This second reading in the three week series from Colossians points out the reason we can be so bold in prayer. God has given us the fullness of Christ. In him we were circumcised, buried, and raised to life. Sins forgiven, we have been made children of God who have every right and encouragement to ask of God—as a child would ask his dear father.
This lesson begins a series of three readings from Paul’s letter to the congregation at Colosse. Spirit-worked appreciation for what has been given to them in Christ Jesus has led the Colossians to bear fruits of faith and love for the benefit of God’s kingdom. Paul’s prayer is that this work of the Spirit continues, not only in the hearts of the Colossians, but also in hearts of believers today. Rescued from darkness, we too know and embody the love of Christ, bearing fruit in every good work done for the love of our neighbor.
Using harvest language, Paul is inspired to encourage our participation in the Lord’s kingdom work. In our “Me” oriented culture, bearing our own burdens seems tough enough. But the Lord calls on each of us to help bear each other’s burdens. What joy is ours to fulfill the love-law of Christ as we share the message not only of forgiveness in Christ Jesus but also of comfort for the weary. This doing “good to all” even carries over into our support of kingdom workers as we share all good things with spiritual instructors.
We were once yoked in slavery to sin and the Law. Now, set free from evil, our new found freedom does not lead to waywardness or being yoked again by sin. We are called to leave behind our life of sin and not look back to it. Rather, we follow Christ completely and with willing hearts we joyfully serve the Lord, walking in step with the Spirit.
How can a Christian rejoice even in the suffering and persecution? When we know that these sufferings are for the sake of Christ who bought us and made us his heirs. We confess Christ even in the face of persecution because we belong to Christ and look forward to an inheritance that no suffering, no evil, no attack can take away from us. Paul contrasts the harsh imprisonment of the law with the gracious freedom of the gospel that comes through faith. In this contrast we see how the Lord can use the trials of life and temptations of the heart to build deeper appreciation for his gracious salvation in Jesus Christ. Through baptism, we have been made equal and unified heirs of the promise, boldly claiming our inheritance from the Father.
Luther's Small Catechism
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