Well… I should be calling this “practical grace, monthly” for all the paucity of posts… much (good) going on in other areas of my life, for which I daily praise our Savior!
I’ve been chewing on Colossians 1:28 today, after discussing it with a friend. So often my post-conversion Christian life becomes about worrying if I’ve broken the rules, or slogging through a tough day. My Christianity can become one more task to be done, one more responsibility to be handled.
Which is why this verse is really exciting. Here’s the verse:
“We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”
Hmm. Admonishing and instructing doesn’t sound all that grace-oriented, does it? Great, you might think, another warning, another heavy burden of what I have to do as a Christian.
But that’s not it at all. Two really wonderful observations:
1. “Him we are proclaiming” — Paul is talking to the church, to believers. And he cries out, we are proclaiming Jesus! So day by day, after the Colossians were saved, Paul was still proclaiming Jesus. Still focused on the Savior. Still talking about the impact of who Jesus is, what he’s done, and why it matters. Preaching Jesus isn’t “just” to get people saved… He’s for every single moment of our lives on earth.
Wow, how I need to hear that every day. My Savior lives! His blood spilled for me! His perfections, mine! His righteousness, given! My salvation, assured — because of Him. And He continues to mold me, shape me, pray for me. “Him we are proclaiming,” that’s the focus.
2. The continual wonder of the Gospel is driven home by the context. Paul writes that He proclaims the mystery shown to the saints, to whom “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). The Christ that Paul is proclaiming is the Christ who is in us, our only hope of glory.
This leads to a bit of a different emphasis for the “warning” that Paul is doing. Warning — don’t find your hope of glory in anything else. Warning — don’t swim back to self-righteousness, merit, or anything that might de-emphasize the amazing union you have received, being in Christ.
That’s why he’s so eager to be proclaiming through “teaching,” too. He has such a great struggle that the Christians there — and us, too — might have the “full assurance of understanding… of Christ Himself” (Colossians 2:2). We have been given such riches! If only our eyes would be opened to the amazing knowledge of God’s reality: we are His children, we have an eternal inheritance, and the mere moments on earth that we have should be gloriously poured out in moment-by-moment proclaiming of the wonders of our Savior.
So consider this proclamation for you, for me, today: Christ in you, the hope of glory! May we rejoice in our union, lean on Him, live lives for Him, because of what He’s done.
May we proclaim on earth what we will shout forever in heaven: Worthy is the Lamb!