There are several things that encourage and admonish me in this passage. I don’t know what direction I will take so stick with me as I ramble.
First, we see that Christ rejoices when he sees us steadfastly following him. Let’s take a step back and look at the context. The colossians were a church that knew Christ well, yet had started to be deceived by philosophies of their contemporaries. While we are not explicitly told what these philosophies are, we do know that they contradicting with what God had called them to do, and was divisive among the people (v1).
Paul had not met most of the christians in person, bustill when he hears of the struggles they are having he says v5. He rejoices by their steadfastness in christ.
That was not what I expected. I expected Paul to jump right to the warning and instructions. Instead, we have a picture of Paul rejoicing. WHy would he rejoice for their steadfastness if the entire reason he is writing is to instruct them on avoiding being deceived and trusting no philosophy but Christ?
Though I am not a professional theologian nor do I know greek or hebrew, I would be willing to wager that Paul can rejoice because he know where that steadfast faith comes from (v6).
They have already received Christ and can find steadfast faith in the holy spirit. Even when we feel we are doubting one of the tenants of christianity, Jesus in us still gives us reason to rejoice.
But what if that is you, being be cheated and deceived through philosophy like the colossians? Paul gives us a few pointers:
- Walk in Christ. (v6-7)
- What does this look like? Walking with Him is complicatedly simple. The simple part is laid out by Paul in v7. We are rooted and built up in Him and establish in faith. Notice that none of these are things that we do. What we are called to do is to abound in what has been done for us with thanksgiving
- Rooted in Christ
- This is parallel to the first thought but I am a sucker for analogies and metaphors so this one deserves some thought of its own,
- The picture of us as rooted in christ presents us with so many truths about our relationship with Him.
- It is from the soul that we are rooted in that we draw the nutrients and water to thrive
- It is the dirt that the roots are embedded in that keep the plant from being blown about by the wind.
- the more we draw from and trust in the soil, the deeper our roots will grow.
- Find truth in Christ
- There are many places we can draw truth from, but we are called to base ALL truth on Him
- Lucky for us, God gave us His word. By his word we can test and compare the traditions of men and the principles of the world. If they do not line up with scripture, they probably are not from God.
- You are complete in CHrist
- It is encouraging to know that no matter what philosophies you are wrestling with or which things you are in the process of testing, you are still complete in Christ. We need nothing except him.