Colossians 1 Colossians 1: Simple, yet it will take eternity for us to worship Christ. Its location has been identified, but it has never been excavated. Focusing on the centrality of Christ, the epistle appears to have been written to combat a heresy. Epaphras, very likely the planter and pastor of the Colossian church 1: Since it was written during one of his imprisonments 4: Scholars are not sure exactly which imprisonment, but scholar Douglas Moo identifies Rome as the most likely location, meaning that the book was probably written around a.
As we study the letter to the Colossians this month, pray that the Spirit will renew your commitment to the truth of the gospel and the truth of who Jesus is. Pray that this truth will make a difference in how you live as a committed follower of Christ. Some forms of radical Islam may entice martyr-murderers with similar dreams, but Christian hope is the power to love, not kill. Christian hope produces life-givers, not life-takers. The crucified Christ calls his people to live and die for their enemies, as he did … Jesus unleashed a movement of radical, loving, risk-takers.
Paul elsewhere referred to faith and love as part of the armor of God that should be worn by Christians 1 Thess. Paul had never actually been to Colossae 2: Since these things are true for all believers, this epistle is written for us as well! We, too, have heard and believed, want to keep growing in Christ, and trust in God to guard our salvation. Apply the Word Paul wrote of thanking God in prayer for the Colossians v. Praying for specific individuals and groups is a good habit.
If you are reading a news article about persecuted Christians in China, Egypt, or elsewhere, that would be a great time to pray for the people in the article. Another idea is to pray for a specific Facebook friend every time you use that social media website. Gabor was told that religion was weakness and was taught communist doctrine by his father. His mother, though, was a follower of Jesus Christ. She took Josef and his brother to church, which was a three-hour train ride away.
Despite the distance and danger of going to church, Josef Gabor remains grateful to God for a mother who helped bring him to Christ. Yesterday we saw how gratitude flows na-turally from seeing God's power to break the bondage of evil. In today's passage, we find that gratitude similarly flows when we see the gospel's worldwide spread.
These two truths go hand-in-hand, because the gospel always brings freedom and healing wherever it goes. It's possible that Paul never visited the church in Colossae.
But when Epaphras, who was probably converted through Paul's ministry, brought news of the good things that were happening in this small church, Paul was filled with gratitude.
Notice the triad of faith, love, and hope in verses 4 and 5. Together, these offer evidence of the gospel's transforming power. The news that gospel was spreading into this part of the world now part of modern-day Turkey filled Paul with praise and thanks, because it confirmed that the good news of Jesus Christ was indeed increasing around the world.
Paul had the same response when he learned about the effects of the gospel in the Thessalonian church, one of the first churches that he planted in Europe. When the gospel comes into people's lives, thanksgiving is evidence of its transforming power.
But it's also the case that when we hear about the spread of the gospel, we're filled with thanksgiving to God. Today would be a good time to learn more about the gospel's spread and power. Believers and unbelievers alike acknowledge the powerful influence of the KJV throughout Western culture and history.
One writer pointed out: Many readers find that the archaic language still conveys a sense of the beauty and majesty of Scripture. In fact, the KJV is the best-selling Bible translation of all time! The story of the King James Version is just part of the ongoing story of the worldwide spread of the gospel.
The church at Colossae was apparently planted by Epaphras vv. This connection also alerted the Colossians, in an apostolically authoritative manner, that they needed to heed Epaphras and reject false teachers.
He recounts the historical story of the KJV, including the translation itself and also its influence in education, government, religion, and art. The idea is that we, like the Israelites in the Exodus, are on our way to somewhere better. While on our way, we have choices to make, lessons to learn, people to serve, commands to obey, injustices to suffer or make right, and praises to sing.
Such a life was at the center of his prayers for them. To be filled with the knowledge of God is to be controlled by it. Therefore, the outcome of this prayer would be a God-pleasing life—a high calling indeed! What does a God-pleasing life look like? In verses 10 through 12, Paul lists four characteristics.
This is not something we can do on our own. We must rely on the Holy Spirit. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added … They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God … It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. Moreover, Lincoln's writings, as well as those of other American leaders long before him, frequently reflect a deep sense of gratitude to God, both for His providence in national matters and in their own lives and families.
It's evident that thanksgiving extended beyond a national holiday to lives that were characterized by gratitude to God. Thanksgiving as a lifestyle has been a recurring theme in our study this month. This is particularly evident in Colossians. Then he lists four characteristics of such a life: The order of this list suggests that the more we progress in our walk of faith the more thankful we become.
This is repeated in Colossians 2, where Paul links spiritual growth with overflowing thankfulness. To live a life worthy of the Lord is to live with the constant awareness of God's grace. Both of today's passages also link thankfulness with growing in the essentials of our faith.
If you aren't already attending a Bible study, commit to making that a priority as well. He was flown to the United States and given a new identity. Bridges points out that although this pilot had the same physical characteristics and personality traits after his experience, his new identity allowed him to live a new life. He was delivered from a totalitarian regime, and able to enjoy all the benefits of living in a free society.
We went from guilt to forgiveness, from slavery to freedom, from weakness to strength, and from total spiritual poverty to an eternal inheritance. Instead of worrying or being fearful, our emphasis should be on thanking God for all these gifts. Besides expressing our thanks with words, we can show God our gratitude by the way we live for Him and grow in our faith. This was the prayer Paul had for the Colossian Christians.
We can know the will of God for our lives, and knowing what He expects from us comes from Spirit-directed reading and study of the Word. The result of this will be seen in our lives. First, we will ""find out what pleases the Lord"" Eph. Jesus said His Father was glorified when we bear fruit Jn. Cool; pleasing God involves spiritual fruit-bearing, reproducing the character of Christ in ourselves and in others.
Keeping the right spiritual perspective also results in endurance and patience v. As the shopping days before Christmas dwindle to a few, and the pressure is on to get all the holiday projects done and get-togethers planned, it seems that endurance and patience would be two good gifts to add to your ""gift"" list.
Pray that God will give you all the energy and grace you need to carry you through the season, and that you will bless others by your patient reaction in any circumstance. By comparison, the largest diamond ever found on earth was only 3, carats.
The star is actually a crystallized white dwarf, the leftover core of a star that has burned out. How much would such a diamond be worth? It boggles the mind. Paul felt exactly this way about the incredible, incalculable worth of Jesus Christ. In today's two readings—again drawn from epistles written during his first imprisonment—Paul celebrated this truth.
A theological library could be written on these passages, but we will focus on one question: What does a life filled with Christ look like? A life filled with Christ is one filled with blessing and lavished with grace. After all, God predestined and chose us to be adopted as His children. He loved us so much that He sent His Son on a life-costing, life- giving mission of forgiveness and redemption. Our lives, too, should be characterized by love, grace, and forgiveness—doing as well as speaking gospel truths to those around us.
God's purpose in choosing us is to make us holy and blameless, to the praise of His glory. We believe and hope in these spiritual realities, and already enjoy the Holy Spirit as a guarantee and firstfruits of the inheritance to come. A life filled with Christ is one governed by the knowledge of God's revealed will, that is, His plan of salvation. Having crossed over from death to life in Christ, we should continue walking with and growing in Him.
We should live righteously, worthy of our salvation—that is, to please Him. This will assuredly bear fruit in our lives, including endurance, patience, thankfulness, and joy. A Novel, by Walter Wangerin Jr.