In Colossians 2, Paul writes a message to the Colossian church about living a mature Christian life and what that looks like. He tells the church that to be mature in Christ, we just need Jesus. If that seems simple it’s because it really is that simple. In Christ, we have been made alive and are transformed to look like Him. He is all that we need and more.
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him,” -Colossians 2:9-13 (ESV)
Paul also warns the church of people who will speak of maturity and never walk it out. While he may have used words that sounded much more eloquent, Paul is basically using the phrase I am sure we have all heard, “practice what you preach.” This seems to be a common theme as James references it as well.
“But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” -James 2:18-19 (ESV)
Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Benjamin Franklin did not tell anyone about electricity or if Einstein chose not to share his theory of relativity with the world? What if Marie Curie decided it was best to keep her research on radiation and the treatment of tumors to herself? We wouldn't have half of the technology we have today. We probably wouldn’t even have the word gravity in our vocabulary, and who knows if we would have a chance to fight cancer.
Our world would be a very different place if the greatest scholars chose to continue their learning, but never do anything with it. I feel like Paul was trying to send a similar message about our walks with Christ. We have the information (the gospel) and the tools (Jesus) we need to live this life, and now it’s time to start living. We can’t be the kind of people who only talk about theology and being mature, but never make a difference in our own lives and the lives of those around us.
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.” -Colossians 2:6-7 (The Message)
I really love the way The Message translates that passage, and I feel it perfectly sums up what Paul is saying to the church. We have Jesus and he is all the school we need. School is out so start living!
- Kelsey Turner
All Sons and Daughters