Something that I think is important in ministry is to help students firmly grasp the concepts presented throughout the Bible such as salvation, the Trinity, and sin. Every book of the Bible has different theological subject matter that it deals with. I have been studying Colossians for the last few months. Two theological issues that interested me the most while I was studying the book of Colossians are sanctification and the Trinity, especially the relationship between God the Father and Jesus. Studying the book of Colossians has brought some interesting thoughts and realizations about these two topics.
The first issue that I found interesting is sanctification, the process of being transformed into the image of Christ. I found three specific ways that Paul writes how believers are transformed more into the image of Christ. First, is growing in a changed lifestyle and knowledge of God while relying on his strength (1:10-11; 3:5-10). Examples of this that Paul gives are putting aside evil activities such as impurity and anger. Second, believers are given the desire and ability to defend one’s faith from the world’s principles (2:6-8, 20). In the context of the believers at Colossae Paul was reminding them of the importance not to apostate back to their old ways of thinking as Jews back into Judaism or Greeks back into idolatry. Third, is developing a corporate unity which realizes that every believer is at a different stage of the sanctification process (3:11-14). We can do this by remembering that when we feel wronged that we should forgive, “just as the Lord forgave you” (3:13).
The reason why the relationship between God the Father and Jesus is interesting to me in the book of Colossians is because Paul discusses how God has provided inheritance, redemption, and forgiveness through Jesus (1:12-14), the roles that Christ plays in the godhead (1:15-22; 2:9-12, 19; 3:15-17), and how Christ operated under the old covenant and is operating under the new covenant (1:25-27; 2:2-3; 3:1).
God the Father is the one who qualified believers for inheritance, redemption and forgiveness through Jesus. What this tells me is that Jesus’ actions and work are not independent of the Father who sacrificed his Son to make a way for a reconciled relationship with mankind. There are three sections that Paul talks about Jesus’ roles in the godhead (1:15-22; 2:9-12, 19; 3:15-17).
The theological issues of sanctification and the relationship of God the Father and Jesus Christ in the book of Colossians are significant issues in our relationship and conceptualization of faith individually and corporately within the church. One way having a better understanding of these issues as Christians should be helpful is in our evangelistic approach of non-believers by not expecting them to clean up their lives before they come to Christ because they cannot change without the power of God working in their lives to transform them to be more Christ-like. I think that this is a message for youth workers, parents, and older adults that we must constantly remind ourselves of. We live in a broken world and we need to realize that it’s the Holy Spirit’s work that convicts and changes lives.
Another way we can reflect a more biblical perspective of living is through our community in the Church. We should imitate the communal love, joy, and peace of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit within the body and reflect all earthly praise to the praise of His glory.