Colossians: Jesus is Better than Special Knowledge, Part 1

1:1

From a Roman prison cell, of all places, the Apostle Paul writes to the believers and “faithful brothers” (probably church leaders) at Colossae. Next to him sits Timothy, Paul’s partner in ministry even while in holding. Paul writes the letters to Ephesians and to Philemon at about the same time (A.D. 60-62). We know that, because in those letters Paul refers to himself as being in prison, and he also refers to Tychicus (the courier). Yet, neither of these letters refer to the outcome of Paul’s trial at Rome. So, from that inner evidence, one can more than safely say Colossians was written sometime from A.D. 60 – 62. The message God sends to the Colossians through his Apostle Paul is certainly one for our day. The theme of this letter to the Colossians (and to us) is:

JESUS IS BETTER THAN SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE (i.e. Gnosticism)

1:2

“Grace and Peace to you” is always the greeting Christians gave each other in those early days of Christianity. Whether in regions where Christianity was not being persecuted, or in the heat of Christian genocides, only the salutation of “grace and peace to you” would mean anything at all. The grace of God allows us to partake of the Divine nature amid a world that is entirely anti-God in heart. The peace of God is poured over those who trust the Almighty and All-knowing God completely, even those suffering for the name of Jesus Christ, as Paul knew very well. There are times when we forget about our need for and the availability of God’s grace and peace. It is always fitting to wish another Christian, “Grace and Peace (be multiplied) to you.”

1:3-8

The first paragraph of this letter is full of thanksgiving and joy. The Apostle Paul states he and his fellow ministers thank God for the Colossians when praying for them. Why?

  • Paul and company heard of the Colossians’ placing faith in Jesus as the Christ “the Messiah” as a result of hearing the Gospel from Epaphras (vv. 4, 7-8)
  • Paul and company heard of the Colossians’ love for all the saints (v. 4)
  • Paul and company knew of and rejoiced in the hope laid up for the Colossians in Heaven; implied: because of their faith. (v. 5)
  • Paul and company share joy with the Colossians that their faith in Christ is shared among many in the world and is growing! (vv. 6-7)

1:9-20

The second paragraph of this letter is a prayer for the Colossians and an exaltation of Jesus Christ, and this exaltation of the Lord Jesus sets the tone for the rest of the letter. The supremacy of Jesus Christ is the basis of the Colossians’ faith, yes even the Christian faith, against all distractions, deceptions or heresies. What a blessing from God to have these prayers recorded for our learning and use.

Paul prays: ‘We have not ceased to pray these things for you from the day we heard of your faith in Christ:: (v. 9-14)

  • To be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
    • So that, you may walking in a manner worthy of the Lord
      • by being fully pleasing to Jesus
      • by bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God
  • To be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might
    • For the purpose of having all endurance and patience with joy
      • resulting in giving thanks to the Father
        • WHO has qualified believers to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
        • WHO has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son
          • in Whom (Jesus) we have redemption — the forgiveness of sins.

Paul Exalts Christ: (v. 5-20)

  • He is the image of the invisible God
  • He is the firstborn (lead and representative) of all creation, because:
    • By Him all things were created
      • in heaven and on earth
        • things visible and invisible
          • whether thrones, or dominions or rulers or authorities
    • He is before all things and in him all things hold together
    • He is the head of the body — the Church.
    • He is the beginning, the firstborn (resurrection to glory) from the dead
      • so that, in everything he might be preeminent
  • In Him all the fullness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell, so that through Him all things* would be reconciled^ to God.
    • *All things: whether on the earth or in heaven
    • ^Reconciled: by making peace by the blood of His cross

 

 

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