Posted: December 30, 2005
A Study of Positional Truths
We begin our IN
CHRIST study this week in the gold mine of the book of Colossians. At
the very front door of the mine we find two IN CHRIST nuggets. They are
in Chapter 1, verses 2 and 4 which say, “To the saints and faithful
brethren IN CHRIST which are at Colosse; Grace be unto you, and peace
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Since we heard of your
faith IN CHRIST Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints.”
Paul opens these
introductory remarks by addressing the people at Colosse as ‘saints’.
The Catholic Church can only confer this title, many have said, after
years of investigations. Some, such as St. Christopher and St.
Valentine, after investigation by the Vatican have been demoted and can
no longer receive prayers. I guess they have once again been placed in
purgatory. O how silly! For the true child of God we were declared
holy, righteous, and saints of God when placed IN CHRIST.
Paul adds to the
title of ‘saints’ the phrase ‘faithful brethren’. He is
not excluding any, but warning all. Many of the brethren at Colosse
were not faithful believers. I do not doubt that we have many in our
churches who have been declared saints but are not faithful brethren.
Jesus certainly had his Peter and Thomas. The word ‘faithful’
means “Steadfast in affections and allegiance, to be full of faith,
to be loyal, to be firm in adherence to promises or the discharge of
duty, to be true to the original, trustworthy and reliable.” (John
Phillips) When I look closely at the word faithful I wonder if my Lord
would call me one of His faithful brethren.
There is an
interesting nugget of truth in verse 2 when Paul mentions that these
folks are IN CHRIST and at Colosse at the same time. They were in an
eternal state while at the same time living in an earthly state. From
time to time we get caught up in the eternal state and we are no earthly
good. We too get caught up with the pull of material possessions and
have no effect on the eternal world. Let us live the balanced, Spirit
filled life of being both here and there. We are IN CHRIST while for me
I am in Winterville, Georgia.
Paul used the two
great words of greeting, grace and peace, to these blessed
believers. Grace is the Greek word of greeting and peace the Jewish
word of greeting. Paul is magnifying that the middle wall of petition
between Jews and Gentiles has been torn down IN CHRIST. Grace is the
root from which salvation springs and peace is the fruit that salvation
brings. Paul tells us that the source of grace and peace is not only
God the Father but also the Lord Jesus Christ. This would be a sinking
shot to many of the Gnostics in Colosse who didn’t believe in the
Godhead of Jesus Christ.
In verse 4 Paul
commends these believers for their faith in Christ. Our faith will grow
when the object of our faith is sound. Many have lost all over the
years because they put their faith in unsound objects. This church had
put their faith in the soundness of Jesus Christ.
Paul also commends
them for their love for all the saints. We know we are true believers
when we exhibit a love for all of God’s people. Many are not as easy to
love as others. One has said, “To dwell above, with the saints
above, that will indeed be glory; to dwell below, with saints we know,
well, that’s another story.”
Let us be faithful
brethren, put our faith in the soundness of Jesus Christ, and exhibit
true love for all of God’s people in these days like never before.