7
One thing that becomes more and more clear as we move through the letter to the Colossians is Paul’s deep love for them and his genuine concern for their situation. Chapter 2 begins the same way chapter 1 ends, with Paul expressing his ongoing struggle on behalf of the Colossians.
As a faithful minister, who loves people and loves the Gospel, Paul is concerned that the Colossians are being tempted to minimize the supremacy of Christ and he longs to see them remain faithful.
In this passage he expresses his deep struggle for them and his desire to see them stand strong so that they won’t be led astray by false teaching. His admonition is the same as it has been throughout the letter, but he states it more clearly than he has in any place up to this point: Christ must be central, and if you have received Christ, walk in Him.
Paul’s Struggle for the Church (2:1)
What Paul states plainly is that he is struggling on behalf of the Colossians. The word translated as struggleis closely related to the word for agony or agonizing. Paul’s heart is truly heavy as he longs for the Colossians to stand firm.
Like a parent who loves their kids and is concerned when there’s a threat of danger, Paul knows the Colossians are being tempted with dangerous teachings and he’s longing for them to know the truth. He wants them to be safe and secure and to see Christ rightly.
Paul’s Desire for the Church (2:2-3)
As the Colossians are being tempted with false teaching Paul takes time to express his hopes for the church. As a faithful minister Paul expresses what he desires for them and what he knows will help them in their fight against false teaching.
- Paul wants the Colossians to be Strong in Heart – The word “encouraged” in verse 2 is closely related to the idea of being strengthened. Paul longs for the Colossians to be strong in heart or confident in heart. He wants them to be prepared to stand even when standing becomes difficult (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
- Paul wants the Colossians to be United in Love – A second desire Paul has – and something that enables a strong heart – is Christian unity.Paul uses a word (knit) that speaks to being sewn or bound together. His desire is that the Colossians would be strengthened as they are united in love for Christ and one another (John 17:20-23).
- Paul wants the Colossians to be Confident in Understanding – Our human nature is to doubt, to question what we believe, but Paul’s hope for the Colossians is that they would have confident assurance as they grow in their understanding and knowledge of Christ. After all, He is the source of all wisdom and knowledge.
Paul’s Motivation in His Struggles for the Church (2:4-5)
The reason Paul wants the Colossians to be strong in heart, united in love and confident in understanding is so that they won’t be led away from Christ by false teaching. Paul knows the threat and he wants them to prepared.
Paul recognizes that false teaching is often packaged in “fine-sounding arguments” and he wants the Colossians to be prepared to stand firm.
Paul’s Charge for the Church (2:6-7)
Paul is concerned. He’s good pastor and he’s concerned that the Colossians are being tempted to walk away from Christ. Throughout chapter 1 he has been building a foundation of who Christ is and who they are in Christ; now he gives a firm admonition: If you are in Christ – walk in Him.
Paul’s admonition to walk in Christ is followed by four phrases that describe a faithful walk: Rooted in Him, Built up in Him, Established in the Faith, Abounding in Thanksgiving.