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Total Transformation to Joy

When a person comes to Christ, their life is radically and permanently changed. They have been transferred from the domain of darkness, to the kingdom of light. This is more than just a positional change; it is the beginning of a total transformation of a person’s heart/mind and soul. This change is evident in Colossians 1:9-14 which we will be studying soon at our Tuesday Night Shore Café (

Five times in three verses, Paul uses the word “all” or “every” (Greek ‘pan’ or ‘pas’) to speak of the total impact of the Gospel upon a person’s life. Just as marriage totally transforms every aspect of a person’s life, likewise our relationship with Christ transforms every aspect of our lives.

Colossians 1:9-14 recounts Paul’s prayer for this young Colossian church that has relatively recently embarked upon the path of Christ. Paul, the faithful shepherd, cares for this young flock and has been burdened for them in prayer. These verses reveal the content of his prayers which is all about total transformation.

Paul prays that they would gain the knowledge of God’s will for their lives with “all” spiritual wisdom and understanding (1:9). He prays that their walk with Christ would please Him in “all” respects (1:10). And since this transformation cannot hope to happen in our own strength, Paul adds in verse 11 that he’s been praying that they would find God’s strength, that He might grant them “all” power by His glorious might that they might attain to “all” steadfastness, patience and joy.

The Gospel has a total impact of Christ. In another place in scripture, Paul says that we ought to “work out” our salvation (Philippians 2:12)—not with the sense of working ‘for’ salvation (for salvation can only come by the grace of God through faith in Christ’s death on our behalf – Ephesians 2:8-9) but rather the Greek wording behind Philippians 2:12 speaks to how our salvation impacts every aspect of our lives. Thus, Colossians 1:9-14 unpacks what Philippians 2:12 says in brief = the Gospel is to have a totally transformational impact upon our lives.

And all of this is where the joy in Colossians 1:11 comes in. What robs our joy? It’s when we live by our law, the world, or our own flesh. While these paths may have a temporary sense of fun, ultimately they are paths which draw us away from Christ and the source of joy (Psalm 16:11). Thus, as we are transformed by Christ, we have the inner light of His joy within us as we abide in fellowship with Him.

Okay, well at this point, my daughter has joined me on the bed with a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup (I’m still recovering from yesterday’s outreach and apparently got a bit sick). Plus, there’s a foot of snow outside, I should go and enjoy it with my kids. We’ll leave the contradiction between me being sick and playing in the snow for another day!

Grace and peace,

Russ Brewer

Russ Brewer

Rescued from the domain of darkness, transferred to the kingdom of the Son. Undershepherd of Grace. Husband of Corinne. Father of three. Chew-toy to Zeke...