Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Filled Full (Ponderings in Colossians 1)

This year, I’ve been doing some serious reading and pondering in Colossians.  I’ve enjoyed my time spent in Colossians and noticed how much the Colossians and Ephesians letters complement each other.  I thought I would share a few of my ponderings randomly as I have time to write them up.
What most people call “The Book of Colossians” is actually a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the saints and believers in Christ who lived in Colosse.  Colosse was a place in western Turkey about 100 miles east of Ephesus.  Today, that location is called Chonas.  
Colossians 1:7-9
In Colossians 1:7-9, Paul says,
“Therefore we also, from the day on which we hear, do not cease praying for you and requesting that you may be filled full with the realization of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…”
Reading “…that you may be filled full with the realization of His will…” caused me to remember what the Scriptures say in John 3:27,
“A man cannot get anything if it should not be given him out of heaven”
and what it says in Ephesians 2:8-10,
“in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God’s approach present, not of works, lest anyone should be boasting.  For His achievement are we…”
We cannot be filled with the realization of God’s will unless God fills us.  It is nothing we can accomplish with our own human efforts.  We can only contain what God pours in, what He chooses to fill us with.
“…that you may be filled full with the realization of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…”
God is wisdom, and He is also our wisdom because He fills us.  If we have wisdom, it is only because He has granted it.  If we understand anything at all, it is because He has granted understanding.  Realization, wisdom, and spiritual understanding can only come from God and be given to us by God.  We are earthen vessels that can contain such things as they poured into us, but we cannot create them and place them within ourselves.  We are His achievement, not our own.
In grace, through faith, are we saved and it is not out of us.  By God we are filled with a realization of His will and granted wisdom and spiritual understanding.  None is out of our own selves, our own doing, or our own efforts or hard work.  It is all from God.  We have no right to boast one iota in what He accomplishes with us or to think that we have had anything to do with what He has given us.  Even our faith is not our own.  It comes from Christ, Who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
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