III. The Maturity of Believers (Colossians 1:21–2:3)

1:21-23 The Colossians’ former state of hostility toward God was manifest in their evil actions (1:21). They were reconciled, brought into relationship with God, based on the atoning work of Christ (1:22). The goal for every Christian is to be presented as a mature believer, though no one is perfect. Maturity requires responsibility on our part—we are not to be shifted away from the hope of the gospel (1:23).

Paul’s ministry centered on proclaiming this mystery, particularly to the Gentiles, so that they might be presented as mature in glory (1:27). His proclamation—with a call to response, with admonishment, and with guidance in the application of truth—required all wisdom (1:28). People are at various stages in their spiritual experience. Every minister should strive with God’s strength (1:29) for the spiritual development of his entire congregation.

2:1-3 Paul’s labor of love not only went to the Colossians, but it extended to people he’d never met (2:1). He wanted them to understand the fullness of the gospel. In Christ is found the secret to truth and to knowledge and to life; therefore, he wanted them to apprehend that truth so they could have wisdom (2:2-3). Knowledge is the apprehension of truth; wisdom is the application of that truth to life.

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