Sermon Series - ColossiansHow many times have you heard people say this before they reveal something that’s supposed to be some kind of a “secret”?

Well, over time you learn that “just between you and me” doesn’t really mean anything, except, maybe, that you are the latest person to hear that line. Or better yet, it’s one way people use to make us feel more important than we really are, and we fall for it every time.

The people at the church in Colossae were hearing a lot of “between you and mes.” They had “teachers” who were promising them “secret knowledge,” the kind of stuff that is only available to a few initiated people. Like a secret password that opens the gate to unlimited power, this was their ticket to a higher state of spiritual awareness.

But in the process of embracing this spiritual utopia, they had to kick the simplicity of the Gospel out the door. In essence, these “teachers” were saying that relying on one person to give you all the power and possibilities you need to live a fulfilled life was a silly idea. You had to climb the latter of superior knowledge to achieve a higher form of existence and this could only be available to a few.

So Paul takes up the challenge to refute the teaching of “secret knowledge.” He uses the same word that the false teachers were using – “mystery” in the Greek – to mock the idea that knowledge about spiritual things is achieved by some kind of private incantation or obscure discipline available only to a few.

In so doing, Paul reshapes the debate about what a “secret” is. First, he redefines “secret.” He says that contrary to the doctrine these innovative teachers were espousing, a secret is not something that remains hidden. Quite the contrary, a “secret” is something that, though hidden in the past, has now come into full view of the public.

Next, Paul reveals what the “secret” is. Instead of “just between you and me,” now it becomes “just between you and the Rupert Murdoch media empire.” Like Apple revealing the source to all of the apps that come bundled with their operating system, Paul gives away the store.

And what he names as the “secret” (the secret that is no longer a secret) may surprise you. Paul essentially says, “Stop looking outside, look inside yourself;” “Forget the teachers that promise you esoteric knowledge only they know about;” “Go for simplicity, not complexity.” And then he reveals what the secret is: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

I love the way the New Living Translation has it: “Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” In other words, don’t go looking for tutors with secret passwords. Jesus is the whole package and once you come to Him, He lives within you. All the power, treasures, and wisdom are hidden in Him and when you become united with Him, all of this is yours too.

And finally, this “secret” is not “just between you and me.” We are supposed to tell the whole world about it.

“So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” (Colossians 1:28-29).    

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade

Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA

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