Knowing our King | Colossians 2:7 | Ye have been taught
Colossians 2:7 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Verse seven is a culmination of the last 2 verses, it could be said this way; if verses 5 and 6 are true in your life then verse seven will be also. It seems that this congregation had gotten a good start, from what Paul says in verses 5 & 6 we can gather that he had no worries about their beginning. He sees their order and steadfastness and is so pleased with how they have started their Christian journey that he urges them to continue on that same path, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” What Paul is concerned with is not how they began but how they are going to continue. Many Christians have started well but starting well isn’t near as important as finishing well. What we have in verse 7 are instructions for finishing well.
If we would finish well, we have to start well, and every man that has truly come to Christ, by grace through faith has started well. He may have been pointed to Christ by a tract, a church, a pastor, a radio program, or any number of ways, but every one of God’s children get the same start, the new birth. From that moment you are plucked up out of the miry clay, your feet are set upon the solid rock and your going is established! Quickened, who was dead in our trespasses and sins! This is the beginning that the people at Colossae had. This is birth but birth is just the beginning of life not the end of it. Sadly, many churches treat Christians, and this journey we are on as if we can just “Get them saved” and then our work is done. Dear friend, our work has just begun. Babies need care, get ready to change some spiritual diapers and wipe runny noses. Our churches are filled with stunted Christians whose roots in him are more like the weed growing on a wall instead of the tree planted by the rivers of water, who are not established in the faith. This could be their own fault or blame could be laid on the people who have taught them, or not taught them.
Look at what they have to owe their stability and steadfastness to: “As ye have been taught.” Do we remember what was said in 1:7 “…ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ.” Their order and steadfastness to a large degree was on the account of them having “a faithful minister.” It has been said that a congregation reflects the pastor, what a sobering thought but true to a certain level. Most of us contribute our hearing the gospel to a man, we thank God for the man who preached the Gospel to us when we first believed, but we should also thank God for the men who invested their lives in teaching, preaching, and pastoring. These are the men that foster our relationship with Christ; they reach down a helping hand when we fall, steady us when we are slipping, and give us a course to walk on. If you have never had a pastor, you friend are at a great disadvantage. God has set men in the church to edify the body, feed the sheep, and foster them into stable, steadfast men and women rooted in Christ. Here is the caveat, the one thing that we as leaders must be careful of, is that we are fostering their relationship with Jesus, and not with us, or other men, or schools of thought, or any other person or thing but Christ. Yes, you should have a pastor to follow but only if he is following Christ. I’m reminded of what Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 1:6 “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord.” You should have a man you are following but that man must be following the Lord. What a convicting thought for those of us who have people under our care. If they follow us will they in turn be following Jesus? Could the Lord say to them as he has said to Colossae, “as ye have been taught?”
The previous Is a lesson to the leaders but the intended message of this epistle is written to those following, the believers at Colossae. The message we need to take heed of most of all is that we must continue on the path that we have started on and not be taken off, or removed from what has been taught. That is the danger that they were in and the danger that is infecting the church of today. In that day men would have to meet these false teachers in the marketplace or allow them to come into their church but today we have them on every other channel on the TV in our home, we may even subscribe to some of their channels on YouTube or watch 30 seconds clips on the phone. Don’t think that these 30-sec clips of subtle false teachings aren’t affecting you or others, they are. Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:16-18 “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” As Paul is warning and teaching against the false teachers of his day who are preaching another christ, so must we as leaders. As believers we need to follow the instruction in 2 Timothy, to shun these deceptive people and their teachings, their words are like a “canker”(gangrene) and the only cure for gangrene is amputation. Too many Christians go hear their pastor once a week and then feed on YouTube preachers, and podcasters every day, it’s no wonder we are in the mess we are in! If you find yourself in a church that is in error by all means leave but If God has used a man to bring you to Christ and foster you toward Christ, and as long as he continues in that same path so should you. The most stable and steadfast Christians I have known have been men and women who had faithful leaders that invested in them, and they continued on that same path. Do you want to be rooted in Him and established in the faith, abounding therein with thanksgiving, orderly and steadfast? Then continue “as ye have been taught.”