Author: Ron Graham
In this lesson we continue on from the previous lesson, taking Paul's key phrase "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:26-27). We are considering three glorious privileges that our association with Jesus Christ bestows upon us to give substance and assurance to our hope. We now look at the second privilege, the power we are given by God.
God has an "eternal purpose" for us (Ephesians 3:8-12). By becoming deeply involved in that purpose, we have the "hope of glory".
But we have to be empowered by God. Paul tells us that God strengthens us "with all power". The Greek word for “power”, , dunamis/dynamis, inspired the name of the explosive "dynamite". Whatever barriers confront us, God can explode them with dunamis —his mighty power at work within us (Colossians 1:11,29).
God's power is at work in Christians (Ephesians 3:20-21). In the letter to the Colossians we find various commandments and promises based on the fact that we are empowered by Christ in us, according to the revelation and knowledge he has imparted to us, and which dwells richly in us.
In his letter to the Colossians Paul is very conscious of this power at work in the Christian.
Colossians 1:9-11 "...filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with power...". With God's power in us we can grow and achieve mightily.
Colossians 1:25-26,29 Paul had a "stewardship from God... to fulfil". His aim was to "present every man complete in Christ Jesus". Paul says that he strove to do this by the power that worked in him mightily. God empowers us to finish what we start.
Colossians 2:2-3 Paul speaks of "being knit together in love and attaining to the riches of the full assurance..." and he says that in Christ "are hidden all the treasures..." In the world, great riches can give a person great power. In the kingdom of God's Son, the riches that give us power are the riches of Christ's love and these riches are in glory, treasure beyond measure.
Colossians 2:5-7,9-10 Paul speaks of steadfastness and stability, being rooted and established in the faith, and abounding in it. We can do this because we are "complete in him who is the head of all principality and power". Christ is subject to no higher power except of course his Father. All powers are subject to Christ. If we have the power of Christ in us, then no one can take away our hope of glory.
Colossians 3:1-9 Paul says, "You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). What manner of death is this? Paul explains, "Consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed... put them all aside —anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech..." (Colossians 3:8). Among Christians we often find a very negative attitude toward the Christian's ability to overcome sin. However God empowers us to win the victory against the person we used to be and kill that old person dead.
Colossians 3:10 The above points are perhaps summarised by a statement Paul makes in chapter 3. "You have put on the new self which is renewed in knowledge..." It is not unusual for a sincere Christian to feel that he or she has missed the mark and not lived up to what God empowered them to do. God's power does not withdraw from us at such times. Rather it provides us with the opportunity for renewal.
Through the power of Christ and his word we can become new persons again, and with great confidence in Christ we can throw off our failures and be revived as when first we were first born again.