Monday, April 5, 2010

Colossians 1:1-5

Hope you guys had an awesome Easter Weekend! A great Holy Week period for that matter.

Well I expect its about time I started some serious Scripture Study here, at least as a sideline even. Don't think this will be a major part of my page though, which will still focus more on the ideas I've stated above than anything, but still...before we can tell what's a lie, its a good idea to know what the truth is. SO...stay tuned for Colossians! I'll be posting one of these once in a while, every two or three posts. Thought I would do a rather less-famous book too.

First, a little backstory on the whole book of Colossians. It was written by Paul, obviously, primarily not just to Colossae but to the region around it too, including Laodicea, and Hierapolis. The people of these areas, at least the Christians there, were starting to fall into some legalism and disbelief that Christ really was the Son of God.

You see, in Ancient Greece at the time, as soon as Christianity started taking root, a major disagreement the Greeks and Jews had with our 'religion' was that "How could a man be God?" If flesh and the body was inherently sinful, they found it impossible to believe that Jesus could be divine. So instead, like happens often with Christianity...they just mixed the two ideas together until they were happy with the mix. Jesus really wasn't THE Son of god, they said! He was just an incredible teacher, a prophet, perhaps even some kind of spiritual representation of the real Son of God...all kinds of such trash.

So Paul naturally decided to shoot them a letter. Let's take a look at it:

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

"We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as in you also since the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth."

Part 1 Colossians 1:1-2

...I have never seen anything like the way Paul's sentences never end. sentence is like 4-5 verses!

Anyways, more seriously. First of all Paul opens his letter as he does many of his, stating up front that he IS an apostle, not of his own choosing, but of God's choosing. What is an apostle, we ask? Simply put, its a man who is "sent" by God, as the Greek word behind it implies...but is that all? No. Even more seriously, it means that Paul is not only sent by God, but he literally SPEAKS for God...a after-Christ prophet, no less. As a result, he's infallible. At least in his writings and on Theological foundations, Paul cannot be wrong...look to Galatians 1 and 2 if you want to go into this in more detail.

Secondly, more as a sideline, its interesting to note that Timothy, Paul's student and 'apprentice' of sorts, also signs his name to the letter. Apparently Timothy was with Paul at this time. I'm not sure, I'll look it up in the future if you wish, but Timothy was a younger man brought along by Paul on his journeys and was eventually left to look after the church in Ephesus. Paul's letters to Timothy himself, 1st and 2nd Timothy exactly, are a sample of what Paul was teaching him in how to take care of the church.

Anyways, back on topic. Paul goes on to say that he's talking to the 'faithful' brethren (brothers for us new agers) in Christ, that currently live in Colossae. I suppose Paul still had faith and was confident the Christians in this city would remain faithful in spite of the difficulties, by seeing how he calls them still faithful and in Christ.

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father." Paul opens his letter to them with a blessing of peace and grace from God. First off, its good to note that in fact, grace and peace only CAN come from God our Father, and from no other source. Only God Himself can bestow on us such things as grace and peace. Grace we should know about well. Grace is God's gift to us or pure love and mercy, meaning simply, "He gave us what we didn't deserve."

Peace is what the Holy Spirit is in our hearts as saved believers. Anyone who is saved should know what peace feels like, and more seriously, its an expression of God's constancy in us. A man who has God's peace can take and deal with anything, if he's got enough faith to trust Him for it!

Part 2 - Colossians 1:3-5

"We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel,"

Paul starts out bring grateful for his brothers in Colossae. He gives thanks to God (who interestingly, he stops to point out is the Father of Christ, something we already know...but in context of the whole letter it may be that Paul is gently reminding those who are wandering from this truth in the present state of Colossae...well, what the real truth is.) for them all. He goes on to say he prays from them always.

Now stop here and see what this means. I'm ashamed to admit I don't pray for my brothers half as often as I should. I still find it amazing what a man of God Paul was, after all he had suffered, to still be giving thanks and praying, ALWAYS praying, for his brothers in the growing churches! I hope one day I may personally reach that level of godliness. It still blows my mind.

Anyway, Paul goes on saying he's heard of the faith of his Colossian brothers in Christ Jesus. And not only that, but he's heard of the love they have for each other and all the saints. Despite some of the heresies some of the Colossians may be buying into, they still have some form of godliness left and can't all be buying into it. Otherwise such a display of good godly behavior wouldn't be there.

Then, he goes on to the really interesting part. He then says that the reason they are like this is BECAUSE...they heard of the hope laid up in heaven for them. Interesting! May we always strive to have faith in Jesus Christ and also to love all our Christian brothers and sisters, FOR the hope laid up in heaven! It does us good to remember that God is a wonderful, overflowing, generous God...He doesn't even stop at saving us so graciously with His own Son's blood! Even STILL, God has stored up treasure and reward in heaven for us! That's like bailing an evil criminal out of a billion dollar, lifetime prison sentence for no reason at all, and as if that wasn't enough...when he becomes a good man again, you start showering him with unbelievable wealth! Its almost too much!

At any rate, he gets them back on focus. We should have these qualities, and continue to strive for them, because we're keeping in mind the reward God let's us gain for ourselves in the coming Kingdom.

Finally, Paul goes on saying that all of this they heard before, previously...from the evangelists. The Gospel taught them all this, it being the 'word of truth' indeed. That is funny, almost...think how much the Gospel that these men preached back then, the correct one, would differ so much from what we consider to be the Gospel our evangelists preach today. Perhaps a sad thought, too.

And on that note, ladies and gentlemen...PLEASE, COMMENT! I never, ever want to hear anyone ever say, "Alex said this and that," unless its something wrong I said. I'd much rather hear that Alex just told you what the Bible says, not what Alex says. If you find any problems, no matter how minor, with this, please by all means, hit me! Comments are awesome!

Well everyone, have a good, remembering "Good Friday." Its a day we should remember. God bless!


  1. That was good to read, nice job! I agree with everything you said.... except for one thing. When you said Paul was infallible... really? Yes, he was definitely a great man of God and acted as His voice to us and many others... but couldn't it be a bit dangerous to say he's incapable of error? I'm probably missing something somewhere.... but I just wanted to ask. :)

  2. Heya India! Thanks, I'm hugely glad ya liked it. :D
    Well, yeah, I see what you're saying. Sorry if I came across wrong, but let me clarify: No, Paul wasn't like some kind of superman who was infallible in EVERYTHING. If you asked him about the future, or the price of tea in China, or lots of things, no he would be clueless. I didn't mean to say he was absolutely infallible on everything. That would make him some kind of semi-God, you're right there. Dangerous. ;)
    But I do firmly believe that he was an apostle. And I also very firmly believe that everything a Christian apostle says concerning Christian doctrine and Theology is true, period. In other words, these letters he wrote and anything he claimed about Christian doctrine was infallible. He talks about this himself in Galatians 1 and 2, if you wanna look it up. :) There he claims that God appointed him to be His apostle to the gentiles like us, giving him all knowledge of doctrine and theology, God...ya know, the epistles he writes. ;) Did that make any sense?

  3. Yep, it made perfect sense, thanks for the clarification! I do agree with you there. And sorry to be so particular... just struck me odd when you said he was infallible, but I gotcha now. (thumbs up)

  4. Yeah, sorry, I should have made that clear! Not a problem at all, I should be more careful. ;)


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