Paul’s two-fold mission is to:
- Make the word of God fully known.
- Present everyone mature in Christ.
He is rejoicing in the pain of ministry because people are grasping the gospel – “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. The gospel means that we don’t need to strive to be acceptable to God anymore – the Father has accepted us and made us saints and sons because of Jesus who is in us – dwelling in our hearts by faith through the Spirit. That indwelling relationship with God means we have a hope far greater than hoping the weather will be okay and that it won’t rain before we get the washing in! Hope in Christianity is not a vague wish, but it is certain and sure – we will share in the glory of God – the Spirit guarantees it.
Paul wants to present us mature in Christ – which requires warning and teaching, v.28.
The beginning of chapter 2 begins to unveil some of what that maturity in Christ looks like:
Encouraged hearts – hearts that have courage in them, to live counter-cultural lives, not swept along by what the world thinks is right or cool.
Knitted together in love – maturity is getting on with people, knitted together even though we are vastly different.
Full assurance reached – some of the early Calvinists fully believed that a Christian is eternally secure, but then were wracked with doubt about whether they were saved. Maturity means full assurance, v.2 – knowing that it is all of Christ and nothing of us. Knowing that God who began a good work will carry it on to completion, Philippians 1:6.
Knowledge of the mystery – there were lots of weird mystery religions around in Paul’s day. A mystery is something that has been hidden. God’s plan for the world was therefore a mystery in old covenant times, but now God has revealed a gospel that brings Jew and Gentile to Himself.
Not being deluded by nonsense and heresy – Paul rejoices that the Colossians are firm in the faith, not swayed by the latest paperback or YouTube video.