An Intriguing Discussion: Colossians 1:28-29
“28) We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29) For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” Colossians‬ ‭1:28-29‬ ‭
This text begs another discussion. I woke up this morning with a question churning in my spirit. According to this text, Paul labored to “present every man complete in Christ”; does that mean that apart from Christ a person cannot reach their full potential or that they are somehow “incomplete?”
In one sense, it is not a fair question because I know plenty of Christians who are lazy and never apply themselves in the area of personal growth and development. On the other hand, I have met some extremely talented and gifted non-Christains. I am not comparing one person to another.
I am asking a far more provocative question. Does any given person applying full diligence have more potential as a Christian than a non-Christian? In other words; “How much difference does the indwelling Holy Spirit of God make in a persons life?” That is the main factor that separates a Christian from a non-Christian.
In the above two verses Paul mentioned “the power” that mightily worked within him. What difference did walking and working through the Spirit rather than the flesh make in Paul’s life? Did the Holy Spirit add to His potential and capacity or diminish it?
I maintain that God created people to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit and anything short of that is a tragic loss. This also applies to the Christian who grieves the Holy Spirit and choses to live through fleshly effort. They fall far short of their designed potential.
It is like a car engine designed to add a turbo charger or numerous other performance boosters but never has them installed. It does ok, but it falls far short of its designed potential. I know this illustration has limitations, but it expresses my intrigue with this discussion.
In fact, the more I study the Bible and ponder the full potential God created within mankind, the more intrigued I am by this discussion. Is it a valid discussion? Does this kind of conversation make a difference? Does God want us to stretch and explore more of what He has for us “in Christ?”
I am very moved by the way Paul prayed for Christians in Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-21. He went so far in Ephesians 1:19 as to ask that they might know “the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe”; and in 3:19 to ask that they might be “filled up to the fulness of God.” Wow! That captures my imagination.
So how does this conversation apply to you and me? I cannot answer that for you, but I am seeking, asking and knocking more than any time in my life. I am stretching my thinking, expanding my understanding, studying and pursuing God more now than any time in my past. I yearn to explore the depths of what God has for me “in Christ.” I also have the awareness that I am merely scratching the surface. I am convinced that God has for us unfathomably more than we could ever imagine.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global