“For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh”
A great danger threatened the church in the Lycus Valley. A false doctrine known as Gnosticism (incipient) invaded the churches there. This doctrine violated the person of Christ, holding him as a phantom and not a real person. Other doctrines of concern were legalism and carnal asceticism. All of these ideas threaten Christianity and vital Christian living. It was a great counter attack by Satan to violate the church of the Valley.
Evidently this attack made some “inroads” into Christianity, and believers in Colosse and Laodicea succumbed to this attack. Gnosticism took many spiritual prisoners. Many doubted their salvation. They fell victim to the Satanic counterattack. Those more mature became discouraged, disoriented, depressed, and scattered because of it.
In this chapter, Paul argues that Christ supersedes all these false doctrines. He is totally adequate for anything we might face.
“For I want you to know”
Whenever Paul uses this phrase, it indicates a statement of importance. Invariably, the thing that we should know is the very thing that we do not know.
Here Paul wants the church to know how much he cared for them, “I want you to know that I care about you.” Although he was an author, missionary, church planter, evangelist, and teacher, he had a pastor’s heart.
“But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us” (1 Thes. 2:7,8).
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:14,15).
The motivation for others-orientation is the love that Jesus has toward us.
A great value to God is for Christians to live for others.
By nature, people love themselves. We naturally turn inward. When a person comes to Christ, he acquires a new heart for people. God commences a great outward orientation toward others when we begin the Christian life. We love others because Christ first loved us.