Part 1: The Beginning
Written By: Clarissa Mangaran
On the one hand, we’re to trust in God’s sovereignty and His plan. On the other, He’s given each of us a sacred calling, a Kingdom commission. So what does that look like exactly? How do we simultaneously trust God’s sovereign goodness in everything and take an active role in His plan? Our faith walk is an active one, after all.
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-6)
I truly believe that when you seek out the Lord sincerely for understanding, He blesses your desire for wisdom and further understanding. As I’ve been seeking how to live as a follower of Christ, I was directed by the Holy Spirit to study through the book of Colossians. In it, I found a treasure trove of teachings.
The Supremacy of Jesus
Colossians appropriately and purposefully opens with the supremacy of Jesus and what He has done. It’s who we know, not just what we know, and when we know Jesus, we know God. Before we can talk about what we are to do as followers of Christ and how to love others, we need to know who it is we’re following lest we follow a false or counterfeit “Christ.” The only way to know a fake is to be around the real thing so much that when a fake shows up, you spot it immediately. You don’t need to know every detail of every false teaching on Christ; you just need to be in God’s Word and in His presence so much that you know when you hear false doctrine.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
Another important factor in the maturing of your faith is learning the voice of the Holy Spirit. As you do, He’ll also help you discern false teaching. It requires intentional time and effort with the Lord, however. Keep in mind that you’re being sanctified and made holy, but that only happens by surrendering to the authority of God. It happens in a relationship with Christ. And that’s the beauty of all of this: we get to have a relationship with the Creator of everything; our Lord and Savior! Don’t miss out on that incredible blessing!
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’” (John 14:6-7)
The Gnostic teaching of that time, when the letter to the Colossians was written, taught that you had to have “special knowledge” to be accepted by Christ. Paul, however, emphasized faith, hope, and love as the key elements of true Christianity. Knowledge of God is open to everyone! It’s not a secret. The revealing of God is accessible in the Bible, as well as in His creation (Romans 1:19-20). And as we read about the omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence of God, we can rest assured that the blood of Christ shed for us on the cross is sufficient for our salvation. His shed blood reconciled all things (on earth and in heaven) to Himself and brought peace. Now the Church can be brought before the Groom as a bride glorified, without blemish and free of accusations.
“‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.’ It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Revelation 19:7-8)
Colossians goes on to say that in Jesus, all things were created through Him and for Him. In Him, all things hold together, down to the atoms in the nucleus. Without Jesus, nothing created would exist.
The Creator of heaven and earth, the King of kings, the Light, the Beginning and the End….rescued us from darkness and receiving His just wrath, He brought us into heaven, and He redeemed us through forgiving our sins. Satan is the ruler of this earth (see 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19; Ephesians 2:22; John 12:31), and until we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we serve and are ruled by Satan; we are slaves to our sin. We are slaves to our obsession with the passions of our flesh. However, when we repent or turn to Jesus, our eternity is set! We are rescued from the power of Satan, and we take on the power of God. We’re free from the obsession with our earthly desires. We’re free to serve the rightful King as His slave (and what a blessing to be His slave)! We’re free to experience the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). We’re free to live for Christ and love others. But we must continue in faith and hope and remain in Jesus!
With all that freedom comes the responsibility of seeking God for wisdom and understanding to live in a way that pleases God and bears fruit in every good work we do.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
(To be continued….)
Written By: Clarissa Mangaran
**Up next is: “Part 2: Love…God’s Way”