“. . . in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Knowledge is a word which speaks of information. We increase in our knowledge of God as we read the Word of God and walk with Him daily. However, wisdom is another thing all together. We might define it as “the proper application of knowledge,” or more simply as, “knowing what to do.” How many times have you faced decisions in life where you were not sure what to do, because you have not been that way before? Wisdom is acquired by experience, by careful observation of the experience of others, or by receiving it from heaven.
Notice, Paul writes “All wisdom is hidden in Christ.” We can find great comfort in knowing, while we might not know what we are doing, Christ has been that way before and can provide direction through the fog of life. Notice also, Paul says this wisdom is hidden in Christ. It is not something hidden from us, so we cannot have it, but something hidden so we will seek after it. The primary purpose of salvation is to know God, and wisdom is hidden in Him so we will seek Christ more. The question is, how do we access the wisdom that is hidden in Christ?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
The first step is to pray. We are exhorted to understand, that through prayer, we can cast all burdens at the feet of Jesus. Sometimes, the greatest burden can be facing situations for which we have no answers. Parenting can certainly be like that. As the children grow, we are constantly walking down roads we have never traveled before. We want desperately to make decisions that will positively impact our children for the kingdom of heaven, and ensure they have a bright and successful future. The problem is, we often do not have a clue as to what we are doing. It is encouraging to know, “in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom”. The secret to receiving His wisdom through prayer, is to be willing to do things His way. Sometimes, we do not seek the mind of God, because we have already determined we do not want to do what He says.
“Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
Prayer is where we ask questions, and the Word of God is where we find answers. Sometimes, we will pray for things, then spend our time thinking up a solution, without considering what God has written to us in His Word. Israel was told, if they followed the teaching of the Word of God, it would lead to wisdom, and the people around them would be shocked at how smart they were. You see, doing what God says, even when it might not make sense, will always lead to the wisest roads. Other people, when the fruit of those decisions come to light, will be shocked at how smart you seem, all because you chose to do things God’s way.
If you are in need of wisdom because you are on a road you have never traveled before, or perhaps you went the wrong way in the past, the key is to lay your life out before the Lord in prayer. Then sit before His Word, and allow Him to write your road map for you. Using a concordance can be helpful to look up the subjects you are facing, and is a great way to learn to think and act Biblically.
Questions for Colossians 2
- Paul says in verse 1 that he has a great “conflict” for the Christians. This word means to contest or to struggle for, and carries the idea of striving in athletic competition. List the things that Paul struggling to see happen in these Christians lives in verse 2? How do you think he is struggling for them if he is not with them? Is there anyone that you strive for?
- In verse 3 it tells us that all knowledge and wisdom is found where?
- Read verses 4-7. Paul wants to see people established and solid so that they are not deceived and taken advantage of by false teachers. In verses 5-7 look at some of the ways that a person is established. List these out.
- Look at verse 8. What are some of the ways that we can be tricked or deceived? In verse 9-10 what/who is the antidote to being deceived? Is there anything lacking in Him?
- Verses 11-12 speak about how we died to the old life and that in Christ we are raised to a new life. Does your old life differ from your life now that you are a Christian? In verse 12, how do we access this new life?
- Read verses 13-15. Re-state in your own words all of the things that Jesus accomplished at the cross.
- In verses 16-23, Paul speaks of religious activity and rules (observing certain days, eating certain foods), and how all of those old testament observances were simply a shadow of Christ, but that He is the real thing. Shadows have no weight or mass, but they are a clue about the nearness of something this is real and does have substance. In other words, religious dos and don’ts are not what Christianity is really all about; Jesus is what it’s about!
a. Paul warns about a certain kind of false teacher in verses 18-19. Note the false teaching and religious practices in verse 18, but especially note verse 19, which is what keeps a person on the right track.
b. In verses 20-23, we see how there is a certain natural appeal to obeying religious rules, but note verse 23. What does following these rules do about the problem of our flesh (our self-serving nature)? Contrast this with how Jesus deals with the flesh in verses 11-14.