September 22nd Colossians 1 A. Prologue
Introduction and blessing
1: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2: To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel is spreading
3: We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4: Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5: For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6: Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8: Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. 9: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10: That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11: Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12: Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
B. Doctrinal The person of Christ
15: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19: For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
(Pauls ministry) Christ is the answer Legalism
20: And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21: And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22: In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Paul writes this letter to address the believers at Colosse regarding issues unique to them. They have been influenced by some of the Gnostic heresies and so he writes to address these points. Paul establishes his apostolic authority but includes Timothy in the letter as his co-worker. First he begins with thanksgiving and he specifically mentions their faith and love to all. Whenever we think and pray for others we must begin with thanksgiving. He also thanks God that they have heard and believed the Gospel which has gone out into the entire world. Paul says l have heard everything about you from Epaphras who is a much loved fellow servant and your faithful minister and so he says because l have heard all about you l do not cease to pray for you. What’s interesting is that Paul tells them exactly what his prayers are about. He prays that they might be filled with the knowledge of Gods will in wisdom and spiritual understanding. Often people say what they believe is Gods will yet sometimes we detect a little folly and lack of spiritual understanding. He prays that they might live in a manner that is worthy of the Lord and that all will see the good works that they do. And he prays that in serving God they might be strengthened by Gods glorious power and that they might patiently work on for God in joy. That they might be full of thanksgiving to the Father. Who has brought us into the blessing of God and who has delivered us from the dominion of Satan and transferred us into the kingdom of his dear Son. In Him we have freedom through his blood – forgiveness of sins. He says, Paul is the exact representation of the unseen God. He is the heir of every creature. Because through him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether they are kings, princes, rulers, everything was created by him and for him. He – Christ is before all things and through him all things continue to exist. And more than that he is the head of the body – the church. He is the source of everything. The firstborn from among the dead so that in everything and in every way he is to be preeminent. In Christ all the fullness of God is. And having made peace through the blood of his cross he has reconciled everything to himself in heaven and in earth. And says Paul, he has reconciled you who were aliens to God and enemies in your minds and by wicked deeds. And in the body of his flesh through death and he will present you to the Father, holy and without accusation and even without reproof in his sight. Now because he will do this - continue in the faith, established and rooted in him and do not allow yourselves to be disturbed from the assurance of God future blessing in the Gospel. Which you heard and which is preached in the entire world of which l Paul am a minister of the Gospel. And so Paul has begun in prayer and moved seamlessly into his message - the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a great prayer. Oh that someone might pray like that for me.
- Why is Paul writing his letter to the Christians at Colosse?
- What does Paul pray for them?
- How does Paul describe Christ in this passage?