Home > Brandenburg, The Church, The Lord Jesus Christ, The Ministry > Keeping Rank, Holding the Line, and Marching Forward (Colossians 2:4-7)

Keeping Rank, Holding the Line, and Marching Forward (Colossians 2:4-7)

January 30, 2010

As far as Paul was concerned, a war was on with the Colossian church, as much as any physical battle that could be fought, except even more was at stake.  The church was more important than anything.  I see his view of military imagery here, the picture in his mind of armies waging warfare.  So like a commanding officer, he has his orders for both the Colossian and Laodecian churches.  You find this description in the words of Colossians 2:5:  “beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”

“Order” and “steadfastness” were both military terms.  “Order” is “rank,” that is, the line that soldiers kept in their maneuvers.  He is commending the churches for still holding rank, keeping the line.   The arrows and spears of doctrinal attack may have been flying, and yet they had not broken ranks, but had held their lines intact.

“Steadfastness” had to do with firmly holding ground, keeping the line solid, not having any gaps.  Not only were they holding the line, but they were solid in it, not allowing any of the enemy to come through at any point in the line, so as to result in a flanking or being surrounded.  Nothing was breaking through their lines.  Everybody was doing his part.

Paul had great love and then desires for these churches (2:1).  These desires would be what kept their lines secure and strong.  In 2:2a it was found in their minds strengthened by the thinking the truth.   Out of that right kind of thinking came the practice of love that would unite them (2:2b), so that members would not turn on one another.  The right practice that came from the right thinking would continue into full assurance (2:2c).   They would not be wavering in their belief in the deity and sufficiency of Christ.  They were firm in their relationship with the Lord Jesus, despite the attacks on His Person (2:3-4).

With their keeping ranks and holding the line (2:5), now they needed to march forward, walk in Christ (2:6).  They shouldn’t change their viewpoint of Christ, but keep living according to His example, doing what He would do.  Walking in Christ would build up the church, establish it even more in the faith, producing thankful attitudes (2:7).  I get the picture of a company, working within an even larger army, withstanding attacks, sticking together, and gaining ground against its enemy.

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