In the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians, he stated his goal was to “. . . present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (1:28). How serious was he about that? The next verse tells us. He wrote “I also labor” and used a word meaning “toil resulting in weariness, laborious toil.” But, he also added, “striving,” a Greek term that gives us our word “agonize. ”
The next chapter begins with him expressing deep concern for them (2:1). The concern was one he had for all the saints. We remember II Cor. 11:28, as Paul recounted the daily difficulties of his life. Among them: “. . . my deep concern for all the churches. ”
What could bring about the spiritual maturity the Colossians needed to have to face the challenges Paul would later mention (2:8, 1 6, 18, 20 -23)? Note them briefly:
- Encouraged Hearts ( 2) It is God ’s will that we serve Him with hearts full of comfort and encouragement. Trusting God and His word will encourage us. Optimism about the work of the Lord will also help.
- Hearts Knit Together ( 2) They needed to be knit together in love. These Colossians had already developed this quality (1:4), but they would need to work to maintain it. And, they still had room to grow in love. Paul told the Thessalonians, “. . . we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more” (I Thess. 4:10).
- Full Assurance of Understanding ( 2) A mature faith has confidence in the truths that have freed us from sin and have brought us into the kingdom of Christ. God ’s word helps in our assurance. It will give the knowledge needed to discern the treasures God reveals to His people.
- Steadfastness ( 5) Maturity requires consistent faithfulness. The devil and his helpers will continue to offer the forbidden fruit of unfaithfulness. We must continue to walk in Christ ( 6).
Let us be “. . . complete in Him . . .” (10).