In his letter to the Colossian Christians, Paul addresses some false teachings that were being promoted in the church. It is unclear what all the specific false teachings were that Paul addressed in this letter, but what is crystal clear is Paul’s focused message that Jesus is God.
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:8-10
Because Jesus is God and Jesus offers you the opportunity through faith in Him to establish a relationship with God, you can have a new life to live – here and now.
In Colossians 2:11-15, Paul reminds the believers in Jesus what they had received through their faith in Jesus.
When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. Colossians 2:11-15
As with the believers in the city of Colossae, Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection are marvelous news for you! This is the gospel.
When you believe the message about Jesus, you are made alive in Him! After some time passes, you (or others) may try to convince you that Jesus is not sufficient or enough to fully cancel your sin debt or fully transform your life. But “adding” requirements to your faith in Jesus or allowing others to pressure you into specific church rules or regulations is directly against the gospel – the message of Jesus.
Paul warns against combining human wisdom and religious philosophy with the gospel. Either Jesus is God, or He is not. Either Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection fully satisfied God for the forgiveness of your sins, or it did not. Either faith in Jesus is the true way to a relationship with God, or it is not. The first two chapters of Colossians argue that Jesus alone is God, forgives your sins, and provides you the opportunity for a relationship with God.
If you believe in Jesus, what now?
Paul provides instructions for living your new life in Jesus throughout chapters 3 and 4 of Colossians. For example, Colossians 3:16 is one verse of instruction that is a command for followers of Jesus.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. Colossians 3:16
According to Colossians 3:16, when the message of Jesus (the gospel) fills your life or dwells in you, the result will be at least three life activities:
- Teach God’s Word to each other,
- Counsel each other on living out God’s Word, and
- Singing to God or musical worship of God.
How often do you want a clear way to live, representing that you know Jesus?
This one verse, Colossians 3:16, provides a simple but three profound ways to live your new life in Jesus. But remember Paul’s warning because you may have the same human tendencies as the believers in Jesus in the first-century city of Colossae. They wanted to add requirements to their faith in Jesus. Don’t make these three ways to represent Jesus a life requirement, but rather a way to live your life that reflects “the message of Jesus, in all its richness, fills your life.”
Watch the LIVE REPLAY to learn more about three ways to show you know Jesus. Join us LIVE every Monday at 3 p.m. ET on @GodGivesCourage Instagram for our Spiritual Growth Series and check back here on Tuesdays for the companion blog post.