The Colossian church was facing some kind of false teaching that was slipping in among them. What exactly that teaching was is not clear. But one thing that seems to be clear is that people were teaching them that Christ is not enough. That they needed something more. That there were perhaps ranks of angels that they needed to go through to reach God, and that these powers were worthy of worship. That there were “mysteries” that they had yet to learn, and could only do so through these false teachers. And that there were certain rituals and religious practices they needed to follow in order to truly be right with God.
And if there is one thing that Paul seems to emphasize in the rest of the chapter, it’s this: Christ is the only One we need.
Why is Christ all that we need?
For one thing, he is the preeminent one over all creation. That’s what it means by “first-born of all creation.” Not that he was created before all other things as the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach (even so far as to insert, “other” several times into this passage.) But that he is the one who is supreme over all creation. His rank and position is high over anything that was created. (15)
Why is Jesus the preeminent one over all creation? Paul tells us. Jesus was the one who created all things. All things were created through him and for him, including all the angels and other heavenly powers, not to mention us. (16)
On top of that, he existed before all things, and all things hold together through him. We can’t even hold the atoms that make up our body together. Nothing in this world could hold together without him. (17)
God also placed Christ as the church’s head, not angels or anyone else. And he was the example for all the church in that he died and rose again. (18)
If that weren’t enough, all God’s fullness dwelt in him. Because of that, he is the very image of the invisible God. If we want to know who God is, we need not look any further than Christ. (15, 19)
And it is through him and his death on the cross that we are now reconciled to God. We need no other mediator. And through him, we are made holy in God’s sight, without blemish and free from accusation. (20-22)
And as for mysteries of God, THE mystery has already been revealed. It was a mystery that had been hidden for ages and generations, but now is revealed. What is that mystery? That through faith in him, Christ now dwells in us. Whether Jew or non-Jew, Christ dwells in us and we are now one body, one church in Christ, shining God’s glory to the world. (25-27)
So what need is there for anything or anyone else? None. And so Paul emphatically states, “We proclaim HIM, admonishing and teaching everyone about HIM.” Why? Because we are only made perfect in Christ. (28)
Yet so often, we live as though we need more than Christ in our lives. We start pursuing religion instead of Christ. We start pursuing “spiritual experiences.” Or we start pursuing the things of this world to fill us.
But these things will not bring us “fullness,” as the Colossians seemed to be seeking. Only Christ can.
How about you? How are you seeking to become complete? There is only way, and that’s Christ. For he is truly the only One we need.