1For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. 5For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.
6Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
(1) First recognize the importance of strengthening your heart
(Ill) you go for your check up and the doctor’s first order of business relates to matters of the heart – blood pressure – tryclycerides – good and bad cholesterol – exercise
until you hear his advice – you just keep doing the things that harm you and NOT doing the things that will help you
The doctor does all this because if your heart is in trouble – your life is in trouble
Spiritually – the same thing is true – if our heart – our soul is in trouble - then we are in trouble
23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
20 He that hath a wayward heart findeth no good;
Paul emphasizes the importance of having a strengthened heart – spiritual life
How greatly I strive Literally, “how great a
contest I am having.”
It is an inward contest of anxiety
But in verse 2 he gets down to what he is struggling – or striving for - why he is have such an inward contest of anxiety
that their hearts may be encouraged,
Not so much tranquilized as braced. See on John 14:16.
Be United With Other Believers In Love
Being knit together
to make go together, to coalesce in argument
(Acts 16:10), in spiritual growth (Colossians 2:19), in love as here.
Love is the bond that binds all together.
The emphasis is that the bond here is LOVE as opposed to something else – like “knowledge” – not IQ - (what if you had to have an IQ =190?) –not beauty or conceit (zigler – only disease that makes everybody sick except for the one who actually has it)
(ILL) working on the summer crew of Mcdonald’s Concrete – very diverse group of people but we came together for a few months of our lives and worked as a unit – we were bound together by the task – and the skills and the man power needed for the task – There might be any number of things that might bind a group of people together, but for those who belong to Christ – we are bound together – by this incredible thing called LOVE
Colossians 3:14 …perfect bond of unity…
Note: Christian love extends beyond the ones we know and have on going relationships with – Paul here, affirms his great love and concern for these Colossian Christians and others even though they have never met
Start by being bond to Jesus Christ – by faith – learn what true love is in Christ – then experience that same love in others that love Christ
(2) Attain The Riches Of Assurance Through Understanding The Gospel
Attain = to obtain through effort --
Of the full assurance of understanding Paul desires the full use of the intellect in grasping the great mystery of Christ and it calls for the full and balanced exercise of all one’s mental powers.
The more we “ponder” and “understand” the Gospel and who Jesus Christ is and what he did – the greater our assurance – and that assurance is described as wealth – riches by Paul and in other places
2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence
The mystery of God, even Christ
Christ is “the mystery of God,” but no longer hidden, but manifested (1:26) and
meant for us to know to the fulness of our capacity.
All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
Paul confronts these pretentious intellectuals (Gnostics) with the bold claim that
Christ sums up all wisdom and knowledge. These treasures are hidden
whether the Gnostics have discovered them or not. They are there (in Christ) as
every believer knows by fresh and repeated discovery.
(3)Experience The Benefits Of A Strengthened Heart
“no one will delude you with persuasive argument”
“good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ”
“firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith,”
overflowing with gratitude