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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #1
Posted: July 20, 2007

COLOSSIANS 1:1-8

We begin a new book of study this week. The Book of Colossians is one of Paul’s prison epistles. Epaphras, their Pastor, has been overtaken by the attack of intellectualism, ritualism, legalism, mysticism, and asceticism. He went to Rome and asked Paul to address these issues. They were teaching Christ plus something else.  Paul wrote the letter with this theme, “We Are Complete In Christ” or “The Suffering Of Christ Alone”. Colosse was but a small town in what we know today as modern Turkey.  A short time after Paul’s death history tells us this town was destroyed by an earthquake and is no more. O how our God raises up churches for His use and when He is done He closes and puts them down. What He has opened we are not able to shut and what He has shut we are not able to keep opened.

Go with us now as we search this book with the thought of we are “Complete in Christ” or simply “Christ Is All I Need”.

Let us begin this week with verses 1-8 of Chapter 1. Have your Bibles opened, as I will not quote this text.

In verses 1-2 I see “The Address Of Introduction”. Paul uses his title of ‘apostle’ in the introduction for authority.  He is an apostle by no act of man but solely by the will of God.  Paul in his address calls Timothy and the folks at the Colosse Church ‘brother’ and ‘faithful brethren’.  I was asked not long ago why I used ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ when referring to church folk. I say because Paul and the Bible does.

He called Timothy his brother and Phebe his sister. (Romans 16)  O what a great family we are a part of by the divine act of the new birth. It is much larger than the physical family you were birthed into and you will find to be even closer. He addresses his letter not to all the saints at the Colossian Church but the ‘faithful’.  The word means steadfast, full of faith, loyal, firm in adherence to the Bible, trustworthy and reliable. There will be many in the church who claim to be saved but few who are faithful. They are called the ‘saints’. This word means those who have been declared Holy by a righteous act of God. If you are saved you are saints. This is a part of our completeness in Christ. He extends grace, the source of salvation, and peace, the fruit of salvation, to these saints. He uses the Father and the Son together in the same verse giving them oneness. This would have been a shot across the bow of the ship to the intellectual Gnostics who didn’t believe the Father and Son were one.

In verses 3 and 7 we have “The Adoration Of Introduction”. Paul gives thanks for this church and states that he prays for them always.  When I see that our Lord and the apostle Paul sensed a need to pray always, where my friend does that leave you and I? In verse 7 he gives adoration to Epaphras their Pastor. He calls him a ‘fellowservant’ or fellow slave. He calls him a ‘faithful minister’. The word means table waiter. Epaphras was a dependable trustworthy table waiter. May the Lord raise up Pastors who want to serve their people and not to be served by their people.

In verses 4-5 and 8 Paul mentions their great hunger of truth from the Bible. I call this “The Accomplishment Of Introduction”. They are faith, hope, and love. In verse 4 we see their ‘faith’ mentioned.  It is the belief in the unseen and the unbelievable. It is a gift from God of which we are not born with. The more we learn of Him and exercise our faith in Him it increases. The other hinge of truth is love.  This love only comes from the Lord. They expressed this love for one another. (Vs. 4)  We are told in verse 8 that the Holy Spirit produces it. O may our churches be a place where love for one another, with all our spots and blemishes, is expressed. The lasts hinge that keeps faith and love active is the truth of hope. (Vs. 5a)  Hope is confident expectation that the Lord has reserved a reward for us in the land beyond and by faith I can see it afar. O how I love Him who made it all possible.

In verses 5b-6 Paul tells us of “The Advancement Of Introduction.”  Paul is magnifying the advancement of the gospel.  It has spread even to this area of modern day Turkey and is causing fruit to come forth.  O how little Paul realized the worldwide scope of the gospel to break the most hardened sinners.  Little did he know it would spread one thousand nine hundred and four years later to a little town in Portsmouth, Virginia and save an old sinner like me and make me complete in Christ. 

             

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