Spring 2009 - Paul's Letter to the Colossians
At the beginning of each semester, I ask myself the question, "What is my role as a campus minister and what do my students need the most?" Last Spring as I thought and prayed through these questions I was drawn to Paul's letter to the Believers at Colossae.
In it he prays with thanks for them.
He intercedes on their behalf.
He desires that the young church at Colosse would understand what God has done for them in
Jesus Christ and learn to be properly thankful.
This certainly seemed like a great outline for what I, as a campus minister, should be seeking for you guys.
Further, in the Epistle to the Colossians, Paul is battling false teaching... though we do not know exactly what that teaching was, a quick glance a Chapter 2 will expose the danger Paul is concerned about:
He says the false teaching was plausible...
It had the appearance of wisdom
And it was clearly tempting for the Colossians to accept it.
And do not miss this
The false teachers are likely including JESUS as part of the solution.
Jesus is necessary, but not sufficient.
They are also likely teaching that faith is essential.
Faith in their system is necessary
These folks were not downing Jesus. They were likely speaking about how great and important faith was...
And the Colossians, desperately wanting to grow in their maturity were tempted to believe it.
BUT, Paul says this teaching was empty and full of deceit, because it was not according to Christ.
And you better believe that this is a regular occurrence on the University Campus where there are constant challenges posed by intelligent individuals with alternative worldview options that often appear well thought out and very consistent.
Paul's approach here is also quite helpful.
Since he does not identify the actual content of the false teaching his approach cannot be thought to be effective against only one specific philosophy. Here we get a great glimpse of the old motto...
"The best defense is a good offense."
You see... Paul is not simply countering a plausible argument – that has the appearance of wisdom – with a point-by-point refutation that would then only apply to a single faulty worldview. Paul is convinced that if the Colossians (and us) are mature in our understanding of Christ, then any empty philosophy based on human tradition will be seen for the counterfeit that it truly is. Paul is sure that if we see Christ as sufficient in every area of our lives, we will love God appropriately. We will be properly thankful. We will willing and joyfully seek to obey God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
That sounds like a great goal for us at Texas Tech.
Finally, we find that Paul's main purpose in writing is found in Colossians 1:24-2:5:
He wants the Colossians to be mature.
And in 2:6 and in what follows after
He wants the Colossians to learn to walk in that maturity
This is my desire for my us this semester... that we will grow in maturity and that the wisdom gained would effect the way that the live.
To that end, this semester at RUF we will be seeking to see Jesus Christ as SUFFICIENT in every area of life, and that in seeing this, that we would become mature.
COME JOIN US!