Wesley Word – July 20, 2022
To go along with service on: Sunday, July 24th
Colossians: In Christ Alone – Mature In Christ
This week we are continuing with our series in Colossians called, “In Christ Alone.” In the sermon on Sunday, we will be focusing on what Paul means by being mature in Christ in Colossians 1:28. I would like to use this Wesley Word to delve into what Paul means when he keeps referring to mystery and knowledge.
To understand what Paul is trying to get at here we need to understand the early Christian heresy of Gnosticism. Gnosticism would not be fully formed until the second century, but the seeds of it were already growing in the time of the New Testament.
Gnosticism gets its name from the Greek word for knowledge and taught that there was special secret knowledge that one could get as one attained higher levels of spirituality. Gnostic teaching involved a complex hierarchy of supernatural beings and also taught the rejection of the physical body, which they saw as evil, for a higher “spiritual” existence. In the Gnostic view, we are spirits trapped in bodies. The Gnostic quest for knowledge was to look deep inside and find the true self. A form of Gnosticism is alive and well today.
The big Gnostic secret is that Jesus did not really have a body, he was a true spirit being. How could he have a body since bodies are bad? And, since Jesus did not have a body, he did not really die.
This all flies in the face of biblical Christianity which teaches that we are fully embodied creations of God living in good but perishable bodies in a good but broken universe and redeemed by a perfect embodied Savior, Jesus Christ.
Now you can understand why Paul keeps talking about mysteries and secrets and knowledge and wisdom in this passage. Paul is trying his best to poke holes in this Gnostic nonsense before it even gets off the ground. Paul’s point is that everything has been made known in Jesus Christ, all the mysteries, all the secrets, all the knowledge, all the wisdom. This is perhaps best summarized in Colossians 2:2, “‘My goal 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.” The secret is Jesus Christ.
New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/
- July 20 Romans 6:1-23
- July 21 Romans 7:1-13
- July 22 Romans 7:14-8:8
- July 23 Romans 8:9-25
- July 24 Romans 8:26-39
- July 25 Romans 9:1-24
- July 26 Romans 9:25-10:13
- July 27 Romans 10:14-11:12
Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity
As people we are inquisitive by nature. You can see this clearly in children, the desire to know, to understand propels learning and growth. Many people love riddles, or stories with plots that unfold, mysteries that need resolving, that draw us in as they press on our desire to know more.This passage describes Jesus as the mystery of God! The God of the Bible is so much bigger, more loving, more magnificent, holy, wrathful against sin, just, holy, righteous, powerful, gracious…. than we could ever imagine. Jesus is the answer to every problem, every need. Jesus is the only One who can truly satisfy our souls, Jesus contains the wisdom we need for life and for godliness, for parenting, for our career choices and our relationships… Jesus deserves not only all our worship but all our reflection, all our attention and as we focus our lives on Him, we discover more and more about God, who He is and what He is like, we discover treasures that will thrill our hearts and satisfy our souls and we discover wisdom and knowledge for life.
This week sit with your family, loved ones and/or your friends and talk about/share things you saw (God sightings) this week that show you again and again how glorious our God is. Whether it is the sound of the bird singing in a tree or a fantastic sunset or the squirrel playing in your yard that you can see from your window. Share how these little moments remind you how big God can be!
- Jackson Concert Series presents Josh Duffee’s Big Band – Monday, August 1 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are not required.
- Pen Pal Program – We are starting a pen pal program (yes, old school writing letters) with our sister church in Nairobi, Kenya. Please contact Jessica at email@example.com for more information. We are looking to Sept to start sending letters.