Page 3 - July 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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f you had to rate Paul’s longings for   This worship-inducing sight has very
            believers as expressed in his prayer life,  practical and down-to-earth implications.
        Iwhich request would head the list? It is  If He is all, then it is also God’s intention
        likely those prayers uttered and recorded   for Him to be “in all.” What follows this
        during his imprisonment under house   epistle-governing statement is a catalogue
        arrest (Acts 28) to which we would turn.   of relationships in which His Lordship is
          Certainly, being filled with all the ful-  all-controlling. Paul begins with assembly
        ness of God (Eph 3:19) would vie for first   life (3:12-17) and reminds us how the Word
        place. And then there is his request that   of the Lord (v16) and the name of the Lord
        the eyes of our understanding would be   (v17) should regulate the relationship
        opened that we might appreciate all we   among believers.
        have in Christ (Eph 1:18). In Philippians
        1 he prayed that our lives might be “filled   From the fellowship, he moves to the
        with the fruits of righteousness … unto the   family, and reminds both husbands and
        glory and praise of God,” a very lofty goal   wives that a Christian marriage contains
        for our lives, to be sure.           a dimension absent from marriage among
          I may well be accused of bias when I of-  unbelievers. The pattern of Christ’s love
        fer as my choice his desire as expressed in   controls a husband; the principle of Lord-
        Colossians when he prayed that we might  ship controls a wife’s behavior.
        be filled “with the knowledge of His will   Parents and children are included in this
        in all wisdom and spiritual understand-  all-encompassing principle of Christ being
        ing” (1:9). That will is nothing less than  “all and in all.” And, lest any should think
        that Christ might have the preeminence   that we can pigeonhole our secular em-
        in every sphere – universal, personal, and   ployment, he moves to the factory and farm
        eternal. An appreciation for the will of God   (3:22-4:1) to show how Lordship principles
        inevitably leads to what we have in chapter   influence both employee and employer.
        3:11 – “Christ is all and in all.”     Perhaps it is not exegetically or spiritu-
          Christ is everything. The epistle to the
        Colossians was written for this very rea-  ally fair to rank one of Paul’s requests above
        son. He is our wisdom, our wealth, and   another. Each is in keeping with the theme
        the object of our worship. We are beyond   of the particular epistle in which it is found.
        substitutes, supplements, shadows, and   What must be acknowledged, however,
        speculation. We need no emanations from   is that Paul’s aspirations for our lives are
        deity, enlightenment from philosophy, or   far higher and wider in their scope than
        education from lawgivers. The horizon of   we normally rise to in our aspirations or
        the Christian life is flooded with the glory  prayer life. “Christ is all and in all” should
        and wonder of the person of Christ; our  be the norm, not the exception, for every
        eyes see nothing beyond Him.         Christian life.

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