Today, in my Bible reading I focused on the letter from the Apostle Paul to the church at Colossae. Paul’s message, especially in the first chapter, to the Christians in Colossae is wholly on who Jesus is, and what He has done for them.
Within the 20 verses of Chapter 1 Paul includes a greeting (Colossians 1:1–2), followed by gratitude for the faith of the Colossian Christians (Colossians 1:3–8). Paul then includes a statement of his continual prayers that the Christians there would grow and mature in spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9–14). Beginning in verse 15 Paul begins to focus on the greatness of Christ, including His involvement in the creation of the earth, and His position as the image of the invisible God (verse 15). Christ is superior to all other teachers, faiths, and philosophies
Paul’s focus is on making sure that these new Christians understand that Jesus Christ is supreme. He wants them to know that Jesus is not only the God of creation, but He is also the ultimate authority over all created things
It seems that Paul had not personally met these Christians at Colossae, but had heard of their faith in Christ Jesus (verse 4). It should be noted that this letter to the church at Colossae was co-authored by Timothy (verse 1). The reports of their increasing faith and their active spreading of the Word and work of Jesus Christ are very encouraging to Paul. These reports have come to Paul through Epaphras who apparently was in Colossae personally teaching the new Christians there.
It is Paul’s fervent desire that these new Christians grow in wisdom, knowledge and in their spiritual strength. In verses 13-15 Paul provides a clear image of who Christ is so that the Colossae Christians may know Him better. He presents Jesus Christ as One who has rescued them from the “dominion of darkness”, transferring them into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Paul proclaims that Jesus has redeemed them through the forgiveness of their sin. And, finally, he teaches them that Jesus is the image of our invisible God.
As we are aware in our day, false teachers were telling the believers in Colossae that they should not listen to the teaching about Jesus being God. Instead, they were teaching that the believers there should place their trust and devotion in worldly philosophies. By describing Christ as absolutely supreme, Paul prepares to destroy those false claims.
In the latter section of Colossians chapter 1 Paul writes about his own ministry. Rather than lament the struggles and sufferings he has endured for the cause of Christ, He rejoices that he could do so for the sake of the Colossae Christians.
Paul faithfully served as a missionary among the Christians in all the churches established In the name of Jesus Christ as Lord. His message was consistently proclaiming Christ in this mind: “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” (Colossians 1:28-29)) .
Gary’s Wednesday Word
21 April 2021