Captivated by Christ by Richard Chin
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
Mature in Christ. I am pretty sure that all those years ago when I began following Jesus, I assumed that I would be a lot more mature in my faith by now. Wouldn’t I struggle less with anger and be quicker to bring my worries to God? Wouldn’t I rely on Him instead of trying to soldier on in my own strength? It can be tempting at times to look for a new Bible reading plan, a new way of journalling or a new Christian guru’s words to follow. An exciting conference or podcast might just be the thing to get us excited and growing in leaps and bounds. They might. But as Richard Chin looks at Colossians he is seeking to present us mature in Christ by clearly showing us the fullness of Christ and the sufficiency of Jesus. No fads. No silver bullets. Does that sound like a balm for your soul? Yep, me too.
I have recently had the privilege of hearing sermons on the letter to the Colossians and then studying it in more depth in bible study. So when Matthias Media released Captivated by Christ, I was excited to get the chance to continue mining the riches of Colossians. In January 2018 I heard Richard Chin deliver the talks on which the book is based. And while I can tell you that they were enjoyable and challenging, I have to admit that I can’t remember why they were so good. My brain was clearly in post Christmas holiday mode.
Richard is a gifted Bible teacher. He intersperses frank and revealing anecdotes with clear and perceptive explanation of the context and the passages. The Colossians were facing the same temptations that surround us in the modern world – “deceptive teaching . . . the allure of material gain, the appeal of career advancement, the pull of pride, the draw of sexual temptation, the charm of becoming more comfortable, the claim of personal rights in relationships or even a fascination with religious practices – all of which prevent us from seeing Christ clearly.” p10
The Colossians heard the gospel and the gospel bore fruit. Even though Paul has not met them, he thanks God for their faith and their love. On page twenty four I was reminded of one of the gems from those original talks. Chin asks us “Who is the Epaphras in your life?” and “Who are the ‘Colossians’ in your life? Whose lives can you thank God for even though you haven’t met them?”. We all heard the gospel from someone, probably many someones, and we can thank God for them. And we can all pray for faithful saints in other places, even if we have not met them.
Prayer points and discussion questions are helpfully provided at the end of each chapter, making this a great book to read and discuss with a group or with a friend. I am enjoying Captivated by Christ so far and I look forward to passing it onto someone else who could also benefit from some delicious hand crafted wholemeal sourdough in a world full of cupcakes and white bread.
Meet Rachael Collins
Rachael is a Janeite, a Whovian, and a follower of Jesus. She enjoys gardening, drinking tea and sewing. In between helping a new church plant to grow and making chocolate fudge, she really hopes to read some good books this year.