Hidden Treasure

HiddenTreasure

1For I would that ye knew what great conflict (or care) I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted (or encouraged), being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement (or full-experiential knowledge) of the mystery of God and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:1-3 KJV

In 2:3 we find that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Please note that wisdom comes first. Other passages do the same.

Proverbs 2:1-2 “1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;”

That is true throughout Proverbs 2. The passage in James is also noteworthy here:

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Wisdom is always a gift from our Heavenly Father. To ask for wisdom is the beginning step to acquiring the knowledge of the holy. All knowledge (on any subject), insight, and revelation is the result of knowledge being given through wisdom by our Lord Jesus.

Biblical wisdom is not the ability to use information or knowledge properly. That is the world’s definition. It is instead a gift from God which opens all other doors to the heavenly treasures in the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The word for “treasures” in this verse means “stored-up treasures” or “a storehouse of treasures.” WOW! All is available for those who seek. As we bless the Lord and trust our lives to this precious Jesus Christ, let’s begin to ask for wisdom so we can receive all the stored treasures in His heart for us.

Oh yes, in Him we already have all, but according to this passage the door to all these treasures are found through being encouraged by others and knitting our lives together with others in Christ – so that (last post) all this can be received.

Just a note: Many have found salvation in our Beloved Lord who are not encouraged by others nor knit to others in His love, who also study and follow His heart. They are, of course, saved. However, just having salvation does not grant access into the treasures of love. Just studying does not allow it either. Those treasures are found in Him with others. These are truths that are missed or misunderstood by many. Re-read Colossians 2 for more.

So That…

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1I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.” Colossians 2:1-2 NIV

It is clear that Paul has not yet met the people in Colossae nor the ones in Laodicea. Why does it matter? He’s is writing to them (and also wrote a letter to Laodicea – see Colossians 4:16) and is revealing that he is “contending” for them. The word “contending” means to struggle. It is what we would call contending in prayer as he writes. What is he struggling about with them in prayer? Why would he be doing so?

I believe the answer to all those questions is in the content that he is about to share. There are depths of relationship in our Lord Jesus that are very difficult to state in words on paper. When we are with people who walk in those depths, then we can in Spirit begin to see and understand those depths. Words do not convey adequately – Spirit does in the words. Without the breath of the Holy Spirit, we will not understand what is being said. This is so true of most of Scripture. The words on paper do not adequately convey the same things that Spirit through person is able to reveal. The proof of that is how many of us have read and read these passages and have never understood what is here.

So, Paul is struggling about how to share with them, and in his prayers with them, he is struggling for them. He does not want them left out of what he is saying.

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart…” is Paul’s heart revealed to them. He has a goal in mind and some understandings he wants to impart. The word used in the KJV here is “comforted.” The word in Greek holds both meanings, and the word can be interpreted either way. Encouraged is the better word here I believe. He wants them built up in their innermost being – their heart. “…and united in love,” both must be in place. Usually, if a person is united in love with a body of believers, they will be encouraged. That is one of the most important things for us in a body of believers. This calls for us to be joined to a fellowship closely. (Discussion of that concept will wait for another post).

“So that…” is what the NIV says and it carries the appropriate meaning. The word in Greek is most generally translated “into.” “So that they may have the…” When we are encouraged and knit together with believers, then we are presented with open doors of understanding that cannot be received nor known to those living without fellowship and as islands unto themselves. Notice what door is opened, or what the people in Colossae will be put “into,” – “the full riches of complete understanding,” then there is another “into” the knowledge (full-experiential knowledge) of the mystery of God, namely Christ.”

In other words, Paul wants them to know that being encouraged and knit together opens doors of full riches of the mutual understanding of the full experimental knowledge of the mystery of God, namely the mystery of Christ in us that was mentioned in 1:27.

Christ in us is much more than we have ever dreamed. He has riches of indwelling glory and many such things – experiential knowledge of this mystery, which has no words. It will take our lifetime to explore and discover – in love and Spirit.

I pray your interest is sufficient to read and begin to receive and discover. I too must struggle with you and pray that the Spirit Himself begins to unfold, unveil, and discover for you the riches, intimacies, and indescribable joys that await each of us who will choose to follow the fullness of this Colossian’s Word.

In Jesus – All is Well!

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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.

Riches of The Indwelling Glory

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 “26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 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:” Colossians 1:26-27 KJV

I realize this was most of the quote from the last post, however, as I closed out that bit of writing, I knew there was at least one more post on this same passage. So, bear with me if you will, and let’s discover some things that are delightful. As I have meditated on the passage, what I had thought to write about is not the core thought today. That may be in this or even another post. We will see how it flows.

The indwelling of the Lord within us is an understanding that has massive consequences for us. First of all, we are no longer just human, for now, the Spirit of the Son of God dwells within, and we are known in Spirit realms as “The Temple of the Holy Spirit.” This is not just a nice phrase but a change of spiritual DNA within us. We now live His life (1 John 4:17), and He lives ours. It is the great exchange that began in the Spirit realm when we began to believe and put our trust in Jesus our Lord and Savior. So, learning not to coddle our human nature and being willing to accept the Word of the Lord is only our beginning steps. I asked the Lord how this “Him in me and me in Him” works. And He was swift to show me in my inner man the Baby in the manger. He was “infused” with Divinity, and now we are infused the same way. I immediately understood.

Now to allow the Lord to begin to show us the “riches” of this indwelling,” is another journey. It is one that will lead us into realms of experiencing the Word in ways we may not have before. It will, in a few words, lead us into an intimacy in the Lord Jesus that is full of so many things we are a bit dumbstruck as we ponder them.

21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” John 17:21-23 KJV

So, we have been given the Spirit of Christ (Holy Spirit) and are one Spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17), and how we have been given His glory. And that glory has riches in us. These are things that Paul did not elaborate on at this point. We find them throughout the pages of the New Covenant but may not have known that they were ours in glory.

The one “rich” thing I want to share briefly today is the change in our prayer life. What once may have been a dry time of trying to remember who and what we needed to pray for and having trouble believing for it all, now becomes a deep intimacy within, that loves and renews. The exchange is marvelous. We spend more time loving Him and blessing Him and enjoying Him and less in asking, mainly because in that intimacy nothing is lacking and we begin to embrace all, even though many things are yet to be seen in the natural realm. We become like Abraham, who even though he had not yet receive the promise, he embraced it and lived in the light and truth of its reality.

Another door that begins to open is our being able to “see” in the Spirit realms much more easily. What is seen there answer questions we have not even known to ask.

I could spend the rest of the day in this “riches of glory,” but want to just share one more item. The word “hope” in Greek means “confident expectation.” So, you see where “hope” begins to provide a much deeper foundation that we had thought. This faith is so full.

Want to know more. Go to Him believing, and He will delight you with what He says and reveals. This is just a nudge that direction. Go and find out more than anyone could write for you.

“Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:2-3

Bless you, for reading.

 

The Mystery…Disclosed!

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25I have become its (the church) servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness – 26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles, the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” Colossians 1:25-27 NIV

Paul’s commission was unique. While others knew of the gospel of grace and the inclusion of Gentiles in the family of God, Paul was a forerunner and appointed by God to proclaim the fullness of this understanding.

In this season, our Lord is revealing more and more what this “mystery” is all about. Everything from now on must be seen and interpreted in light of this understanding. “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” is not just a nice phrase or a needed understanding. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within man as a part and result of the new birth in Christ, every understanding of being separate from God has vanished. That’s right! When we come to grips in ourselves that He actually lives in each one born again, then many of our understandings come to a screeching halt. We cannot do religious things (or Christian disciplines, we call them) to get “closer” or to “please” Him. He lives within, and Christ is genuinely pleased with our very breath. We can begin to see and understand that He is leading and guiding me if I choose.

We begin to understand all of His is ours (1 Corinthians 3:20-23), and He loves to be where He is, in us, and to shed His love abroad in our hearts. Our communion in prayer, Word, Lord’s Supper,  life is just that – our sharing in Him what has been given. All has been done, and now we have the ultimate joy in just enjoying Him each day and encouraging others to do so as well.

Every Biblical understanding goes through a process that includes the cross and all that has been accomplished, so we are empowered to be, and to obey as His “more than wonderful” Word is unfolded in us and for us. All Word now becomes more revelation in Him, and we are always amazed and blessed as we study and meditate.

This is more than beautiful! I would suggest that if my words seem strange to you, or not fulfilled in you just yet, that you take this passage and begin to allow the Holy Spirit to teach you as you talk with Him and as you think on the passage. He will show you what I am so excited about.

The Word has always been with us! Yet, each of us in our own hearts moves into realms of glory as we choose to do so in His heart and Word. He is always faithful to open His heart in us. Thank you, Lord, and we purposefully focus on You as we read and receive your Word!

Thanks so for joining me in this journey.

 

 

Hidden Treasures

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“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness — the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.” Colossians 1:25-26 NIV

In the first part of this section, we find that Paul has become a servant (of the body of Christ) by the commission given to him by God. This word translated “commission” here in the NIV (stewardship, administration by other translations) is a word that means “household manager” or “management.” He was placed in charge of this “fullness of the Word” to bring to everyone a mystery that has been in the Word all along, but hidden from God’s people until Paul’s time. (We study that “mystery” in the next post).

What I sense the Lord wants to reveal to us is the fact that not all the Scripture is understood in its fullness. If we read Proverbs 2, we find that the gold and silver and precious jewels of the Word are hidden and available to those who progressively want more and more. I urge you to read Proverbs 2 and notice the progression of the verbs as one moves into the Word in verse 1-5. He has purposefully infused His Word with mysteries that we have not yet seen.

Many of us delight in allowing the Lord to “unfold” into our understanding things we have never studied, nor thought about a passage. He loves to do so. The revelation out of the Word will agree with the Word – always. Although it may not agree with my present understanding of the Word. That is a big difference and often causes us to stumble unless we prepare ourselves for change as we read and study Him.

Today, be encouraged. We will never ever know it all. Just when we think we’ve got it, something else in our understanding receives a light bulb (action of the Holy Spirit), and then He helps us understand something that we had not seen. Many of us call this “revelation knowledge.” It is absolutely marvelous and will renew our minds faster than memorization, or anything else can do. Once we “see,” then we truly know.  A word of revelation out of the Word will halt our natures and say, “Look again!” It is a beautiful way to study, this listening to the Holy Spirit explain His own Word.

As I purposely read the Bible through every year, this has become my way of reading. Now it is reading and listening and seeing how the Spirit puts things together. What a world of wonder the Word is in His heart. Lord, we understand and we hear You as we meditate upon You and Your beautiful Word.

Thank you for taking this trip today with me.

Rejoicing and Filling Up

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“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.” Colossians 1:23-24 KJV

There a just a couple of items in these few verses that I want to highlight. The beginning of verse 23 was discussed in the last post, so please go there to read if needed. The first thing I want us to notice is that our gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of hope. The Greek word translated “hope” means expectation, firm, confident expectation. So it is a confidence in what He has accomplished for us that give us eternal, confident expectation for what tomorrow will bring. It is not a “hope” like we use the word today – that is more like a “wish.” That is not at all what is meant here. Instead, this good news of all the accomplishment of Christ for us brings a moment-by-moment expectation of all He has promised. This does not lead to despair, nor to depression. It leads instead to joy!

Paul has said in 1:6 that this gospel has come to all the world (as it did to them) and now he repeats that truth by saying that it had been preached to every creature under heaven. So that has been completed, at least once in this world.

Then he returns to the “joy” theme as he states that he rejoices in his personal suffering which is doing four distinct things: 1 – It is for them; 2 – It is filling up (or completing) what was still lacking in the afflictions of Christ; 3 – This is for Christ’s body’s sake; 4 – That body is the church. Now what he is talking about is the sufferings that he (and everyone who is a believer) suffered as a result of being a part of the body of Christ – the Church. This suffering is the body’s part. Christ completely purchased total redemption, forgiveness of sin, reconciliation, sanctification, and on and on. As a believer suffers for the cause of Christ, that is added to Him personally. We, His body, do suffer – everyone in one degree or another due to our faith in Him. That is natural in the Body we belong to. It is a part of the whole and a participation of each one of us in Christ’s afflictions. (Review Acts 9:4-6 where Paul encounters our Lord and the Lord asks him why was he persecuting Him when in fact, it was the Lord’s people that were being persecuted). Our suffering is “participatory” but not redemptive. Nothing in that process has been left undone, or “left behind” as Paul says here.

We can embrace the attitude he is talking about here and learn to rejoice in being misunderstood, disliked, left-out, looked-over, hurt, misused, and every other form of suffering that might happen. To turn that natural “sorry-for-self thinking” into the thinking that I can be joyful, even here, takes some mind training in the expectations of the Lord for us, in us, and with us. We begin to understand we are in Him, so it is not just us – it is Him being persecuted and mistreated. We share in that and that can bring us joy. So as He teaches us, let us learn openly to be glad when others do not appreciate us. That will immediately let go of any offense, and leave us in love for others – regardless. I did not say this is easy, and neither did Paul. But it is not only possible, but it also brings great rewards within its understanding. Thank you, Lord!

Thank you for reading.

Later this week: Becoming a “Manager of the Mystery.”