For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Col. 1:13-14 NIV
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The Colossians had accepted the Almighty God as their God and Jesus Christ as their saviour through the ministry work of Epaphras, one of the faithful ministers of the gospel at that time (Col. 1:7) only for some false teachers to spring up among them, telling them that the Christian faith was not sufficient to provide for them the comfort and joy of life. They taught them that, they needed to include the worship of angels and follow some special rules and ceremonies for them to have full benefit of this their new belief – Col. 2:8; 16-23. This as expected, did not go down well with the Apostle Paul, who although had not met them physically (Col. 2:1-5) sent them the letter from which the scripture for today’s devotion has been extracted.
In his letter, he made them realise that several people before them who had accepted the same faith, were reaping greatly from their new relationship with the Almighty God, and he was sure that the Colossians were not exempted from receiving such rewards – Col. 1:4-6. They therefore had no reason to listen to all those false teachers as the Almighty God and His Christ are sufficient to meet all their needs (Col. 1:15-23; Phil. 4:19; 1Pet. 5:10) and thus make their new relationship with Him, one that they will be able to provide for them all the good things of life and which they will never regret.
Similar situation plays out among Christians today, as we find people who are not satisfied or who believe that they need to support their Christian life with some other spiritual activities before they can enjoy fully their life as Christians. These are mainly Christians who were convinced to accept the new faith but were not convinced enough to drop their old beliefs – Col. 2:20. The physical similarities, especially in terms of materials of worship, to some of their former ways of worship give them the impression that the new faith is just a refurbishment of their old spiritual lifestyle with probably, a simple change in name and slight adjustments in terms of mode of worship. Such people see their new faith as a new way of doing the old things and not the spirituality behind their new faith.
So, whereas they carry out all the physical requirements of the new faith, they are not detached from the spiritual beliefs of their old faith. These are the same people who in most cases, quickly rise up the Christian ladder to become leaders and mentors and subsequently begin to propagate their double beliefs.
The Bible says that when we accept Christ, old things must pass away (2Cor. 5:17) as we cannot put new wine in old wine skins – Mk. 2:22. What all these has brought on such Christians is spiritual confusion and in such situations, God will not move or manifest. He is a jealous God (Deut. 6:15), and will not share His glory with anyone – Is. 42:8.
Such Christians reference life challenges that the Christian is facing, questioning why such should still be their fate after accepting the new faith, but fail to remember that such became the destiny of all men since the event in the Garden of Eden that led to man being cursed – Gen. 3:19. No matter the level of maturity we are able to attain in our Christian life, we are not going to be exempted from the effect of the curse. The only assurance we have is that we will overcome them with no adverse consequence – Jn. 16:33.
That is aside from the constant challenge that Satan poses to our Christian life because of our decision to worship God. It may be true that Christians and non Christian’s face the same life challenges. It may also be true that both of them may over come but the difference lies in the price to be paid for such victories. God’s victory comes without sorrow, different from the victory obtained from other gods which will always have grave consequences. There is no doubt that the Almighty God is able to solve all challenges of our lives with no negative consequences. We must learn to wait and see him grant us victory. May He grant us the patience to wait on him for victory in Jesus name. Amen.