“Love” In The Book Of Colossians
On Wednesday evening, as we were studying Colossians, I got to thinking about the times the word love shows up in this short epistle. Love is not a major theme in this book, but the word occurs six times, and its occurrences teach us some important lessons.
1. The Colossians were known for their “love for all the saints” (1:4). Local congregations are known for different things, some of them good and some of them bad. The Colossians had a genuine love for all Christians, not just those of their own congregation. This commendable trait of the church was declared to Paul by a man named Epaphras (vs. 7-8).
2. The Colossians were now a part of “the kingdom of the Son of His love” (v. 13). No longer enemies of God, lost in the domain of the wicked one, they were redeemed by the blood of Christ and conveyed into His kingdom. It is interesting that Paul refers to Jesus as the Son of God’s love. This description only intensifies the greatness of the sacrifice that made our salvation possible. God didn’t give just anything for our sins. God gave the Son that He loved!
3. The Colossians enjoyed an impressive level of unity. Paul says their hearts had been “knit together in love” (2:2). The word knit means “to join together closely and firmly” (Webster’s Dictionary). While God supplies the means of Christians enjoying close unity, it is up to the members to join themselves to one another closely and firmly. The Colossians had done this, using their genuine love for one another as “the bond of perfection” (3:14).
4. Paul admonished the husbands to love their wives (3:19). This is the same instruction he had given to husbands in the letter to the Ephesians. This love is the husband’s response to the wife’s submission and respect for her husband (v. 18; Eph. 5:33).
This congregation faced a great challenge. They were being bombarded with various false doctrines. They had to stand complete in Christ to overcome these errors. Paul spoke of the role that love was to play in this effort.
Are we known for our love? Are our hearts knit closely together in love for one another? Are we thankful that we are part of a kingdom of saved people because God loved us enough to send His Son to die for us?