Knowing our King | Colossians 2:5-6 | Walk ye in Him
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
There is nothing more aggravating than studying the Bible and coming to a passage of Scripture that you are unsure of and going to a commentator to find they just skipped right over it. Our devotion this morning is not about verse five and its interpretation but for sake of thoroughness I want to briefly mention what I believe is meant. We already know Paul is not present with them, but in this verse, he says he is “present in spirit, joying and beholding your order and steadfastness.” There are generally 2 views of the meaning of this statement. One, that Paul had some sort of Apostolic power to be there in the spirit without his body being there, like he was called into the third heaven in the spirit, or he is saying that his heart is with them, that from the testimony of others, he has discerned their present state. While the first is possible, it is not likely. If Paul’s spirit could go to these local assemblies, why did he need people to come and report the affairs of the churches to him (Col 1:8, 1 Cor 5:1)? Also, Paul went to great lengths to travel to these churches and see how they were doing; look at what Paul says in Acts 15:36 “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” I believe that the meaning of verse five is in the same context as what Paul tells the Thessalonians in 1 Thes 2:17 “But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.” He was there in the spirit in that we are all one body, as he states in 1:18. He heard their testimony and was joyful. We have all had this same experience, your friend messages you from another church and tells you of a new family that has come to Christ and how they are growing, and you have joy over what the Lord is doing in the life of your brothers and sisters.
What we want to focus on this morning is how he saw them, but what he saw that made him joyful. He says that he has seen their order and the steadfastness of their faith in Christ. These 2 markers are signs of a healthy Christian, remember the problem they had at Corinth? Paul wasn’t overjoyed with them because they had no order in observing the Lord’s supper, 1 Cor 11:34 “And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.” They also had no order in their church services, 1 Cor 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.” God is a God of order, He is not satisfied when everything is out of order, now many have used this truth, to plan every detail of every minute of our worship services or even their own personal lives, but the order spoken of here is not order in the sense of an order of events, rather, order in the sense of rankings in the military, and order of command. I’m reminded of many testimony services that I have been in; the Lord leads the Pastor to call on testimonies or even a member of the body is so overjoyed and full that he or she must glorify God, some of the most helpful services I have been in have been this kind, the testimonies were “in order,” in the sense that God the Holy Ghost gave the orders and men followed in a way that glorified God. Then there have been some testimony meetings that went sideways, and people began to stand up and talk about things that were not edifying the body or glorifying God, and someone needed to reestablish order in the church. Thankfully I have had bold Pastors who would set people down if what they were saying was out of order. That is an example of the sense of order that hopefully gives us the sense of the word, but this is not limited to church services but also to the order of our lives. Is your Christian life in Order? Does the head (Christ) lead the body (You)? If you are doing what you want then things are out of order, imagine a body that’s limbs acted of their own accord without the head having control of them, what an out-of-order life you would lead, and sadly many times our life is out of order. Let Him lead and there will be order in the church and in our personal lives.
Secondly, he is joyful because of their steadfastness in their faith in Jesus Christ. Steadfast simply means stability. They are not “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” [Eph 4:14] neither are they like the people Peter spoke of in 2 Peter 3:16 “They that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” Paul had written a letter years before to the Galatians that shows us a perfect contrast to the Colossians, look at what he says to those who are not steadfast in Galatians 1:6 6 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel” and Galatians 5:7 7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” Lastly, notice his instruction to this wavering unsteady church in Galatians 5:1 1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” If you would have joy in your Christian life then there must be stability, this stability comes from our last verse today. As you have received Him, walk in Him.
How did you receive him? By faith. You came to him not knowing much except you were a sinner and he was the savior and by simple faith in his grace you were born again. That is not only the way to salvation but to steadfastness in Him. We continue to come to Him as little children in need of stability in our hearts, our lives, and our fruitfulness in all areas of our life. We must rest upon Him to perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle us. (1 Peter 5:10 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.) Don’t be “entangled again with the yoke of bondage” nor get entangled with the teachings of false teachers such as these Gnostics threatening the Colossian church, but “6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:”