How One Word Changes Everything

6 min read

Adapted by our team from Pastor Louie Giglio’s message from Summer in the City, How One Word Changes Everything.


 Who am I? Why am I here?


Everyone wants to know the answers to these two existential questions of humanity.


This is why we live in a world obsessed with mysticism. In our search for answers, we look for additions to Jesus. 

Many of us believe that Jesus is good, but the world teaches us that we need Jesus AND something else. We’ve been told there’s a secret truth, knowledge, or mystery for our most asked questions that are in addition to Jesus. 


In the book of Colossians, the people of Colossae were faced with this same sense of mysticism—looking for answers to life’s hardest questions. Paul recognized this and countered their mysticism with the mystery of the gospel. He set out the sufficiency and supremacy of Jesus. 


He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 

Colossians 1:15-16


Who am I? And why am I here?


Paul pointedly laid out the answer: you are the creation of almighty God. You are alive on the planet for the God who put you on the planet. You are here by God, and you are here for God. Our lives are a gift from God, and a gift to God. Everything else is extra.


We treat every decision in life like it’s life or death and we look for blinking signs on every corner to tell us what to do. 

Wondering what your major is? Pick one.

Not sure if you’re supposed to take that job? Pick one.

Are you undecided about the school you want to attend? Pick one.


You are here by God, for God, and all the rest of it is just the extra. We’re stressing over everything because we haven’t gotten our feet locked onto anything. We need to lock into the supreme ruler of everything.


He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Colossians 1:17-18


Life is not an equal dais of philosophies and opinions. Jesus gets the supremacy. Because He made everything.


For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 1:19-20


Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

Colossians 1:24


Jesus said to take up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Him. All of us will have a role to play in the ultimate sacrifice. We are taking up shares of the affliction of Christ for the sake of his body.


But here’s how the Enemy will try and steer you in a different direction… day after day he will try to convince you that there’s something God is withholding from you in order to get you to travel down a path you weren’t meant to in search of it. Our sinful flesh is allured by the idea that there’s something it needs but doesn’t have, something it doesn’t know but has to discover. This is how the serpent took down Adam and Eve, and it’s the trap we can fall into today.


Paul shut down all of the mysticism with the mystery of Jesus.


I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present you to the Word of God in it’s fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.

Colossians 1:25-26


God has a call your life. It is as unique and specific as you are.


For Paul, it was to proclaim the mystery of Christ, one that even the most faithful followers of God had never known up until that point.


Moses saw the Red Sea…

Daniel spent the night with lions…

David slew the giant…

Noah built a boat despite never having seen rain…


…but the mystery had been hidden from them. Why? Because it was the call on Paul’s life to proclaim it. 


To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27


What God has planned for your life, is for your life. You were born for such a time as this. Don’t let that overwhelm you today, because you are never going to be asked to carry your call alone. You are a carrier of the mystery that even Jeremiah didn’t know. 


Christ in you, the hope of Glory.


How do you become everything God wants you to be? It’s Christ in you.

Where do you get what you need to do everything God has called you to do? It’s Christ in you.

How do you fully blossom into eternity? It’s Christ in you.

How do you know that you’re woven into the plan of God? It’s Christ in you.


Look closely at the scripture; it’s not Christ AND you that is the hope of glory. It’s not a tag-team duo, where you fight with all your might and tag in Jesus when you can’t fight anymore. God revealed that He is fantastic alone—He just needs a vessel.


A one-word exchange is the gospel on full display. Christ IN you.


We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

Colossians 1:28


Our mission is to proclaim Jesus. We are to teach, admonish, disciple, and raise people up so that they can understand that they are fully everything they need to be in Christ.


You’re not enough but praise God you’re not alone. You have Christ living in you. The one who made everything that exists dwells in you. Thank God that He does; it is the greatest confession that you can make to say, “I am not enough, but the one who is lives within me. I am not alone.”


Have you made that confession today? Have you accepted that you are not enough? Have you come to a place where you can stop trying to pump yourself up? 


The mystery lives within you. Christ the hope of Glory. 


Live like it. 









For the sake of the world. 


To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

Colossians 1:29