That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2–3—NKJV)

When the well-heeled Christian can be rattled and shaken by this world, it is not surprising in the least that the average believer may find himself shackled within the walls of “Doubting Castle.” Our world seems unrecognizable to many of us who are over middle age. Rock-solid institutions are being swallowed in the quicksand of modern “sensibilities,” moral strictures are being burned at the stake in the public arena, societal norms are being dismantled so that they can be rebuilt according to different philosophical engineering, and benign agencies are being weaponized as tools that can be used to assure full compliance. With so many people claiming to be Christians but lacking real Scriptural assurance to prove it, the consternation of many is a very real thing. Now more than ever we hear the question, “What is this world coming to?”

Thanks be to our God that He says much in His Word about assurance (1 John 5:13). His assurance is not just the assurance of a well-meaning aunt who will tell you what she thinks will make you feel better, even though what she says is divorced from reality. God’s words are sure. He is nothing if He is not able. He is the one true God and in Him we trust. He alone gives assurance worth the getting.

Among men, every one who has real knowledge in a subject can quickly spot when someone else is simply trying to make up for his lack of knowledge by overwhelming you with words, and working too hard to prove he knows what he does not know. The same is generally true among Christians. Everyone wants everyone else to think he is a good Christian so that he can “buck up” his own comfort level by playing the comparison game rather than “iron sharpening iron.” Many churches have become mutual admiration societies because we dare not lose our own spiritual self-assurance by appearing judgmental. Yet, all the rest of our society is judging Christians, and churches in general. No wonder Peter states in 1 Peter 4:17–19, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now ‘if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?’ Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”

From the verse in Colossians you must realize that God has a much different agenda in building assurance in His children. With times changing for the worse, the assurance of many nominal Christians will wane as the price for authentic Christianity ramps up. Our verse addresses the antidote for “Christianity Lite.” The Greek term used by Paul in the phrase “all riches of the full assurance of understanding” means “’a bringing to full measure or maturity.’ Combined with ‘understanding,’ it denotes the ripe, intelligent persuasion of one who enters into the whole wealth of the ‘truth as it is in Jesus.’” The Pulpit Commentary further states, “in this inward ‘assurance,’ as in a fortress, the Colossians were to entrench themselves against the attacks of error.” Safe haven for the harried soul is only found in understanding God’s truth; not only that, but full assurance of understanding God’s truth; and not only that, but the riches of full assurance of understanding God’s truth!

God’s truth about sin is not often man’s “kid glove” definition of sin. Man’s attempts at compassion and charity are not often God’s precise definition of compassion and charity. Man’s concept of a clear conscience is rarely God’s prescription for a clear conscience (1 Peter 3:16, Hebrews 9:14). God’s truth about full assurance is not often man’s perception of full assurance of the faith (Hebrews 6:9–12).

All riches of full assurance of understanding are in Christ, defined by Him and contained in Him. All other attempts for satisfaction are doomed to fail. His wisdom is here described as hidden treasures. Yet, in each and every discovery of God’s truth, every genuine believer finds comforting encouragement. This is why Paul reminds the Colossians of the need to be knit together (to coalesce, to force to unite). It is imperative in this day of stormy change and undertow in culture that you first know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. It is just as imperative that you are joined together with other authentic, spiritually consistent believers for the mutual sharpening that you both give, and get alongside one another so that you can benefit from the full assurance that God alone grants His obedient children (Hebrews 10:22–25). Trust and obey.