Verses one through three: The Apostle Paul is suffering a “great conflict” over the people in the church at Colosse. So much so that he compares them to the church at Laodicea which the Lord discusses in Revelation 3:14-20, saying that he knows their “works” which He describes as lukewarm (religious). Because they are uber-religious (churchized) but not spiritual (Godized) He threatens to vomit them out of His mouth. He goes on to say to the Laodicean (and Colossian) church, “Because you say, ‘I am rich and increased with goods and have no spiritual needs, you do not realize that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked ….” In verse 21 He tells the church that in order to be saved they must overcome their wretchedness through obedience to Him. Note that He is speaking to the people in the CHURCH in Laodicea (and Colosse) about THEMSELVES. God was sending the same message to the churches scattered throughout the world today.
Paul’s “great conflict” is his fear that, after he has brought them to the Lord and has suffered greatly for doing so, they are on the verge of slipping away from the Lord just as modern Catholicism/Protestantism has done. He goes on to encourage them (and the modern church) to gain understanding (faith) and knowledge of God, Whom he identifies as both Father and Son–the Godhead.
The plight of those in the false church revolves around Satan’s deceiving them that they are “saved” and “born again.” He has convinced them that they have Christ in them and have, not the “HOPE” of glory (salvation) as God says, but rather the “ASSURANCE” of eternal life if they will merely join the church of their choice. If this was true, why did Paul have such a “great conflict/worry/concern” concerning them?
Note in verse three that Paul reminds the Colossian church that only in the Father and the Son (vss 2,9) can be found “all the (spiritual) treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Knowledge and wisdom concerning the Godhead can only be attained through diligent STUDY AND BELIEF IN THEIR WORD–THE HOLY BIBLE. But knowledge of and belief in the Holy Scriptures will not result in salvation for the church–obedience is commanded as we are told in Romans 2:13: “It is not the hearers of the Law who are just(ified) before God, but the doers of the Law shall (at the end) be justified.” Note that the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” of the Godhead are “HIDDEN” in Them. To “find” what is “hidden” one must search for it as the parable of the “treasure hidden in a field” tells us. When one finds that “pearl of great price” he then must “sell everything” he has in order to “purchase” it. Selling all one has refers to turning one’s back on the world and the things of the world and following the Lord as commanded in the Holy Bible. If a church person watches the same t.v. programs and movies, reads the same books and magazines, talks about the same things, etc. as the world, one is not separated from the world and therefore not considered “peculiar” by the world and the worldly church. This is proof that one is not a part of the body of Christ. Satan has hooked the world on entertainment (t.v., movies, sports, the internet, etc.) to the point that the church has placed study of God’s Word, not on the back burner, but on the counter where it is readily seen but rarely, if ever, disturbed. JESUS SAID WE WILL BE JUDGED BY THAT WORD (Jn. 12:48). L.J.