For the past several weeks I’ve had the chance to attend a local church here in Macon and hear the Gospel preached through the book of Colossians. It has been very refreshing as well as good for my soul. Colossians is beautiful as it points to the work of Christ and reminds us how the gospel is sufficient to save us.
As the church wrapped up its time in Colossians this weekend I couldn’t help but meditate on Paul’s last piece of instruction to the church in chapter 4:2-4.
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:2-4 ESV
Continue Steadfastly in Prayer
Paul has dealt with enough church people to know that no matter how many times he teaches the greatness of this Gospel people will always slip back into finding their salvation in other things besides Christ (good deeds, giving, rule keeping…). So he encourages us to be persistent in the place of prayer. Why?
Be watchful in it with thanksgiving
Because many times we take for granted what all the Gospel has done for us. When we do that, we actually don’t believe it to be as powerful as it really is. When that happens we look to other things to maintain our salvation or standing before God. Paul encourages us to continue in prayer, watching what our hearts lean on for assurance of salvation (God’s grace or our works?).
When we see the Gospel for how good and great it is we will always be thankful, our hearts will be overwhelmed with the goodness of God. Pray that you don’t lose sight of the anchor of your soul.
Keeping it simple
Paul wraps up his encouragement by saying while you’re keeping this great Gospel before you, pray that we will have opportunities to preach this Gospel.
What stood out to me the most here was the part where he says “..that i may make it[the gospel] clear, which is how i ought to speak”. How many times have you heard people making salvation complicated? Shouldn’t it be very simple? We make it difficult for ourselves to find grace, I can only imagine how hard we make it for other people to find grace. Paul himself says that making the gospel clear to understand is how we ought to speak to people about it.
Staying in the Gospel
When i think about praying, I think about praying for a seamless day, for marriages to not crumble, or for restoration of friendships. I don’t often think about praying to stay in the Gospel, to remember that my righteousness is in Christ and him alone. I look at those problems though and realize that they are problems that mostly stem from the fact we don’t know the Gospel or have trusted in other things that are insufficient to save us. Maybe if I prayed for myself to remember the Gospel and prayed for those around me to hear and be reminded of the Gospel these problems could be resolved.
This goes to show you that the greatest fight we have is to remain in the gospel, or to remember the Gospel. Every day our hearts deceive us into thinking other things gain us favor and blessing before God. We strive to attain perfection in our life, at times agonizing over our imperfection, when simply God calls us to rest in Christ’s perfection and trust in the work he has done in us. Only when we rest in that can HE work in us.