Daily Thoughts : February 23rd
Col 2:2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ
Two days ago we noted Paul talking to the Philippians about unity and love. Here he says similar things to the church at Colosse. He is speaking to them and to the church at Laodicea, to those who have met him and those who haven't, who he is struggling for. These are the ‘they' here.
His end desire is that they will all know Christ, God's sent one, who had been referred to in the prophetic Scriptures but who had been a mystery to the readers of what we now call the Old Testament. A step on from that is that he wants them to understand what had been a mystery but now has been revealed, the Gospel. He wants them to understand its meaning and its effect so that will enable them to come into this full experience of Christ.
Note this is the apparently odd bit. Before that he wants them to be encouraged and to be united in love so that they can then come into this understanding of the Gospel and to know Christ fully. Why that order? Because encouragement and unity are both experiences and as we come to know the truth of these things, we get understanding of these things, as we enter into the experiences that God has opened up for us in Christ, that actually show us the reality of the Gospel. In other words, these experiences that we have, reveal to us the reality of what we have heard previously and they convince us of the validity of those things and establish us more and more in our experience of Christ. Today's experiences confirm what you've heard!
Our faith isn't just to be all head knowledge but practical experience, and the experience confirms or ratifies the truth of what we have heard, the Gospel. We hear it, we believe it, we experience it, we are encouraged by it and find a unity of love with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and as we reflect on these experiences they ratify the truth of what were were told, we understand the mystery that is Christ.
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