Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 1
God created the whole world and therefore he claims the whole world as his own. So although Israel is God’s holy nation, God’s holy people must come from every nation. It is God’s desire to live in them, in other words, to be actively present in their lives (verse 27). Then they will love him with all their heart and they will gladly choose to obey him. He will give them the strength that they need; he will direct their lives.
Paul describes God’s plan for the people from other nations as a ‘mystery’. In other words, it was something that people did not fully understand in former centuries. Although God was working powerfully in Israel (Romans 9:4-5), his plans for people in the other nations did not always seem clear.
In all those nations, people were serving false gods. However, God had shown clearly that he cared about the people in those nations. In fact, he chose Abraham so that he (God) could show his kindness to people from every nation (Genesis 12:3). When Solomon built the temple, the great house of God, it was for the benefit of people from every country (2 Chronicles 6:32-33). God even sent Jonah to Nineveh because he (God) cared so much about the people in that foreign country (Jonah 4:11).
God’s plan for people in every nation only became clear when Christ came. It was because of God’s great love for the whole world that he sent Christ (John 3:16). Christ’s death is for people from every nation (Acts 10:34-43); by his death, people from every country can receive a right relationship with God (Romans 3:21-31). Christ sends Christians to declare in every nation the gospel, the good news of what he wants to do in people’s lives (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
Next part: Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)
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© 2019, Keith Simons.