The Church in Colosse was facing many challenges
- peripheral ideas about angels and fasting were starting to dominate the agenda.
- women were to be treated as equal, with mutual responsibility between the sexes
- respect for slaves needed to be applied in a society whose masters had total control.
Today's society is similarly taken up with angels; 'higher' forms of spirituality, gender roles, and the world of work. These can critically distract the church and make it lose sight of the fact that Jesus is sufficient for a fully-developed life.
Paul reminded the Colossians of Jesus' unique person (being both God and man), of his work on the cross, of his exaltation to the supreme place in the universe. In short, that Jesus was all they needed. In coming to know him, they had been given new life which not only produced a new relationship with God, but also new relationships between believers, be it that of male and female, parents and children, or masters and slaves.
Christians today have to affirm the reality of Christ in these same key areas.
About Derek Tidball
Derek Tidball is visiting scholar at Spurgeon's College, London. Previously, he served as principal of the London School of Theology, where he lectured in pastoral theology. He is appreciated as a Bible expositor at conferences and conventions for which he is much in demand.