Colossians 1:27-2:4

The hope of glory. Perfection in Christ. Assurance from knowing Christ. Reasonable sounding deception.

(Bấm vào đây để đọc tiếng Việt)


"25I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship from God – given to me for you – in order to complete the word of God, 26that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. 27God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:25-27—NET)

Every Christian has this “hope of glory,” and everyone has a different idea of what it will be like when they meet their God face to face. There is no need to expound on the amazing glory that will be revealed to us, because it will be, but what we must concentrate on is the source of the hope of the glory that shall be.

Most Christians believe that their hope of glory is conditional on their performance. They must participate in order to have any chance of glory. They anticipate some sort of reward in heaven. The expectation of heavenly rewards for their earthly works looms larger than this “hope of glory”, which most people dismiss as theoretical. It is more important to them that they receive these benefits. Or are the rewards their “hope of glory”?

But, whatever they believe the “hope of glory” is, the only way to obtain it is through “Christ in you,” and that is dependent on only one criterion: their faith in Christ’s performance, not their own. This should put an end to all boasting.

Christ in you,” the qualifying phrase that many who seek the “hope of glory” overlook.


28We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. (Colossians 1:28—NET)

In the King James Version, the term “mature” is translated as “perfect.”  Previously, in chapter 1, verse 22, Paul wrote, “but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him” (Colossians 1:22).

The characteristics of maturity, perfection, being without blemish, and blamelessness are bestowed upon us by the virtue of another, namely Christ. To put it another way, all of these characteristics belong to Christ, and we benefit from them by being in Him, hiding in his shadow, being covered by his righteousness, and calling him our Lord and Savior.

I feel compelled to bring up a point that may have been raised earlier on the subject of progressive sanctification. People who follow this path believe that as time passes, they will become more sanctified, more “mature”, or “perfect.” This doctrine sounds wonderful, especially when endorsed by great Christian writers whose books have sold millions of copies, but is it consistent with Colossians 1:22 and 28? Are you maturing or perfecting yourself or through Jesus’ “physical body through death”? You can take credit and be proud of yourself if you can do it on your own, but you can’t because you’re only perfectly sanctified through Jesus’ physical body through death.


2 My goal is that their hearts, having been knit together in love, may be encouraged, and that they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ3  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)

Contrary to popular belief, assurance of salvation does not result from your persistence in prayer, Bible study, devotion, participating in faith activities, or evangelistic endeavors. I recall hearing a sermon in which the pastor stated that if you are caught praying during the rapture, you have a better chance of going to heaven, so keep praying unceasingly.

However, the preceding verse demonstrates the true foundation for this assurance: knowledge of Christ, also known as “the mystery of God.”

What does “Christ” stand for? Christ is everything a Christian needs to approach the unapproachable, which is God. He represents the New Covenant, which stipulates that the only way to approach God is through faith in the One whom God has sent, without any commandments to keep or works to perform. That is why Christ is God’s mystery. It is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. People usually muster their own strength to achieve whatever ideal their religious endeavor requires of them, so the fact that God places everything in Christ is a mystery to them. It deprives them of the opportunity to brag about their accomplishment.

There is, however, one requirement regarding this “mystery of God.”  It necessitates “understanding,” as stated in the quoted verse 2 above. When Jesus explains the meaning of the parable of the sower to the disciples, he refers to this concept of “understanding.”

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: … 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:18-23)

Do you understand “Christ, the mystery of God”? Do you realize that Christ’s shed blood on the cross and your faith in him are the only things that reconcile you to God? That your fleshly efforts to meet the requirements of the law are futile? That your own righteousness is merely “garbage”? (Philippians 3:8) This understanding necessitates a careful examination of whether you have fully entered the New Covenant with God. The sad reality is that the vast majority of Christendom is still bound by the Old Covenant.


4I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments that sound reasonable. (Colossians 2:4)

Both Jesus and the apostle Paul frequently warn people about deceivers, particularly when they use “arguments that sound reasonable.”  The good news is that Paul demonstrates how “no one will deceive you.”  Paul’s apparent assurance is not without foundation. It is founded on the previous section’s understanding of God’s mystery, namely Christ.

Understanding Jesus Christ’s role in your life has many positive consequences for you. It protects you from being misled by many false teachers. It “yields a crop worth a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

You can memorize the entire Bible and it will be nothing more than a dictionary to you if you don’t understand it. It will only be the letters that kill you, but if you understand it, it will become the living Words (2 Cor 3:6). Finally, in order to truly understand Christ, you must read the Bible through the lens of the New Covenant.

Nghi Nguyen

- Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion on the topic, which does not necessarily reflect the church's theology, or beliefs of the individuals in it — Nghi Nguyen

Filed under: , and