Thursday, February 23, 2017

Colossians 2:1 - 2

Verse 1 - Paul is concluding the thoughts about his pastoral heart for those at Colossae. He again connects with the statement about his struggle (Greek helikos agon) that some translations call a great conflict carries the image of an athletic contest. Paul is speaking here of the contest against spiritual foes as well as the physical ones. He is saying that he cares about the outcome of the battle they are facing that he is about to address, the struggle between true Christianity and philosophy or ritual.

Verse 2 - Paul is praying for the believers to be encouraged in the struggle in which they face. The word parakaleo can carry a variety of meanings[1] and in the form used here means to find comfort in the midst of the struggle. This comfort comes from their bond that has developed because of love. As Dr. J. Vernon McGee calls it, “the Elmer’s glue of the church.”[2]

It is through the assurance (Greek plerophoria) that they can have the confidence of the wealth they have attained[3] in sunesis, or knowledgeable understanding of the mystery. This word is the same that we get our word synthesis from, thus giving the flavor of something that has been brought together, such as the collection of the teachings from the Old Testament and the revealing of Jesus Christ. Paul makes reference again to the fact that the comfort comes from the mystery of God, or Jesus Christ (see 1:27). 

In this understanding, there is a unity within the body of Christ, His Church. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul speaks about this unity.[4] We are incapable of making the unity. The Holy Spirit has made the unity of the body, but we need to keep the unity. 

Prayer: As I ponder my life, Spirit, show me where I have kept the unity of the Your Spirit, and where I have failed You. Forgive me, cleanse me, and empower me to walk and live within the unity of the Church. You are the provider, the comforter, and the encourager to live this way. I praise You. Amen.

[1] W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 111. 
[2] McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible. Vol. V. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983. V vols. Pages 347. 
[3] See Colossians 1:27 
[4] 1 Corinthians 12:13ff

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