Colossians 1

col1.jpgGreetings!  Let’s dive in to the short but terrific letter from Paul to the Colossians. 

Colossians

1     Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

2 To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

The Gospel is still growing around the world.  We don’t see it as much in the U.S., but it is growing rapidly in South America, Africa and Asia.  Why is it growing: For the same reason as in v. 6: People are hearing it and understanding God’s grace in all its truth.

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

We often don’t think of how we please God, but verses 10-12 tell us how we can.  One of the ways is to grow in the knowledge of him.  Many liberal theologians act as if God can’t be known, but the Bible teaches that we can know him and that it pleases him when we do so.

We are not only rescued but adopted into his kingdom as well.  All because of what Jesus did for us, and not because of what we did (in fact, it is in spite of what we did).

The Supremacy of Christ

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 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. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 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. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 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.

V. 15-19 are one of the clearest declarations of Jesus’ divinity.  He is fully God and fully man.  When it says he is the “firstborn” it doesn’t mean He was created.  It means he is preeminent or superior.

Jesus created all things.  He is the eternally existent God the Son.  Jehovah’s witnesses wrongly add the word “other” in front of “all things” multiple times because they falsely claim that Jesus was created. 

A good verse to share with the JWs is Isaiah 44:24 “This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.”  Since Isaiah clearly teaches that God alone made all things and JWs at least concede that Jesus made all “other” things, then Jesus must be God.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Because of what Jesus did for us, we have gone from being enemies of God to being friends with him.

Paul’s Labor for the Church

24 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. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 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.

28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Again, Paul is writing so that we may know more about God and what Jesus did for us.  Paul clearly states that he is bring the word of God to us.  Thank God for that!

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2 Responses

  1. 3 “We always thank God…” – The Bible never thanks man for his faith and love, but rather God, who is the source of these virtures.

    9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will…” – Biblical knowledge is not merely the possession of facts. Rather, knowledge and wisdom in the Bible are practical, having to do with godly living, where knowledge, wisdom, and understanding result in a life worthy of the Lord.

    26 “the mystery” – this was a popular, pagan religious term, used to refer to secret information available only to an exclusive group of people. Paul changes that meaning radically by always combining it with words such as “disclosed”, “made known”, “make plain”, and “revelation”. The Christian mystery is not secret knowledge for a few. It is a revelation of divine truths – once hidden but now openly proclaimed.

    28 “…perfect in Christ.” – The word “perfect” was used by the mystery religions and the Gnostics to describe those who had become possessors of the secrets or knowledge boasted of by the particular religion. But in Christ, every believer is one of the perfect, as a result of God’s grace and Jesus’ atonement.

  2. I really liked this. Good point by Rebecca about the Gnostics. The people of God can all enjoy the mystery because its Christ in you the hope of Glory and a simple word study of glory points us to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus… and then to Romans 6 for the personal application! Nice post

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