As I previously stated, our high school group has been going through the book of Colossians verse by verse, just making observations of the text. This past week we finished the opening doxology of the book, where Paul states how thankful he is for the Colossians and their growing faith in God.
One interesting thing that we noticed was in light of one of the main purposes of the book. One of the main purposes of the book is to confront this mysterious ‘Colossae heresy’. We’re not really sure what this heresy was, but many believe it was a form of gnosticism. This would be a group of people that hold to the thought that they have a higher knowledge than others do, and that generally flesh is bad and spirit is good.
An interesting observation that we made in the opening of the book was the importance that Paul places on things like ‘truth’, ‘understanding’, and ‘knowledge’. Here is a list of their appearances in the opening section:
- v.5- the word of truth, which is the gospel.
- v.6- belief in the Gospel included both hearing and understanding. this word is ‘epignosko’- has the idea of a definite knowledge and thorough knowledge of something.
- v.6- they understood the grace of God in truth
- v.9- ask that they be filled with the knowledge of his will
- v.9- and understanding
- v.10- increasing in the knowledge of God
A couple interesting thoughts on this chapter.
- Our first thought was that it is interesting that Paul places such a strong emphasis on the knowledge and truth of God’s Word and understanding it in the beginning of a book that is going to confront a heresy that is threatening the body of believers.
- I think this is for two reasons. One is this, how do you combat heresy? You combat heresy with the proper understanding of the truth of God’s Word. Paul is not going to be writing this book stating his opinion or theory on the nature of Christ, but is appealing to the fact that this is the truth of the Gospel. This is unequivocal. You fight false-truth with truth.
- The other thing I believe is a concern to prevent heresy from taking a further hold on this body of believers. How do you prevent heresy? By fully understanding the truth of the Gospel.
- Another thought is this: Paul is thankful that they already understand the Gospel, but is also praying that they continue to grow in knowledge. They have come to a understanding of the Gospel, but Paul’s prayer is that they continue to grow in that knowledge to a greater degree.
So does truth matter? If you are concerned about combating and preventing heresy and growing in God, yes! This is a message our society must hear. We live in a time where truth is subjective and open to interpretation. The reality is that truth is certain and defined. Truth is under attack, and the only way to defend it is by knowing it.