Image of The Invisible: Day 1


Today is the beginning. The genesis moment. The birthday of my challenge.

I, Christopher Joseph Cruz am starting a 31-day writing challenge! (What the heck!) I’ve never done anything like this before. Honestly, I’ve got some strange feelings swirling around inside me.

I am scared. 
I am scared not to finish the challenge and to feel like I failed.

I am nervous. 
I am nervous about my grammar it’s horrible. (I am using a program to help me write this very post.)

I am intrigued.
I am intrigued by the objective. The combination of a writing challenge with going through a book of the Bible. ( Spoiler: I am writing about Colossians.)

I am overwhelmed.
I am overwhelmed that I will get overwhelmed.

I am ready.
I am ready to share my thoughts and do a Bible study for people with a casual and unconventional twist.

I am letting go.
I am letting go of the pressure this needs to be wordy posts or deeply profound to make me feel smart or deep.

The 31 Day Challenge is mostly about me doing a challenge with a twist for anyone who wants to follow along. LET’S GO!

I’ve titled this… Image of the Invisible: My 31 Day Writing Challenge Through The Book of Colossians.

I probably should start with a little about me.

I am a Young Adults Pastor at a church called Bethel in Redding, CA. I’ve been a Pastor for almost eight years. 
I am 30.

I might be a Pastor, but I am no expert, theologian or scholar. I do have some friends with letters at the ends of their names, but I don’t.

They’ve Mastered Divinity, and I’ve mastered sounding smarter than I am. :)

They’re very bright, articulate and learned. I am intense, outspoken and self-taught. (Ps. I don’t think self-taught is a flaw of mine. A.W. Tozer is a hero, and he was a self-taught theologian.)

In short, I became a Pastor through encountering God, following the Holy Spirit and desiring Him to move through my life. Theology became a pillar in my life as I longed to know God and articulate how His Kingdom works.

I don’t know Greek or Hebrew but I do my best to read a wide variety of works from some of the best of our time and time past. I once read 15 books in one month out of my hunger to learn.

Can we get to the good stuff now?

Colossians.

This book is straight fire. That means it’s excellent. 
If we were flying over Colossians at 49,000 feet, we would see a massive monument to Christ and His Preeminence.

PAUSE.

Preeminence is the idea that Christ is surpassing all things, superior to all things, and supreme over all things. This will come in handy later.

RESUME.

Colossians is the Apostle Paul’s full-length portrait of Christ. He uses poetry and articulation to write a masterpiece of theology. He’s fearless with correction. He is wise in the direction of following Christ.

According to brilliant people with lots of years of research, the immediate reason Paul writes this letter is when his trusted friend Epaphras (who some think Paul converted) comes with some rough news. Dangerous teaching was threatening the well-being of the church in Colossae.

Epaphras wasn’t one of those fringe Christian weirdo YouTube makers claiming every preacher and their mom is a false teacher. He was a trusted friend, and his word mattered.

And this mattered. Why did it matter?

The Apostle Paul had never been to Colossae. He didn’t witness the trouble, but the Apostle uniquely witnessed Christ. Epaphras may have known the problems, but he didn’t know Christ the way Paul knew Christ.

The news wasn’t gossip but accurate insight because Epaphras was the messenger. An often overlooked detail matters.

This teaching claimed to have “secret, mysterious and superior” insight into the spiritual realm with some “superior” practices for salvation, helping protect them from evil spirits and afflictions.

This teaching was…
relegating Christ out of being the redeemer, devaluing Christ. It was failing to see how Christ has changed things in the cosmos and people.

This false teacher wasn’t denying Christ. No, no, no, no that would be quickly rejected. This dude was trying to take Him off his throne.

It was a spiritual coup. An overthrowing of Christ.

This shaman-like teacher couldn’t deny Him so lowering Him was the next best option. Christ still had a place, but He was not preeminent. He was not in the chief place.

The Apostle Paul hears a cloud’s covering up the beautiful supremacy of Christ and responds. I imagine Paul fired up in prison writing this letter crushing the false teaching by shinning a big light on Christ and shouting… 
CHECKMATE!

Paul knows who has made the face of God known. It’s Christ!

Paul knows who is the fulfillment of Jewish expectation in the Old Testament. It’s Christ!

Paul knows who has reconciled the world with His death and resurrection.It’s Christ!

Paul knows who has defeated the evil spirits. It’s Christ!

Paul knows the mystery once hidden. It’s Christ.

Paul knows who overcame Sin. It’s Christ.

Paul knows who lives inside of us. It’s Christ.

Paul knows who resurrected. It’s Christ.

It’s all Christ.

Paul writes Colossians first to remind the church everything is in Christ.

That was a quick 49,000 feet look at the book of Colossians. I said it before, Colossians is straight fire, packed with incredible insight into Christian living aka living the resurrected life. As I go day by day for 31 days, I hope to unpack some of Paul’s ancient, profound wisdom and what it means for us today.

I know some people will ask, so here’s a list of the three primary sources for the study of Colossians.

Colossians for Everyone by NT. Wright
ESV Study Bible
NIV Expository Bible Commentary

Over and out.

Clap if you’re slightly excited about it. My ego needs it. ;)

- Chris C

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