Crowning Him King – Colossians 1:15-20 – Week 4

Crowning Him King

Colossians 1:15-20

Week 4

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will continue in Colossians chapter 1 and explore verses 15-20. In verses 15-20, we have some of the most glorious and descriptive language about the identity of Jesus, the Son of God. We could say that this second portion of Colossians chapter 1, describes the divinity of Jesus Christ in ways that undeniably declare that Jesus is God in the flesh. Paul writes things, under the influence of the Holy Spirit to combat the Colossian heresy head-on and to protect the Colossian Church from the damage already done by mixing Jewish mysticism and angelology with the Apostolic Christianity that they received from Epaphras.

As Paul writes these verses under house arrest, and chained to Roman soldier, I wonder of the revelation that the Spirit gives Paul about the Person of Christ brought great encouragement to him. If the universe is Christ-centric, then even Paul’s suffering arrest would be reconciled in Christ and all things would work in favor for the cause of Christ in Paul. No hardship, situation of suffering is in vain, but redeemed and reconciled in Jesus.

Many scholars believe that Colossians 1:15-20 is a verse to ancient hymn or confession of the First Century Church. It is entirely possible that Paul either quotes or authored this hymn so that the Church would be safe from false teachers who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.

The text is so rich in verses 15-20, that we need to proceed to the text for the sake of time.

Colossians 1:15

a) In Colossians 1:12-13, Paul gives thanks to the Father for giving the Son to humanity as the rescue and redemption from dominion of darkness for those who believe. Now Paul shifts the subject from giving thanks to the Father, to describing the Son, Jesus Christ, who worked salvation.

b) Paul gives us 2 descriptions regarding the nature of the Son, Jesus Christ. 1 – Jesus is the Image of the Father. The Greek word eikōn is used here and this Greek word possesses a 2-fold meaning. 1 – Likeness as in a mirror. 2 – Manifestation; implying that Jesus is the manifestation of what the Father is like. Jesus Himself says in John 10:38 – “the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.” John 8:29 – “I always do what pleases the Father.” John 5:19 – “Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” John 14:9 – “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” When we look at Jesus, we see the perfect character and nature of the Father revealed. Jesus makes the unseen, unsearchable Godhead knowable and relational to humanity that is made in His image.

c) The second descriptive is “firstborn”. This descriptive has nothing to do with
Jesus being created, but everything to do with Jesus being preeminent in all things created. The Greek word prōtotokos is used here and describes priority in time or supreme rank. This word communicates that Jesus was before creation, and Jesus being supremely set apart from the created order. This word is used as descriptive for the divinity of Jesus as the God the Son. This title, “firstborn” is used in Romans 8:20, Hebrews 1:6, and Revelation 1:5.

d) Interestingly, ancient rabbis used “Yahweh – The Firstborn of the World” as a title for God. Ancient Rabbi Bechai is quoted by the great scholar J.B. Lightfoot, using this title as a Messianic description of the God to Israel. Certainly, Paul being a former Pharisee Rabbi would be familiar with this thought and applies it to the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:16-17

a) In verses 16-17, Paul begins to attack the Colossian heresy as he describes Jesus in theological descriptions that clearly state that Jesus is God in the flesh. Paul describes attributes that only God possesses and applies them to Jesus.

b) Jesus the Creator. When we consider the process of the creation narrative in Genesis 1-2, we can say this; The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit were all active in the work of creation. The Father works in His Son, through His Spirit.

c) When we meditate on Christ being the author of creation, we are awed by the majesty and magnitude of space. We are awed by the intricate intelligent design of human DNA and the cell structures of plants and animals. We are awed by the science of physics, and we are awed by the consciousness of humanity and our self-awareness that does not exist any other species. Romans 1:20 – For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

d) The reference to thrones, powers, rulers, etc. is a direct attack against the intricate angelology of the mystic Judaism practiced in Colossae. Paul corrects this by teaching that Jesus is Deity incarnate.

e) He is before all things – This describes Jesus’ self-existence as God the Son. There was an ancient heresy from Arius (AD 256–336) who taught that Jesus was begotten by God the Father at a point in time, is distinct from the Father and is subordinate to the Father. Verse 17 destroys that position. The modern-day cults that hold the teaching of Arius are the Unitarians and JW’s.

f) In Him all things hold together – The thought here is that creation is Christ-centric and is sustained and preserved by Jesus. When we consider the high thoughts of Christ in verses 16-17, it should cause us to worship Jesus with more reverence and passion.

Colossians 1:18

a) Jesus is the Head – The thought here is that all things regarding the Church flow from Christ like rivers flow from headwaters. Jesus is the Source for all things in the Church. Paul describes the Church as the Body of Christ in Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, and Ephesians. The Church being the Body of Christ describes the Church being that which does the works of Christ in the world, reveals the Person of Christ in the world, and proclaims the words of Christ to the world. Our challenge is to align with Christ, who is the Head.

b) He is the beginning – The source or fount of creation.

c) Firstborn among the dead – This is the description of Jesus being the first to be resurrected. When Jesus raised others from the dead, they lived, and then died again later. However, the resurrected Christ is raised imperishable and is the example of what we should expect when we are resurrected to eternal life in our resurrection bodies. See 1 Corinthians 15 for a detailed description of what that will be like.

d) Supremacy in all things – We never have to be afraid of any circumstance because Jesus experienced all things and conquered all things. In Him we are victorious over the issues of life, satan/demons, sin and even death.

Colossians 1:19

a) In Christ is the fullness of God. Paul is using strong language against the Colossian heresy and forcefully declaring that Jesus is truly God. Fullness – Greek – plērōma – that which fills or with which a thing is filled. Dwell – Greek – katoikeō – to dwell in, inhabit, to always be present. We could describe Jesus being the always present fullness of God as the distribution point from which all heavenly access and resource flows.

Colossians 1:20

a) Reconcile – Greek – apokatallassō – to reconcile completely, to reconcile back again, bring back a former state of harmony. Notice that the atonement of Jesus Christ was a wide and comprehensive work. Jesus is the promised Messiah that redeems creation from the curse of the Fall and redeems humanity from their sin nature and the punishment for sin in the Law. Paul is not teaching Universalism, look at Colossians 1:21-23 and we can clearly see that Universalism is not a true doctrine.

b) The cross was God’s method of bringing peace to creation and people because the justice of God and the outrage of God over the crime of sin was satisfied in Jesus Christ as He suffered on the cross and was the acceptable sacrifice that pleased the Father.

Advertisements

Crowning Him King – Colossians 1:9-14 -Week 3

Crowning Him King

Colossians 1:9-14

Week 3

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will continue in Colossians chapter 1 and explore verses 9-14. In Colossians 1:9-14 we come to Paul’s loving Apostolic Prayer for the Colossian Church. When we consider Paul’s circumstances of being under house arrest as a prisoner of the Roman Empire, waiting for His appeal before Caesar, Paul never indicates that he is discouraged or defeated. On the contrary, Paul expresses deep love, care and encouragement for a Church that has never personally met. Like Paul, when we have identity in Christ and life experience with God, our daily circumstances do not govern the direction of our hearts.

We see the following movements in Paul’s Apostolic Prayer for the Colossians.

1 – Prayer that the Colossians would know the will of God

2 – Prayer that the Colossians would receive from the Spirit wisdom and knowledge

3 – Prayer that they would have please God

4 – Prayer that the Colossians would have strength to endure

5 – Prayer that they would be thankful to the Father 6 – Prayer that they would know the extent of their salvation in Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:9

a) At the beginning of this wonderful Apostolic Prayer, Paul and his companions in Rome encouraged the Colossian Church by telling them they were praying for them. Paul’s love for the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ, reveals the heart of true spiritual fathers and mothers. One of great marks of the office of Apostle, is to love the Church of Christ and earnestly pray for their fullness in Christ. Paul prayed for the Church 38 times in his Epistles.

b) Focused and continued prayer is a key for success in answered prayer. Paul’s focused and continued prayer for the Church was widely answered by God. The Colossian Church lasted until the 7th and 8th Centuries. The Ephesian Church lasted for almost 1300 years, and Christianity has prospered globally from generation to generation since the Apostolic Age.

c) Paul gives a progressive path for a successful spiritual life in Christ. Notice that the goal of Paul’s prayer is to be filled with the “knowledge of God’s will”. When we are filled with the knowledge of God’s will, then we are aligned with His desires for our lives. We know what the Lord likes, feels and thinks about a multitude of issues that concern us. When we have the knowledge of God’s will for our lives, we will never be lacking in vision, purpose or powerful living.

d) We access the knowledge of God’s will through the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for knowledge in the text is epignōsis – precise and correct knowledge, in the NT, of the knowledge of things ethical and divine. To gain the knowledge of God’s will, one must experience God to receive it.

e) Some of our translations may read like the NASB – Colossians 1:9 – For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and
to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. The NIV makes the text a little clearer by translating the Greek words pneumatikos sophia, “wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives”. A literal word for word translation could be “spiritual wisdom from the Spirit and understanding/knowledge that flows together”.

f) Notice that the text teaches us that wisdom from the Spirit is knowledge that is revealed and applied.

Colossians 1:10

a) The relational wisdom and knowledge that we receive from the Holy Spirit is for purposeful living. First it is so that we please the Lord in every aspect of our lives. The entirety of our lives are holy to the Lord. In the Western world, we tend to compartmentalize our spiritual lives from our secular lives. However, a true Scriptural worldview teaches us that our lives are divinely ordered, with God at the center, and all of the other aspects of our lives revolve around Him. Our family is holy, our marriages are holy, our occupations are holy, our recreation is holy, our possessions are holy.

b) Pleasing the Lord in every way, bears fruit in our lives. This is the true definition of success; God’s pleasure over our choices and the life-paths we are walking throughout our lives. Not only do we bear spiritual fruit in our character, but we have prosperity of soul (happiness/joy), and success in life. If we are living in the will of God, then we are living successfully. The will of God is unique to each of us and that is great adventure of faith; discovering the revelation of His will.

c) Notice that the text says, “bearing fruit in every good work”. Faith is always married to action.

d) Growing in the knowledge of God – we can see from the text that growing in the knowledge of God is a process. Growing implies that we are not static, but in the process of expanding our knowledge of the Lord. This is simply doing relationship with the Lord.

Colossians 1:11

a) In addition to knowing God’s will and growing in experiential and relational knowledge of God, we have access to His power and glorious might that strengthens us and imparts to us the ability to accomplish His will for our lives. To be strengthened in power and glorious might implies that resistance to God’s will is present in our lives. That resistance can be in the forms of the flesh, demonic spiritual attack, and the influence of the corrupted world. But we are set up to overcome all of these things that rob God’s will from our lives.

b) Power – Greek – dynamis – strength power, ability, inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth, power for performing miracles, moral power and excellence of soul, the power of wealth and the power of numbers and armies.

c) Glorious might – Greek – doxa kratos – a most glorious condition, most exalted state of force, strength, power and dominion.

d) Romans 5:2-5 – And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

e) The Colossian Church would indeed need great endurance and patience when we consider the history of the Colossian Church. During the next 300 years, this church would need to endure and overcome false teachers, which is the occasion of this letter and overcome a series of bloody persecutions from the Roman authorities in the Roman Providence of Asia. They would indeed overcome all these things. The Colossian Church in approximately 200 years completely Christianized Colossae.

Colossians 1:12

a) When we are aware of the goodness of the Father towards us and the love and mercy that the Father expressed to us by giving us Jesus Christ, then joyful thanks is a manifestation of a grateful heart to God. The Father qualified us to share in the inheritance of the Kingdom, by sending Jesus to be sacrificed for our sin, and through Jesus, we have access to all of the resources of the heaven.

b) Notice we are called holy people – we have been bought with the blood of Christ and now we are reserved for God and set apart for His purposes. We enter into the kingdom as sinners saved by grace, but after entering, we walk as disciples, sons and daughters and the covenant people, the Bride of Christ.

c) Kingdom of Light – The dominion over us is the Light/Christ, and the nature of the kingdom of God is light. There is no darkness, shadow or turning in a kingdom of light, so as subjects of the kingdom, we should reflect the image of the kingdom. If the descriptive of God’s kingdom is a kingdom of light, then we know that God’s nature and character is true, pure, entirely good and benevolent towards the subjects of that kingdom.

Colossians 1:13

a) He rescued us – Greek – rhyomai – to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver.

b) Dominion of darkness – Notice that the text does not say “kingdom of darkenss”. In fact, the Greek literally reads “authority of darkness/sin” (exousia skotos). Satan has no kingdom. He is an illegitimate power, who had to usurp the dominion that God gave humanity in Eden, in order to have influence. Certainly, the devil and his demonic companions exert power and influence in the world, but now that we been rescued from that influence by the cross of Christ, we become the offensive force that diminishes the dominion of darkness, by our gospel of the kingdom.

c) The kingdom of the Son He loves – What a beautiful descriptive of love being at the center of kingdom of God. Jesus tells us that the Father will love us with the same love He has for Jesus. John 14:23 – Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Colossians 1:14

a) The Father’s love is revealed to us in Jesus Christ. In Christ we have redemption and forgiveness of sins. Redemption – a releasing effect because a ransom has been paid. Forgiveness – aphesis – release from bondage or imprisonment, to be separated from sin, to be divorced from sin, to be mentioned no more.

Crowning Him King – Colossians – Week 2

Crowning Him King

Colossians 1:3-8

Week 2

Rob Covell

Introduction – In this Session, we will continue in Colossians chapter 1 and explore verses 3-8. Since we spent much time in the last Session covering the introduction, we will start in the text straight away.

As we follow our outline of Colossians from the previous Session, we will come to the section of Scripture in Colossians 1:3-8, which reveal Paul’s thankfulness for the Colossian community of believers and his encouragement to them as their Apostolic Father through the ministry of Epaphras.

Colossians 1:3

a) Even though Paul never met the Colossian Church, Paul and his companions in Rome are thankful that they are believers in Jesus Christ and have received the gospel from Epaphras (v.7) and are in the faith. As we mentioned before, Colossae was evangelized by Epaphras during Paul’s years in Ephesus.

b) As we mentioned in the last Session, Paul is writing this letter while he is under house arrest in Rome waiting for his appeal to Caesar to be heard and judged. Not once do we have an indication that Paul is defeated in his heart, discouraged or hopeless. On the contrary, Paul is delighted and full of thankfulness to the Father for the Colossian Church and his opportunity to encourage them and love them through his letter.

c) When we have identity in Christ and know His love by experience and have testimonies of His faithfulness to us, then the circumstances of our lives do not rule over our hearts.

d) Thankfulness to God is always an appropriate way to begin our ascent toward heaven as we pray.

Colossians 1:4

a) Paul had heard of the faith of the Colossian Church in Christ Jesus and that was one the things Paul was thankful for. Paul at this time in his life was nearing the end of His Apostolic ministry. He had approximately 7-8 years left before he would be martyred by Nero in Rome in AD67-68. Paul had spent his whole life serving the Bride of Christ and was thankful that his fruitful service to Jesus was being rewarded by observing the rapid growth of the Church through his spiritual sons and daughters.

b) Paul was also thankful for their love for one another. The evidence of love in Church bodies is an indicator of the overall health of the Church. Jesus said, that people would be able to discern if we were truly His disciples by our love demonstrated to one another. John 13:35 – By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

c) Greek – agapē – affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love, love feasts, the type of love that contends for the highest purpose of the object of that
love.

Colossians 1:5

a) Notice that the source of our faith and love, come from the hope stored up for us in heaven. As the realization of God’s goodness towards us is increased, so is our faith in God, and so is our love towards God and people. The NKJV and NASB read more linear in verse 5 than the NIV translation. The NIV attempts to bring clarity to the text, pointing out that the source of the faith and love of the Colossian believers stemmed from their realization of their hope in heaven.

b) Hope – Greek – elpis – the expectation of goodness from God and the joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.

c) Notice that Paul gives the qualifier “the true message of the gospel”. As we mentioned before the occasion for the Colossian letter was to address false teaching about the Person of Christ that the mystic Judaizers were promoting by mixing Jewish mysticism and the gospel they received from Epaphras together and leading people astray in the Colossian Church. Only the true Christ is revealed by the true gospel message. The Scriptures are the authority about who Jesus is.

d) Notice the trio of faith, love and hope: This trio of words is used multiple times by Paul in 1 Corinthians, Colossians, and 1 Thessalonians, and show us that these are the operating system of heaven.

Colossians 1:6

a) Paul makes a very amazing statement in verse 6, that the gospel was bearing fruit in the whole world. We see 3 interesting points in the text. 1 – In ONE generation the gospel was preached and received throughout the whole Roman Empire. 2 – When the Apostolic gospel is preached, the revelation of Christ is released and Christianity spreads like wildfire. 3 – We should have an expectation for the Church to have success in Her mission to evangelize and heavenize earth as we patiently for the return of Jesus Christ. We should have Caleb and Joshua Vision for the Kingdom of God to prevail.

b) Notice that Paul ends verse 6 with, “truly understood God’s grace”. The Greek word here in the text is charis – that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech, good will, loving-kindness, favor, a gift, the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace. When we truly begin to experience and live in God’s grace, we are in a state of prosperity of soul that builds momentum for the expansion of the kingdom of God.

Colossians 1:7-8

a) Paul states plainly that Epaphras was the one who brought the gospel to Colossae, his hometown. Epaphras’ name means “lovely”. A fitting name for a minister of Jesus Christ. b) Notice that Epaphras is described in the text as a fellow-servant/bondservant and a faithful minister. Greek – fellow-servant – syndoulos – one who shares the same master or an associate slave. This title used in the text shows us the tremendous humility of the Apostles in terms of Christ conquering their will through the experience of His grace and love.

c) 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

d) Epaphras is also given the title “faithful minister”. Greek – pistos diakonos – trustworthy, faithful and true, servant of a king, one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister.

e) All of us are servants of Christ and ministers of His kingdom. Some of us serve His Church as servants and ministers to His Body, and others of us serve Him beyond the local Body and expand the knowledge of Christ and re-image Him to the world around us. In all things we should seek to have the same humility and surrender to Christ as the believers in the Apostolic age.

f) Epaphras reported to Paul that the Colossians loved each other in the Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is presently present, the fruit of the Spirit is proceeds from God’s people. Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Crowning Him King – Introduction to Colossians – Week 1

Crowning Him King

Introduction to Colossians

Week 1

Rob Covell

Introduction –
Author: The Apostle Paul, Colossians 1:1 – Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

Occasion: AD-60-62 Approximately – Paul was under house arrest in Rome, waiting for his appeal to be heard by the Roman Caesar, Nero. See Acts 28:19-20 – The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar. I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people. For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” Acts 29:30-31 – For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!

Paul wrote Colossians around the same time as he wrote the letter to the Ephesians and Philemon. The man who evangelized Colossae, Epaphras (a Colossian native), was imprisoned with Paul, See Philemon 23, and the letter to the Colossians was given Tychicus and Onesimus to be delivered to them. See Colossians 4:7-9. Colossae was evangelized when Paul was in Ephesus on his 3rd Missionary Journey, as he equipped and released disciples in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. Paul never personally visited Colossae.

It is also important to note that in Colossians 4:16, Paul indicates that he wrote a letter to the Laodicean as well. However, this letter has never been found or quoted by the early church fathers. Most scholars hold the position that Paul re-issued the letter to the Ephesians to the Laodicean Church.

The occasion of the letter to the Colossians, is to correct false teaching regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ and a strict adherence to Jewish Law and Essene Mysticism. The Epistle to the Colossians presents very clear definitions of the Person of Christ, His authority, and the need for believers to live a free (from the Law) and live a victorious life in Christ. This letter indicates that Paul was addressing a pre-existing form of Jewish syncretism, that blended Law with Essene Mystic Judaism (See Josephus). In the First Century, this city was known for its angel cults that worshipped Michael the Archangel. This Jewish angel cult pre-existed Epaphras’ evangelism of Colossae. The mention of the Seven Sons of Sceva in Acts 19, were probably from this Jewish mystic movement.

Outline of Colossians:

Paul’s Introduction – Colossians 1:1-2

Paul’s thankfulness for the Colossian Church – Colossians 1:3-8

Paul’s Apostolic Prayer – Colossians 1:9-14

The Preeminence of Jesus – Colossians 1:15-20

The Reconciliation of the Believer – Colossians 1:21-23

Paul’s Personal Price for Christ’s Church – Colossians 1:24-2:3

Paul Addresses the Colossian Heresy – Colossians 2:4-23

Paul Encourages the Colossians to Focus on Heaven – Colossians 3:1-4

Paul Teaches How to be a Disciple – Colossians 3:5-4:6

Paul Gives Personal Encouragements and Instructions – Colossians 4:7-17

Paul Closes the Letter – Colossians 4:18

City of Colossae:

Colossae was founded around the 5th Century BC and is located on the Lycus River Valley in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey. It was a prosperous city during the BC era, but by Paul’s time the city had lost significant population and wealth. Colossae was struck by a devastating earthquake in AD60 but was rebuilt without Roman aid. The main product of Colossae was wool and cloth. Colossae was not a very influential city compared to Ephesus or Corinth.

The Church thrived and eventually Christianized the entire city by the 3rd Century. Eusebius mentions this in his writing. In 284-305AD, the city was destroyed by the Roman Emperor Diocletian who persecuted the Church in Colossae. Diocletian’s persecution of Christianity was the last persecution of Church before Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Christianity lasted until the 7th and 8th Centuries when Colossae was invaded and overthrown by the armies of the Muslim Saracens (Arab Tribes) armies who were motivated by Jihad. The famous Colossian Church was vandalized and destroyed in AD1192/3 by the Turks. This ancient city has never ben excavated, but in 1835, archeologist William J. Hamilton surveyed the area and noted the ruins of theater and other fragments of Roman and Hellenistic Architecture.

It is important to mention that the Montanist Prophetic Revival began in this area, which was the first ecstatic prophetic movement in the Early Church Era. They were regarded as heretics by some, but later examinations of their doctrines and prophetic practices were found to be in the faith. They were rejected mostly because of their ecstatic style and because Montanus prophesied alongside Prisca and Maximilla, two female prophets. Early Church Father Tertullian was a Montanist.

Colossians 1:1-2

a) Paul – The custom in the First Century was for the writer to identify himself and then address the recipients of the letter. Here Paul identifies himself as an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. Paul was secure in his call and lived intentionally as an Apostle for Christ. Paul’s will, agreed with God’s will. The course of his life was congruent to his call. We can read the account of Paul’s call in Acts 9, when he encountered the risen Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus road.

b) Paul had never visited the Colossian church personally, and the church of Colossae is not mentioned in the Acts narrative. Epaphras received the gospel in Ephesus and evangelized Colossae, his hometown. Paul may have never visited Colossae personally, but he still exercised Apostolic authority over Colossae because he was Epaphras’ spiritual father in Christ.

c) Timothy – Timothy was Paul’s protégé and son in the faith. Timothy was an Apostle in process as he was being spiritually fathered by Paul. Good spiritual fathers groom the next generation to receive their mantles. Timothy did not contribute to this letter, but Timothy scribed the letter for Paul as his amanuensis.

d) To God’s holy people – some our translations may say “saints”. Greek – hagios – most holy thing, separated for the service of God. Paul did not make a distinction between believers. All of us who have received Christ as Savior are set apart for Him and His purposes. 1 Corinthians 6:19 – Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

e) Colossae, as we mentioned in the introduction was a small seemingly unimportant city in the region of Asia when compared to great cultural center of Ephesus where Paul launched the regional revival that led to Colossae being evangelized by Epaphras.

f) Faithful brothers and sisters – Paul is addressing those who have not compromised their faith by mixing Christianity with the Judeo-Mystic heresy in Colossae. At this time, Christianity was still considered a sect of Judaism, so the opportunity to be influenced by this mystic form of Judaism would be a very real temptation for early believers in Messiah in Colossae.

g) The temptation to add to or mix Christianity with extra-biblical spiritual experiences are still a very real danger today. As Charismatics, we need to be discerning in terms of who we allow to teach us, who we receive impartations from and we need to be rooted in Scripture so that we are never deceived by religious works and Charismatic protocols that are supposed to give us more favor with God.

h) Grace and Peace to you – Grace and peace from the Father are the benefits of being in relationship with Jesus. Grace – Greek – charis – that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness, grace and favor, the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace. Peace – Greek – eirēnē – The Greek equivalent of Hebrew Shalom – Peace with God, peace within, peace with neighbors, peace in our nation. Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”