I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
Knowledge has become a tricky thing in our culture. Far too often, people confuse knowledge for belief and truth for opinion. We may all be guilty of this from time to time. We might hold a particular view so strongly that if others disagree, we consider them wrong or misguided. That can cause friction in social settings or even rupture an otherwise healthy friendship, but when it comes to our faith, we do equate our beliefs with knowledge and our understanding of God with truth. That was Paul’s view, and he didn’t apologize for it. He hoped that believers would have “complete understanding” along with “wisdom and knowledge.” Our faith, in other words, is not a matter of opinion or personal preference; it’s about knowing God and understanding the truth of Christ.
That’s not how our culture views religious belief, and in Paul’s day, followers of Jesus also faced a culture that attempted to pull them away from Biblical truth. The Colossian believers were tempted to leave behind their understanding of God and instead agree with their culture’s “fine-sounding arguments.” People are rarely deceived by obvious falsehoods or blatant fabrications of the truth. Our culture has many fine-sounding reasons to reject faith in Jesus or to replace it with something more in tune with modern social values. For example, people tell us, truth is relative, everyone can decide for themselves what’s right and wrong, science can answer all life’s questions, and all religions lead to god. We might be tempted, just as the Colossians were, to join the crowd in believing their untrue truths.
Instead, we hold fast to the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” about Jesus our Savior. We believe Jesus died and rose again. We trust in God’s grace that saves us. We place our faith in the promise of eternal life. And we confess that our faith is not mere opinion. It is built upon God’s word and upon our lived experience with Jesus, as we feel the Spirit’s presence and are assured, in heart and mind, that Christ has won our salvation. Our faith is firm and unmoving. It is what we believe and what we know to be true.God of Wisdom, help me to understand You better and to grow in faith as I follow Jesus. Remove doubts from my heart, protect me from false teaching, and fill me with Your wisdom. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian