Series: For edification
Message – To the Colossians – Christ in you!
To the Colossians…Christ in you!
The letter begins with a salutation Paul seemed to reserve for churches who met certain criteria. While it is not as obvious in other places, Paul seems to associate the ability for Christians to acquire and understand God’s will and wisdom with the genuineness of their faith in Christ AND their active love for all the saints. This is clearly stated both here and in Ephesians, though it is hinted at in at least one other letter as well. So, it is when Paul knows a church body is living the Gospel in this way that he prays continually that they may be “… filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.” (Compare with Eph. 1:15-23)
Paul stresses that the preaching of the Gospel results in fruit in the lives of those who believe.
Other points made in these chapters of this letter to the church of Colossae,
- Jesus is preeminent over all of Creation
- IN JESUS all of the Godhead is represented and realized.
- Jesus is the HEAD of His body, the church.
- Jesus is the One in Whom the entire BODY is to dwell,
- Christ IN YOU is your EXPECTATION of GLORIFICATION
- This is the GOAL and PURPOSE of all Paul’s labors in ministry – to produce Christ in them and present them mature in Him to God.
- Old Covenant practices are seen in fulfilled in Christ.
- Sabbaths are NOT referring to the Sabbath day – because that was declared holy on the 7th day of creation and it’s holiness was due to God’s resting – not man’s sin. We observe the Sabbath BECAUSE it IS holy, not because it is an old covenant law.
- To the degree that Christ has become Lord in your life – walk in Him blamelessly.
- This is NOT encouraging ignorance or disobedience, but to walk in the light that you have. Even Paul was looking through a glass dimly and therefore did not know everything – therefore EVERYTHING was not 100% submitted to Christ – but what Paul KNEW – he lived!
- Trying harder to suppress the flesh through ascetic practices actually does not get you ANY closer to personal holiness or freedom from fleshly sins.
- Seek NOT to avoid the flesh, but seek those things which are above. DO NOT SET YOUR MIND ON EARTHLY THINGS.
- The point of practice is NOT ascetic – it is NOT focusing on the denial as much as on the spiritual. By setting the mind and affections on Christ, we ARE removing them from the things of the flesh. However, if we are focused upon removing our attention and affections from the things of the flesh – we have to focus on the flesh to do it which takes our attention away from Christ.
- Most of the sins dedicated Christians will battle with are verbal – expressions of anger, malice, blasphemy, filthy language, lying…etc.
- We are encouraged to put on tender mercy, kindness, humility, longsuffering…etc. expressed towards one another but above all PUT ON LOVE!
- Let agreement with God and the tranquility of heart that brings – RULE in your heart and BE THANKFUL!
- Express you heart of thanksgiving to God and your siblings in Christ.
- Live ALL THESE TRUTHS in the common and practical areas of life – like family and work – where we do not challenge but submit to God ordained authority – and do it as UNTO HIM, because that is in reality WHO you are honoring by way of obedience!
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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