For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
E3.1 Full assurance of understanding.
The gospel of Jesus Christ gives the believer certainty of their salvation. All other religions are works based. That is, the person has to accomplish something in order to achieve their version of salvation. The problem with that approach is that one can never be sure that one has done enough to merit salvation. There is no assurance of understanding in such an approach.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast.
True salvation in Christ is based entirely on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and not that anything of ourselves. Because this is the case, God’s salvation is complete and final. We cannot add anything to improve upon it. All we need do is to receive it by faith and faith alone. This means abandoning all our efforts and ideas and submitting ourselves to the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.
This means we can have full assurance of salvation. This is not arrogancy, rather it is demonstrating complete faith and trust in Christ that His work of redemption is perfect and all sufficient. This latter point we will develop later when we consider, in the next section, our complete salvation.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God: that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God.
E3.2 Christ is all in all
In contrast to the mysteries, which teach that one has to receive secret knowledge in order to activate the divine spark within, the true Gospel tells us that our spirits we are dead to God and separated from the life of God. We need Christ to come in from outside to give us the true life namely, the life of God Himself, Jn.10:10.
We see that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The true treasures are not in found in the mysteries, but in Christ alone. True wisdom is not found in the Vain Philosophy of men but in Christ Himself, for He is the wisdom of God, I Cor.1:24. Nor is true spiritual knowledge found in any religious system, for Christ alone is the truth Jn.14:6.
These qualities are hidden in Christ, not in any other person, system of religion or philosophy. It is no good looking anywhere else for the eternal truths, for they are only found in Christ. This is the key message of Colossians: Christ is supreme and only in Him is salvation and eternal life found.
In Col.1:9 we saw that Paul’s prayer was for the Colossians to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Since these attributes are directly identified with Christ the prayer is for God’s people to be filled with Christ, see Eph.3:14-21
E3.3 Christ the wisdom of God
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, that come to nought: but we speak of the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.
Earlier in the Corinthian epistle Paul speaks of Christ being the wisdom and power of God. Here he expands on this theme. Paul again says that this wisdom, that is Christ, was a mystery which God hid until the fulness of time came. But here we are given a reason, something which we would have never had known except by this revelation. God hid it so as to thwart any plan of the enemy of preventing Jesus going to Calvary.
We also have something else revealed to us. These truths in Christ are revealed directly by God to our hearts. This in contrast to worldly wisdom and knowledge where we have to do something in order to find this information out. This God does by His Holy Spirit, see also Jn.16:7-15.
What a provision of God this is! He has done the work of salvation for us. Now we learn that it is He who reveals all these hidden eternal truths to us by His Spirit. We do not obtain it by any effort of our own, nor by acquiring some secret knowledge, instead we just appropriate it by faith in Christ alone.
E3.4 Christ the Treasure
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious ,…Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious : and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded…Unto you therefore which believe he is precious : but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
The word precious has the meaning: of great value. In this section of Peter’s first epistle the word is used three times. Firstly, in contrast to what the world’s value is of Christ. To them He was despised and rejected but was chosen of God. The Father considered His Son of great value, He showed this by publicly calling Him His beloved Son in public, Mtt3:17; Mtt.17:5.
He is the chief corner stone in Zion, the city of God. Those who believe on Him will not be stumbled. It is no wonder then that unto us who believe on Him He is precious, (or = the preciousness). Jesus Christ being our all in all is precious, He is the greatest value a soul can ever have Cf. Mtt.6:21.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
God commands the light to shine in us, not by any initiation rites of mystery religions, or by obeying some legalistic code, nor yet following some man-made philosophy. Jesus, who is the one in whom all true treasure resides, lives within all His people. We then have this treasure in these earthly vessels. It is indeed Christ in you the hope of glory!