Colossians 2:18-19: How Does a Christian Grow?


Our text this morning is Colossians 2:16-23, turn with me there now. It is on page 984 of the black pew bibles. As you turn there, let me ask you this question: How do you become a better person? If you wouldn’t consider yourself a Christian, perhaps you would phrase the question like this: how do you develop to be a person of integrity and character? If you are a Christian, you probably normally phrase the question like this: how do I become more like Christ? But however, you phrase the question, the answer is important: how are you going to be a better person this year? At work? At school? At home with your family? On the rugby field? How do you grow?

Last July, I was house-sitting for a family from a church in Colorado. The family was away visiting family and wanted to sell their Colorado house soon to move out there permanently. They gave me one task: to keep the grass green. Colorado is a barren place in the summer, so this was quite a task. I went over and watered every morning like I was supposed to. But within a week the lawn was beginning to move from green to yellow. The weather was up in the 30’s Celsius, so, I decided that on those days I would go over and water for 30 minutes in the evening as well.

On Monday of the next week, little patches of the lawn had begun to turn dry and brown. So, I did what most people would do in my situation I looked up all the secrets of getting a lawn green on the internet:

  • One guy said you had to water the lawn only for a maximum of 15 mins in each place, so, I used my phone as a timer and did that.
  • Another guy said you had to water before 10am in the morning, so I made sure I got over before 9am to get all the watering done.
  • Another guy said you had to water for 2 hours once a week. So, the next Saturday morning, I went over and did that.
  • I found some fertiliser in the shed, so I grabbed a scoop of it and went and sprinkled it on all the extra brown patches. But no matter what I did, things just seemed to get worse. I was trying everything I could and searching out all the secrets to get the lawn to grow, but I had only ended up frustrated.

When I mowed the lawn on the next week the lawn looked just as brown as it did the week before. But on that Wednesday night there was a Thunderstorm and we got an inch of rain. And then the next night we got another half inch. By Saturday the lawn was greener than it had been when I had started. You see all it needed all along was some good fresh rain water, and then it grew just like it was supposed to. All my tricks and gimmicks were useless, but a good decent shower of rain had the lawn growing in no time.

In our passage this evening, Paul is writing to the Colossians because some of them have been trying to grow and be better people by all sorts of secret ways. Paul tells them that true spiritual growth only comes from union and communion with Christ.