verses for this week: Gal 1:6 I
marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the
grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and
would pervert the gospel of Christ.
begin a new study this week on the book of Colossians.
Prison Epistles of Paul, which include the Epistle to the
Colossians, have been called the anatomy of the Church because their
subjects cover all aspects of the Christian faith. In Colossians our
attention is directed to the head of the body who is of course Jesus
Christ. The body, the church, is secondary. Christ is the theme of
this chapter, and Christian living is centered in Him.
We will be covering three important doctrines in this
chapter: The doctrine
of thanksgiving, the doctrine of the person of Christ, and the
doctrine of Christ.
I. The Introduction
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and
Timotheus our brother,
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.
begins by introducing himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ and an
associate of Timothy in the work of the Lord.
He greets the brethren with thanksgiving and prayer.
letter was written to the saints and faithful brethren in the church
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, praying always for you,
Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love
which ye have to all the saints,
For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye
heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
was a man who remembered others in prayer, and he tells them that he
gave thanks to God for those who were faithful there in the church
in Colosse. It is
wonderful when our love is known towards other saints.
Oh that all churches might be known for lifting up the name
of Jesus Christ and showing love one to another.
These had a hope like all of us who look for the soon
appearing of Jesus Christ.
Th 4:14 For if we
believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which
sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
Th 4:15 For this we say
unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain
unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
Th 4:16 For the Lord
himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of
the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ
shall rise first:
Th 4:17 Then we which
are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the
clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with
Th 4:18 Wherefore
comfort one another with these words.
Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and
bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard
of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is
for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
the truth of the Gospel is preached, it brings forth fruits.
And that is more than just the saved souls of those who turn
to the Christ, but our lives have spiritual fruit that builds up and
exhorts the church.
Paul speaks of Epaphras as the one who had thought them about
the Grace of God, and he is the one who has communicated their love
to Paul as he is here in the Roman prison. Epaphras was a special
man to Paul, as he had been converted to Christianity by Paul while
preaching in Ephesus.
KJV Study Bible said this about fruit bearing:
Which is come unto you. Present with you. In all the world. The gospel was spreading all over the Roman
Empire. Bringeth forth fruit.
Is bearing fruit, keeps on bearing fruit. The gospel is dynamic, and
this speaks of its inner energy and transforming power. It is folly
to look for fruit before there is life. “By their fruits ye shall
know them” (Mt 7:20). Increasing.
Growing and fruit-bearing are simultaneous. There is inward growth
and outward expression. The outward extension of the gospel never
stops. We read in John 12:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth
alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” The church
must germinate or terminate; it will either evangelize or fossilize.
Since the day ye heard. This fruit-bearing and growing began and it
continues. Knew the grace of
God in truth. The grace of God was fully apprehended and should
have made them immune from Gnosticism.
Paul’s Prayer for these Christians
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not
cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with
the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge
is important to look at some of the things Paul prays for in regards
to those in the church. He
first prays that they will be filled with the knowledge of HIS will
in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
That is so important that we do what God desires of us, not
necessarily what we would like to do.
1 Timothy 2:4
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a
ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I
speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles
in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
And my favorite verse in the
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men
count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that
any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
thing he prays is that they might walk worthy of the Lord unto all
pleasing and that they might be fruitful in every good work. And he prays that they might increase in their
knowledge of God. The
more we understand God, the less the pressures and trials of this
life affect us. I’m not saying we become immune to trouble, but as we begin
to understand God and know that nothing happens to us without his
knowledge, we begin to realize that even the tough times have a
reason. Paul had
learned this. That is
why he could say in our study of Philippians that he could be happy
in whatever state he was in. The Psalmist speaks so many times of
the majesty and knowledge of God.
The knowledge of God is so wonderful… who can know it?
11:33 O the depth of
the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable
are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
11:34 For who hath
known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
11:35 Or who hath first
given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him,
and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou
hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be
no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I
will also forget thy children.
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,
unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be
partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
also prays that they might be strengthened with all might, according
to God’s glorious power.
If we want power, we need to look to God.
In our own strength, we can do little.
But when we work out of the true vine as a branch, there is
virtually no limit to what we may be able to accomplish.
should forever give praise to the Father for allowing us to be sons
of God.. we are joint heirs with the Son and have an inheritance of
the saints in light.
8:14 For as many as are
led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
8:15 For ye have not
received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received
the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
8:16 The Spirit itself
beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
8:17 And if children,
then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that
we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
8:18 For I reckon that
the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath
translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the
forgiveness of sins:
is God who delivered us from the power of darkness.
4:14 That it might be
fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
4:15 The land of
Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond
Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
4:16 The people which
sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region
and shadow of death light is sprung up.
4:17 From that time
Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of
heaven is at hand.
John 3:19 And this is
the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20
For every one that doeth evil hateth the
light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be
reproved. 21 But
he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made
manifest, that they are wrought in God.
in his natural physical condition does not want to be in the light,
but loves the darkness. Only
Jesus can bring us into the light.
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light,
and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive
forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified
by faith that is in me.
God can translate us into the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
This happens the day we are saved and turn to Christ for
Salvation. In verse 13
the tense of the verb is past tense when it says that God “hath”
translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
Every person who is saved has found their redemption in one
and one only… and that is Jesus Christ.
By his blood our sins are forgiven, by his stripes we are
Hebrews 9:22 And almost
all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of
blood is no remission.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath
borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him
stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was
wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we
Isa 53:6 All we like
sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and
the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 He was
oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is
brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her
shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken
from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?
for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the
transgression of my people was he stricken.
Isa 53:9 And he made his
grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he
had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased
the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt
make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall
prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his
The Doctrine of Christ’s Person
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and
that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones,
or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created
by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
is no greater than God… He is eternal.
He was before all others and rules the universe.
We know that everything exists because God created it.
The word firstborn does not mean that Jesus was the first one
created. Jesus was with
God in the beginning and has an eternal existence.
It simply means that he was before all creatures.
It means He is greater than all and has sovereignty over all
John 1:1 In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were
made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Job 38:4 Where wast thou
when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast
Job 38:5 Who hath laid
the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the
line upon it?
Job 38:6 Whereupon are
the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone
Job 38:7 When the
morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might
have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness
God all things were created.
While we may not comprehend it, He created all things for a
purpose. He was before
all things and by Him all things are held together.
Creative Act was ‘by Him”
Creative End was “for Him”
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O
Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created
all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of
the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
18 and 19 speak of the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ. He is the head of the church.
The church was created to bring honor and glory to Christ
forever, and the church is God’s spiritual representative on
Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the
building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the
Jesus is the first in the resurrection.
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the
sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And,
behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord
descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the
door, and sat upon it. 3
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. 5
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I
know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for
he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made
alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits;
afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
truly is first in all things.
Is he first in your life?
If not, you need to change your priorities.
He should be the first priority in every one’s life.
God caused all fulness to dwell in the son.
The Reconciling Work of Christ
1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him
to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be
things in earth, or things in heaven.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your
mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy
and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not
moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and
which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof
I Paul am made a minister;
world cries out for peace, but there is no peace like the peace the
soul receives when we turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. He brought all things under subjection when He died on
that cross, and nothing can be held against us.
All things have been reconciled by Jesus to God.
He is our great mediator that stands between Satan and God.
When the evil accuser comes and brings a railing accusation
against us, Jesus is there to take up for us.
In verse 21 Paul tells them that Jesus has reconciled the
alienated and enemies in your mind by evil works.
Only Jesus can reconcile us and bring us Holy unto God.
thought J. Vernon McGee’s comments were good on verse 21.
did not wait until we promised to scrub our faces, put on our Sunday
clothes, and go to Sunday school before He agreed to do this work of
reconciliation. It was while you and I were in rebellion against
Him, while we were doing wicked works, that He reconciled us to
Himself. No man can say, “I’m lost because God has not made
adequate provision for me.” A man is lost because he wants to be
lost, because he is in rebellion against God.
“That were sometime alienated and enemies in your
mind.” This reminds us that there is a mental
alienation from God as well as a moral alienation. A great many
people think that men are lost because they have committed some
terrible sin. The reason people are lost is that their minds are
alienated from God. I think this explains the fierce antagonism
toward God on the part of the so-called intellectuals of our day.
There is an open hatred and hostility toward God.
Some time ago I had the funeral of a certain movie
star out here in California. The Hollywood crowd came to the
funeral. One of the television newscasters commented on the funeral,
and I appreciated what he had to say about it. He said, “Today
Hollywood heard something that it had never heard before.” But I
also saw something there at that funeral that I had never seen
before. I had never seen so much hatred in the eyes of men and women
as I saw when I attempted to present Jesus Christ and to explain how
wonderful He is and how He wants to save people. There is an
alienation in the mind and heart of man.
The Mystery of the Indwelling Christ
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that
which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his
body's sake, which is the church:
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation
of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from
generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
mystery has been hid from ages and generations in the past.
But during Paul’s day, the mystery was made known to the
saints. And that
mystery was that Christ came and died not only for the Jews, but
also for the Gentiles. I
dare say the majority of the people who hear this or read this study
will be non-Jews, meaning you are a Gentile.
We live in a period today known as the ‘Age of the
this church age, we have been given a special blessing to have our
eyes opened to the truth of Jesus Christ.
Most Jews today still are blinded to the truth of Jesus
Christ. But the day is soon coming when God brings salvation back to
the Jews during the time of the tribulation.
We should make it clear that any man, woman, boy, or girl,
can be saved by turning to Christ.
But those Jews saved during this period are like Paul who
said he was born out of due time.
Cor 15:6 After that, he
was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater
part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
Cor 15:7 After that, he
was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
Cor 15:8 And last of
all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Cor 15:9 For I am the
least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in
all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working,
which worketh in me mightily.
God originally chose Israel as his ‘people’ to spread His word,
the Jews thought that God was partial to them and reserved salvation
only to them. But we
have the record of many Gentiles being saved, even during the Old
Testament time period. Rachel
the harlot is a good example. Paul
preached not only to the Jews, but to ALL men.
And because of this, God worked mightily through Paul.
Romans 1:14 I am debtor both to the
Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you
that are at Rome also.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above
all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages,
world without end. Amen.
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If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness.
Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.