(Vs. 1-5.) The apostle wanted the people of Colosse to know what great concern he had for them (and for believers everywhere), even though he had never met them personally. He then gave reasons for this conflict and concern.
1. v. 2. "That your hearts might beat as one in love for Christ and one another." This is the way to comfort. Lack of unity of heart and affection will destroy joy and comfort.
2. v. 2. "That your hearts may beat as one in understanding and acknowledging the gospel of the glory of the Father and the Son (which is called in the preceding chapter "the mystery of God"). Union of heart in affection depends much upon common understanding and belief of the main truths concerning Christ and how God saves sinners. "Two will not long walk together in spiritual love who do not agree on spiritual truth." Let us pray for a growth in the knowledge of Christ and his grace.
3. v. 3. In Christ are stored up all the riches of God's grace and glory. In him are stored all wisdom and knowledge. Don't look for anything pertaining to God's mercy, grace and righteousness anywhere but in Christ. There is in Christ everything necessary to salvation (l John 5:20).
4. v. 4. "I say this with deep concern, lest any should mislead or deceive you, lest any should draw you away from the simplicity of Christ with beguiling speech" (2 Cor. 11:3). Satan endeavours to sow the seed of error wherever the gospel of Christ is preached. His chief weapon is to entice men to depart in any way from a full trust and confidence in Christ alone and to lean even partially on the flesh (Rom. 11: 6).
5. v.5. "I am absent from you in the flesh." If Paul had been there in person, he could have dealt with these errors as he dealt with Peter (Gal. 2:11-14). (We are to guard jealously the gospel of God's glory.) He was "with them in spirit", however, rejoicing over their faith in Christ.
(Vs. 6.) "As ye have received Christ." How did you receive Christ? You received him:
1 .As the sum and substance of all saving truth.
2. As the fulfilment of all promises.
3. As the fountain of all grace.
4. As the whole of acceptance and righteousness with and before God.
5. As the object of faith and love.
"In the same manner as you received him, continue to walk in him. Live day by day in this faith, trust and relationship. You don't begin in Christ and get perfected, comforted or accepted in your flesh" (Gal. 3:1-3).
(Vs. 7. In this verse Paul prescribes three means for attaining to a constant walk in Christ.
1. "Rooted and built up in him." This is a metaphor taken from trees deeply rooted; "rooted in him". The grip with which faith lays hold on Christ is like a tree deeply rooted in the ground. Its strength, nourishment, life and fruit are supplied from him. Built up in him is a metaphor taken from a building fastened to a foundation. The shape and the stability of the building are determined by the foundation (1 Cor. 3:11).
2. "Established in the faith, as ye have been taught, and abounding therein," established in the doctrine of faith concerning Christ (Heb. 13:9). Not weary of old truths, not moved by new revelations from teachers who glory in the flesh, not easily offended, not driven about with every wind of doctrine, this "building" is firmly established and growing in the faith of the Lord Jesus.
3. All of this is "with thanksgiving". There is great reason for thanksgiving:
1. The unspeakable gift of Christ;
2. Faith itself, which is the gift of God;
3. The gospel and spiritual light;
4. True ministers;
5. All things in Christ (1 Thess. 5:18).