“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present
everyone perfect in Christ.” Col 1:28
We have already been assured that the gospel in us is “bearing fruit and growing” (Col 1:6a), especially once we have, “heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth,” (Col 1:6b). Paul was however not content to simply have the Colossian church produce good fruit one year and bad fruit the next, which they had the potential of doing by being led astray through the “special knowledge” group among them. So how did he go about producing the kind of mature believers who are not easily led astray and produce consistent good fruit?
- He unashamedly proclaims He makes sure Jesus is front and centre once again in this Community of Faith. This means we are to move far beyond simply offering verbal assent to the gospel to allowing Jesus to be Lord of each area of our lives. Mind, body and spirit is to “bow the knee” to Jesus.
- He lovingly He loves them enough to warn them that they are moving away from the solid foundation they once had in the gospel. People were trying to add to the purity of the Message, claiming the basics were not enough to build on for maturity. Jesus is always enough.
- He teaches them with all wisdom. The wisdom Paul instructed them in was a very practical one which at its heart involved growing up into the ways of Jesus, and living out the new life of Christ in everyday realities. There was no place for exclusive groups or exclusive worship. The same grace-filled gospel which had called them to God in the first place was the same one they were to continue in.
The goal through proclamation, admonition and wise teaching was to, “present everyone perfect in Christ,” or to bring everyone to maturity. Maturity cannot happen on your own. It takes loving accountable relationships to achieve. It takes a long road of obedience with others who are on the same pathway. It takes honesty and vulnerability to allow God’s Word and his people to gently lead us back to the basics when we have gone astray. This is the kind of church Jesus died for and the kind we should live for. We should not be persuaded by any other kind of gospel.
Prayer: Father thank you that you place us in Communities. May we love another enough to lead one another back to the pure gospel when we have gone astray.