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Thursday, October 29, 2020
Bible Meditation: 
Colossians 2: 1-10

For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your GOOD ORDER…” – Colossians 2:5

GOD’s Perfect Will is GOOD ORDER IN THE CHURCH: For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your GOOD ORDER and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ (Col.2:5). Here, Paul the Apostle was expressing the Mind of God. Even if the entire world spins in crisis or reels in chaos and disorder, calm should reign in the Church – “the Pillar and Ground of the Truth” (1Tim.3:15). “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Cor.14:33). His Church is meant to be the Palace of Peace and the Arena of Divine Order!

Paul’s use of the word “Order” derives from an image of the sturdiness and solidity of the soldiers of the Praetorian guard, whom he saw constantly during his prison days (Eph. 6:11; Phil. 4:7). This image depicts the synchronic disposition of parts in reference to the whole, as typified in the posture of a fully-girded soldier or the solid strength of an army. Outwardly, the Church is like an orderly, disciplined army, with every soldier in his place. Inwardly, the character of every true member is steadfast faith, which also reflects order. The Church has both a solid, collective order and a functional organic order.

Collective Order: relates to the Church as a body of believers: “Let all things be done decently and IN ORDER” (1 Cor. 14:40). In terms of its constitution, the collective called ‘Church’ refers to the following:

  • the Invisible Universal Church which consists of all believers united to Christ as Head (Eph. 1:22; 5:25)
  • Visible local Churches where believers assemble for the Word, Prayer, and sacred ordinances such breaking of bread (Acts 2:42). It was customary of the apostles to organize their converts into Churches: “…Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing… (Acts 15:36, 41). This shall continue till the Lord returns (Heb.10:25a).
  • A family of professed believers meeting in their homes for sharing, prayer and worship (Col. 4:15; Rom. 16:3, 5, 10, 15).

Functional Order: Every aspect of Church Life is guided by sound scriptural order. These include: Evangelism, Missions, Church Planting, Baptism, Discipleship, Worship, Praise, Teaching, Preaching, Prophesying, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread, Administration, Helps, Ushering, and others. Nothing is left to chance! Paul told Titus: For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should SET IN ORDER the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you” (Tit. 1:5).

Order in Leadership and Structure: the Five-fold ministry gifts – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, who equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph.4:11-12); Bishops or Elders who administer and labour in the word and doctrine (Acts 20:28; Phi.1:1; 1Tim.5:17); and Deacons, who have care of the secular affairs of the Church (Acts: 6: 1-6).

At individual levels, Order relates to the personal behaviour of members: “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who WALKS DISORDERLY and not according to the tradition which he received from usFor we hear that there are some who walk among you in a DISORDERLY MANNER, not working at all, but are busybodies” (2 The. 3: 6, 11). The Scripture gives guidelines for discipline (Mt.18:17; 2 Cor.2: 6-8). Saints should be holy and pure; while brethren should behave well towards one another and their leaders (Heb.13:17).  

Paul's message to the Colossians centred on the sufficiency of Christ in the face of false doctrine and the God-hating, Christ-rejecting world-view of the disorderly, perilous times. Although human responsibility is not excluded, sustaining Order in the Church does not come through carnal schemes or human efforts, but by our submission to the leadership of the Holy Spirit: Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph.4:1). It is “of the Spirit” not a product of flesh!

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, establish order in my life, and help me to partake of and contribute to GOOD ORDER IN THE CHURCH, in Jesus name.
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