Establishing a Strong Foundation Together
For I want you to know how greatly I am struggling for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person. 2 I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of complete understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery—Christ. 3 In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:1-3)
After sharing about the mystery of Christ, Paul then writes in this chapter on how the believers in Colossae could resist the false doctrines shared by the false teachers around them. Paul is very concerned for them, “For I want you to know how greatly I am struggling for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person.” The Greek word for “struggling” here can be interpreted as having “anxiety or concern.” Paul was very aware of the situation of the sharks that surrounded the church and wanted to warn them to stay vigilant. This concern branched out beyond the church in Colossae and was then directed to every believer around the world as well.
Paul then gives practical steps on how to establish a strong foundation against such false teachings. First, he reminds believers to have “their hearts to be encouraged.” Now, the believers at Colossae were not “down in the dumps.” What Paul means here is that he wanted them to be strengthened, have their resolve when they face these false teachers.
Second, they are to be “joined together in love.” Paul wants the believers to be a united front. The false teacher’s strategy is to tempt individuals away. As Max Anders writes, “A person left alone, with no support, is much more vulnerable than a cohesive unit.” So, to make sure everyone is unified, they are united by love for one another, genuinely caring for one another, encouraging and supporting each other.
Once their resolve is established and they are unified together with love, they have a system where they can grow together and “have all the riches of complete understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery-Christ.” The believers can grow together in wisdom through the leading of the Holy Spirit and through their fellowship with one another as they study God’s Word. As opposed to the false teachers who claimed that the knowledge of salvation can only be acquired in secret methods that they only knew, Paul counters and states that the mystery is already revealed in Christ, “in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Just like the challenge to the body of believers by Paul, may we steady our resolve in our faith in Christ. May we genuinely care and love one another, supporting each other as we grow in the knowledge of Christ, in whom we find wisdom and strength to withstand the temptations of this world. In that manner, may we build these strong foundations together.
Isaac De Guzman