Colossians 2:1-5
Col 2:1 (KJB)
For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
Conflict - Struggle or agony
Here Paul begins the second chapter by stating that he had great struggles for these Colossians, Laodiceans, and even those whom he had never met personally. Paul did not start these churches but he always had great concern for the churches and believers in general. His great struggle at this point would have been in prayer and maybe he had petitioned God to allow him out of prison so he could personally visit these young churches. Paul never ceased to agonize over the young churches because he knew how vulnerable they were. The book of Second Corinthians was a defense of Paul’s ministry and the true gospel so he knew full well what struggles the young churches were facing. This is true at any period in time, whenever a new church begins, there is always a certain vulnerability in the early stages which can affect its growth and spirituality.
Col 2:2 (KJB)
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Might be comforted - Be encouraged
Being knit together - United or bring together
Full assurance - Complete confidence or certainty
Of understanding - Comprehension
Acknowledgement - Knowledge or consciousness
Here Paul gives the reasons for which he agonized over them. First, he prayed that they would be encouraged as many churches undergo problems and that they should not think that problems are only peculiar to them. Secondly, he desires that they are knit together, just as a garment is sown together. When a single thread is yanked, it will break in two but when the threads are sown together, it becomes difficult to try and separate the garment or even destroy it. This is the essence of the thought of unity that Paul had in view. A church which stands on the truth of Scripture will not be easily led astray or destroyed by false doctrine. Next Paul desired that they will have complete confidence in their understanding of the mystery of Christ dwelling within them. Paul had desired that they continue to grow in understanding these mysteries. As a Christian grows in their understanding of the Gospel, they begin to better understand the mysteries found in the Scriptures and probably there is no greater mystery than Christ indwelling the Christian. As young Christians, we know of the relationship which Christ has with His people but as we mature, we begin to understand the greater intimacies of that relationship.
Col 2:3 (KJB)
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Hid - Secrets or concealed
The treasures - Treasury or a storehouse
Here Paul butts heads with the Gnostics stating that only in Christ is found the true treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom is the true application of knowledge. One can learn many things but if they do not have the wisdom to understand them and utilize them properly, then the knowledge is useless. The Gnostics had believed that knowledge was an end in itself but knowledge without wisdom is like a well without water, empty. This verse states that “all” the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ. This means that the Gnostics were dealing with false knowledge since they rejected the deity of Christ. Paul wanted the Christians to know that the knowledge they held about Christ and the Father was totally superior than the false knowledge the Gnostics held.
Col 2:4 (KJB)
And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
Should beguile - Deceive, delude, or mislead
Enticing words - Persuasive speech
Another reason that Paul had agonized over them was the fact that he did not want the Colossians to be deceived by persuasive speech. The Gnostics were very adept at using enticing words to persuade others to believe them and when they were at the zenith of their speaking, they were able to become tricky in their delivery and these word tricks would cause the people to believe them. You can hear this type of word usage in subjects like “textual criticism” where the arguments sound so logical or persuasive. Basically, what textual criticism teaches is that God could not preserve His Word. So basically that subject is nothing more than an attack upon God’s character. There are also other subjects which are attacked with intellectual prowess such as the resurrection of Christ but all these arguments come to nothing. In our day when education is worshipped, we must be careful that the education god does not replace the God of the Bible, but unfortunately it has in some people’s lives.
Col 2:5 (KJB)
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.
Beholding - Seeing
Order - Orderly manner
The steadfastness - Solidness or firmness
Though Paul was unable to be with them, it was as if he was seeing them in person as a military regiment. He complimented them for being a well-disciplined group of Christians. He noticed how they handled things in an orderly manner and how firm they stayed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Their faith in Christ was solid and the false teachings of the Gnostics did not affect it. As long as they stood firm against the Gnostics, the church would remain strong but if they allowed a little bit of their teaching to take root, it would be the beginning of the end for that church and for any church. No church must allow any false teachings to take root or else it will mushroom and cause the end of that assembly. Look at the problems in Corinth and Galatia when the Judaizers were permitted to have an audience. False teachings have no place in any church or ministry because we are speaking of a situation which is eternal.