“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:5-7).
As mentioned earlier, the Epistle to the Colossians is part of a small contingent of “prison epistles” that includes the New Testament letters of Philippians, Ephesians, and Philemon. These prison epistles are so-named because they are thought to have been written by the Apostle Paul while he was under house arrest in the city of Rome.
Although Paul’s imprisonment may have prevented him from visiting the church at Colossae, that did not temper his love and concern for them. Therefore, it should not be surprising to learn that the report of their “resolute firmness” (GNT) and “strong faith in Christ” (TLB) served as a source of encouragement to him.
This reference to the Colossians’ orderly conduct is also reminiscent of Paul’s counsel to the church at Corinth: “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). This reminds us that an orderly worship service should be a feature of a church that follows the good example set by the members of the Colossian fellowship.
If we drill a little further into this concept of “good order” we find that it refers to anything that marks an orderly condition in character, fashion, quality, or style. (1) Paul was someone led by example in this area as reflected in this comment to the church at Thessalonica…
“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9).
So, much like a healthy plant that is sustained through a good root system, these qualities were certain to lead to a number of positive results…
“Paul uses the illustration of our being rooted in Christ. Just as plants draw nourishment from the soil through their roots, so we draw our life-giving strength from Christ. The more we draw our strength from him, the less we will be fooled by those who falsely claim to have life’s answers. If Christ is our strength, we will be free from human regulations.”
(2) Life Application Study Bible NKJV Colossians 2:7 Copyright © 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 2004 by Tyndale House Publishers Inc., all rights reserved.