“27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:27-29 KJV
Paul is letting them know that his call and commission, as well as his anointing, is to preach, warn (admonish), and teach every man. There are three essential phrases in verse 28:
Preach to every man
Warn every man
Present every man perfect.
The Greek word “man” is generic for mankind, or humanity, so it includes all of us. He says he worked very hard (striving) at doing these three things according to the working (energy) which the Lord gave him in a powerful way.
We understanding “preaching to every person,” and “warning every person,” but it is the “being presented perfect” that we struggle to understand.
There are a couple of words in Scripture translated “perfect” or “complete” and to understand these words – not in English, but with the concepts that the Greek carries, is a key to this passage. (Note: each passage that contains “perfect” or “complete” needs to be examined in this way. Otherwise, we will misunderstand what is being said. That can easily be done by anyone using an interlinear Greek/English version, or one can go to BibleHub.com and go to their interlinear to find the word and its meaning by clicking on the number above it. This is a free resource, and one I use before I teach – always).
The word used for “perfect” here has nothing to do with perfection as we understand it. Instead, it means to be completely satisfied in every way in Christ. This is a key to our understanding how our Lord works. He moves inside at our invitation and is available to change everything we need to be changed. (I say available because He only does what we invite Him to do or permit and cooperate with Him to do. He does not “take over” and make us into something we are unwilling to be. Our cooperation is always needed to change our interiors.
So, as we willingly submit to our Lord Jesus, there is a dimension in Him where we can allow our emotions to be trained to want only what He has given. This is the answer to many who hope for emotional help in the constant “need” we have for more of whatever it is we feel we lack. This word indicates that Jesus not only gives all that is needed but also supplies the ability to be totally satisfied emotionally in that gift.
This being “perfect” is potentially fantastic! Paul was presenting a Christ that fills every need and supplies all that is needed in living in that provision. As in all gifts He gives, there must be faith to receive, and the intimacy within fellowship in Him developed to learn Spirit satisfaction. I think most of us have a lot to learn. But thanks be to God who does all things well in us, and for us, it is not hard to learn to receive and to learn to allow such satisfaction to be not only our expectation but also our reality. This is nothing new, as the generals of our faith all know of this and live in it. My words may just be a bit different than they would use.
There are other places Paul talks about this also. One is Philippians 4:11-13. Everything in that passage hinges on the phrase in verse 11 where Paul says, “Not that I speak in respect of want:” some translations say “need.” Same idea — being satisfied with the conclusion of verse 13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.” This passage is not as we had thought. I will not try to teach it all here, maybe later, in time when I do Philippians on this blog. Go to Biblehub.com and study it out on your own. It is glorious!
Thanks so for joining me in this study.