Look No Further…


What is it that we have received? Nothing less than the full and complete word of God, both in scripture and in the flesh. Why does Paul feel the need to admonish the Colossian community and, by implication, us, here “to continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught?” He does so because the Colossians were being accosted constantly by “false teachers” teaching things that were outside of the gospel teaching, that would lead them away from God. The same is true for us.

This, as we can see here, is not a “new” phenomenon. Sometimes those who do this are simply mis-informed themselves, who think they have somehow “found” the truth in some source that is outside of the scriptures. But there are also those who desire to lead us away from God and the narrow path for their own nefarious reasons. In either case, they will try to make themselves appear to be what they are not. They are in competition, after all, with the truth, so they must try to look and sound more attractive than the truth.

Paul knows that it is in Christ alone that we have access to the Father. It is Christ who has taught us the truth with both his words and his deeds. His teachings are complete and need no other “enlightenment” from any other source. Who, other than Christ, could cancel the debt of sin that stood against us with of its claims? Who else could have redeemed us? Who else could have taught us the whole law of Love and commanded us to live it as he did? All that we need to know about God, we not only learned from Jesus, but we saw it lived out in its fullness in him. If we truly believe and accept the gospel, should we not, then, be convinced that our salvation can be achieved through no other means?

Paul is admonishing the Colossians, and us, to remain true to the gospel, to what we have been taught, and to avoid the importunings of any teachings that come from outside of the gospel. We need look no further than the gospel to find the truth about God and about how we are to conduct ourselves as true disciples of Christ. The Christian Church should be recognized by the fact that it lives in Christ, and Christ in it. By its actions, all should be able to see that the Church, the Body of Christ, is rooted in Christ alone. It should be clearly recognizable to all that the strength of the Church comes from what it has been taught in Christ. There is no other message that can lay claim to any of this. That is what Paul wants the Colossians, and us, to remember and to live by. Thanks be to God.

Lord, give us the grace to keep our eyes only on you. You alone are the Way, the Truth and the Life. Lead us away from temptation and deliver us from all that is evil. We pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.
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