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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Gospel According to Paul # 33

In His Letter to the Colossians (continued)

The Emergency Situation at Colossae (continued)

And then it came nearer to their own Christian existence. It touched upon their very life as children of God. Now, if any people in the world ought to be quite sure about these matters - that there is a Divine purpose and Divine pattern and Divine Providence - it is Christians, and the very life of the Christian is affected by whether this is so or not. The matter of our assurance, our confidence, our restfulness, our power, our testimony, rests upon having an answer to these questions. The meaning of this whole universe, the order and the purpose in it, the design and the control of it, the Providence over all events and happenings in the course of human history - these are things that come very near to the Christian. If we have any doubt about them, our Christianity goes for nothing, the very foundations are swept from under our feet, we do not know where we are.

That was the emergency at Colossae. The very life of the Christians, the very life of the Church, was threatened. And if its life is threatened, its growth is threatened. The whole matter of the spiritual growth of the Church and of the Christians is at stake in this - growth, development and maturity. If that is threatened, then something else will be threatened: the whole thing will disintegrate, will fall apart; its unity cohesion will collapse; the whole thing will be scattered into fragments. And so the very hope of the Church and of the Christian is struck at, their hope and their destiny. These are neither small nor unpractical matters. They may come very near at some time or other, and they require an answer.

The Answer to the Situation

Now, it was to meet this whole situation, to answer all these serious questions and issues, that Paul wrote this letter: to confirm the Christians, to establish them, to sustain them, to encourage them; and he calls it "good tidings', and it is. If you can give something to answer all that, it is indeed good tidings, is it not? That is "gospel" indeed! You see, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ touches the uttermost bounds of this universe, and covers everything within those bounds, including human history, human happenings, world events, the course of things, the design in things, the end of things. The gospel touches it all at every point.

So Paul answers it, and he answers the whole of it in one word. His answer is: CHRIST. Christ is the answer. That answer is found inclusively in those words in chapter three, verse eleven, the last clause: "Christ is all, and in all." And what an immense "ALL" Christ is if He covers the whole of that ground! If He reaches out and embraces all those mighty issues, what a Christ He is! The all-comprehending fact is emphatically and categorically stated by the Apostle in this letter. He states it in many sentences, but in this one statement he gathers it all up. The answer to all this is Christ. Christ is the explanation of all the happenings in human history. Christ explains this universe, Christ gives character to this universe, Christ stands behind all the course of the events in this universe. Christ is the integrating Person of everything, the One In Whom all things hold together!

"Christ is the end, for Christ was the beginning;
Christ the beginning, for the end is Christ."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 34 - (The Evidence That the Answer Is Satisfactory)

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