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

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Another celebrity is called out on their past behaviour. Another shooting. Another prominent church leader steps out of leadership due to misconduct. Or walks away from the faith. Koala habitat is disappearing, the Amazon rainforest is burning and politicians are plotting more ways to push their agenda and to hold onto power. So tell me again, why is it so good to listen to and to read sound biblical teaching? Because we need to be reminded to be captivated by Christ and not to be overwhelmed when it feels like the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

Colossians teaches that when we receive Christ and continue to walk in him, we will be buffeted by all manner of things that can send us off course. We can be deceived, we can fall for mere shadows of Christ, and we can forget to be thankful. We can trust in our own abilities and strength. And no matter what we do, we will suffer. We can lose sight of the heavenly reality and forget the real Jesus. At times we might even be tempted to chuck it all in. In Captivated by Christ, Richard Chin takes us on a walk through Colossians so that we can remember what we were taught and be built up and thankful as we proclaim Jesus and face suffering.

The apostle Paul rejoiced in his sufferings. Was he perhaps mad? I don’t know many people who get excited when they go through difficulties, or feel happy when they face opposition to their goals. But having a clear vision of who Jesus is, what he has achieved for us and where he is now is what keeps the believer struggling onwards. Chin explains Paul’s words in chapter 1 of Colossians that remind us that there will be suffering in the life of the Christian, but that with God working in us, we proclaim the truth and never give up on presenting Jesus to everyone. We will have different methods to achieve the goal of presenting everyone mature in Christ, and God will use these as part of his “infallible strategy to reach the nations with the gospel of Jesus . . . the prayerful proclamation of Jesus to all the nations through suffering.” And so despite suffering, and because of Jesus, we are to persevere.

One more reason to read this book is for Richard Chin’s helpful treatment of Colossians 3:18 – 4:1, particularly the verses to husbands and wives. It can be awkward to read about submission. But Richard’s very clear explanation that that husbands and wives are equal, that submission is voluntary and that husbands are to value and cherish their wives is most helpful. He speaks powerfully to husbands about their role and their responsibilities and leaves no hint of doubt that abuse under the guise of submission is acceptable. Richard has also included some comments from his wife Jeanette and both of them encourage husbands and wives to ask their spouse what makes her feel loved and what makes him feel respected.

This is a great read, a powerful read that will help new and old Christians to “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

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Meet Rachael Collins

Rachael is a follower of Jesus. She enjoys gardening and drinking tea. In between helping a new church plant to grow and making chocolate fudge, she really hopes to read some good books this year.  (But she keeps getting distracted by her puppy and many sewing projects.)

Rachael CollinsComment