Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #69
Posted: December 30, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

We begin our IN CHRIST study this week in the gold mine of the book of Colossians.  At the very front door of the mine we find two IN CHRIST nuggets.  They are in Chapter 1, verses 2 and 4 which say, “To the saints and faithful brethren IN CHRIST which are at Colosse; Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Since we heard of your faith IN CHRIST Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints.”

Paul opens these introductory remarks by addressing the people at Colosse as ‘saints’.  The Catholic Church can only confer this title, many have said, after years of investigations.  Some, such as St. Christopher and St. Valentine, after investigation by the Vatican have been demoted and can no longer receive prayers.  I guess they have once again been placed in purgatory.  O how silly!  For the true child of God we were declared holy, righteous, and saints of God when placed IN CHRIST.

Paul adds to the title of ‘saints’ the phrase ‘faithful brethren’.  He is not excluding any, but warning all.  Many of the brethren at Colosse were not faithful believers.  I do not doubt that we have many in our churches who have been declared saints but are not faithful brethren.  Jesus certainly had his Peter and Thomas.  The word ‘faithful’ means “Steadfast in affections and allegiance, to be full of faith, to be loyal, to be firm in adherence to promises or the discharge of duty, to be true to the original, trustworthy and reliable.” (John Phillips)  When I look closely at the word faithful I wonder if my Lord would call me one of His faithful brethren. 

There is an interesting nugget of truth in verse 2 when Paul mentions that these folks are IN CHRIST and at Colosse at the same time.  They were in an eternal state while at the same time living in an earthly state.  From time to time we get caught up in the eternal state and we are no earthly good.  We too get caught up with the pull of material possessions and have no effect on the eternal world.  Let us live the balanced, Spirit filled life of being both here and there.  We are IN CHRIST while for me I am in Winterville, Georgia. 

Paul used the two great words of greeting, grace and peace, to these blessed believers.  Grace is the Greek word of greeting and peace the Jewish word of greeting.  Paul is magnifying that the middle wall of petition between Jews and Gentiles has been torn down IN CHRIST.  Grace is the root from which salvation springs and peace is the fruit that salvation brings.  Paul tells us that the source of grace and peace is not only God the Father but also the Lord Jesus Christ.  This would be a sinking shot to many of the Gnostics in Colosse who didn’t believe in the Godhead of Jesus Christ. 

In verse 4 Paul commends these believers for their faith in Christ.  Our faith will grow when the object of our faith is sound.  Many have lost all over the years because they put their faith in unsound objects.  This church had put their faith in the soundness of Jesus Christ. 

Paul also commends them for their love for all the saints.  We know we are true believers when we exhibit a love for all of God’s people.  Many are not as easy to love as others.  One has said, “To dwell above, with the saints above, that will indeed be glory; to dwell below, with saints we know, well, that’s another story.”

Let us be faithful brethren, put our faith in the soundness of Jesus Christ, and exhibit true love for all of God’s people in these days like never before.

 

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