Day 340: Colossians

(The Epistle to the Colossians was written at the same time as Ephesians and Philemon, with all three being delivered by Tychicus. These letters were written by Paul around 64 AD from Rome during his time in prison. This was the seventh book of the section of the New Testament known as the Pauline Epistles and the fourth (and last) book of the mini-section known as the the Prison Epistles. So far, we have seen that:
-Romans presented the most foundational Christian Doctrine: Salvation.
-1 Corinthians focused on the application of the foundational Doctrine towards a very new church.
-2 Corinthians was a more mature application of foundational Doctrine.
-Galatians was a review of these first three Pauline Epistles.
-Ephesians presented an overarching framework for the rest of Christian Doctrine unto its end, which is The Meaning of Life: All believers interact with each other as "cells in the body" of the Bride which is married to Jesus.
-Philippians focused on the day-to-day effects that ought to result from a believer understanding the previous five epistles: joy regardless of the circumstances.)

(This letter focused on growth during our day-to-day walk, both what is able to hinder our growth and what we can do to intentionally grow. We will see this letter referenced many of the same concepts as what Paul covered, especially what he wrote in his letters to the Ephesians and Philippians...the previous two letters. This may be why this epistle was placed immediately after those two epistles.)

Colossians 1
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

(Just as in the letter to the Philippians, Paul was with Timothy during this letter.)

2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ that are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

(Paul made it clear that he was writing to the believers in Colossae.)

3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have toward all the saints,

(Paul and Timothy were thankful to God because of the faith the Colossians had in Christ and the love they had towards each other.)

5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,
6 which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God in truth;

(The word of the truth of the Gospel had brought forth fruit in Colossae since the day they heard it and knew the grace of God in truth.)

7 even as ye learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow-servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf,
8 who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

(Next, Paul identified a cause for intentional growth during our day-to-day Christian walk...)

9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10 to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

(Paul had been praying for the Colossians that they would be filled with the knowledge of God's Will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding which causes us to walk worthy of God, pleasing God, and being profitable in every good work. Knowing God's Will helps believers intentionally grow during their day-to-day walk. What do you think Paul would say to someone who said we cannot know God's Will? Was this prayer in vain?)

11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy;

(Verse 11 gave another effect of knowing God's Will: joy in all circumstances...which was the overarching theme of the Book of Philippians.)

12 giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;
13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;
14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins:

(Doctrine: Christ is our redemption and the forgiveness of our sins...which was a theme of the Book of Romans.)

15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;
17 and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.

(Doctrine: By Christ, ALL things were created. God the Father has always existed. Jesus was begotten of God (John 3:16)...which even though it makes Jesus after God the Father, since God the Father has infinitely existed, Jesus has essentially infinitely existed because, for example, there is no difference between infinity and infinity plus one. When God the Father created everything, it was after Jesus was begotten because it was through Jesus everything was created. Creation has to be done by agreement...which means there had to be more than one Being prior to creation.)

18 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.

(Mystery From Ephesians: Christ is the Head of the Body which is His Bride...the Church. The next two verses also sounded similar to what Paul wrote to the Ephesians...)

19 For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell;
20 and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.

(Doctrine: By His cross, Christ has reconciled us to Himself.)

21 And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works,
22 yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him:

(In verse 21, the Greek word for mind was dianoia. It was composed of two Greek words that meant "the channel through which the Mind/Soul operates"...which is the conscious brain! The word brain is a relatively new word and was created more than a thousand years after the New Testament was written. We saw this same word was used in Ephesians 1:18 and Ephesians 4:18. In fact, verse 22 was similar to how the Book of Ephesians began: Christ will present us holy, without blemish, and unreproveable...)

23 if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister.

(…IF we continue in faith. We must continue to grow if we want to realize the hope of the Gospel: the Meaning of Life.)

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church;

(Paul rejoiced in suffering...which was the overarching theme of the Book of Philippians.)

25 whereof I was made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which was given me to you-ward, to fulfil the word of God,
26 even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints,

(The mystery has been made manifest. According to the Book of Ephesians, Paul wrote it was: All believers (both Jews and Gentiles) interact with each other as "cells in the body" of the Bride which is married to Jesus.)

27 to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ;
29 whereunto I labor also, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

(Theme of Chapter 1: Knowing God's Will helps us intentionally grow during our day-to-day Christian walk. It is clear this letter was written around the same time as Ephesians because during this chapter Paul alluded to several concepts from his letter to the Ephesians.)




Colossians 2
1 For I would have you know how greatly I strive for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, even Christ,
3 in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden.

(In Christ is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.)

4 This I say, that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech.

(Those who “delude” with “persuasiveness of speech” are deceivers…they speak a right what with a wrong or no how/why. This was something that would hinder our growth: listening to deceivers.)

5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

(Joy and being absent in the flesh, yet present in the Spirit were themes from the Book of Philippians.)

6 As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
7 rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

(Paul encouraged the Colossians to make progress (walk/grow) in Christ…not only just receiving Him.)

8 Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:

(This time Paul was more specific about the thing that would hinder day-to-day growth in the Christian walk: men who may spoil you through the traditions of men from the world and not after Christ. Traditions of men is a specific topic of deception.)

9 for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,
10 and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power:

(Believers are complete in Christ, who is the head of all principality and power. Christ is the "head" of all that is spiritual.)

11 in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;
12 having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

(Doctrine: Water baptism symbolized our death and burial with Christ.)

13 And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you, I say, did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses;
14 having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out that way, nailing it to the cross;

(Our sins have been nailed to the cross!)

15 having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

(Doctrine: Christ openly triumphed over principalities and powers by His work on the cross.)

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day:
17 which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's.

(Again, Paul specifically mentioned not letting people deceive believers by having believers focus on the Law.)

18 Let no man rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he hath seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increasing with the increase of God.

(Verse 18 warned against being vain in our own mind, while verse 19 sounded like it came from the Book of Ephesians...even to the point of following the "1-2-3" model:
1. The individual focuses on Christ.
2. Individuals exchange with those they are knit together.
3. The body as a whole increases.)

20 If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances,
21 Handle not, nor taste, nor touch
22 (all which things are to perish with the using), after the precepts and doctrines of men?

(This was the only question in this letter: If we are dead with Christ (living by grace) then why would we be subject to ordinances (laws) which are the commandments of men? It was rhetorical...)

23 Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

(Theme of Chapter 2: Avoiding deceivers, especially those who try to put believers back under the Law, helps us avoid our growth being hindered in our day-to-day Christian walk. Again, Paul referenced several concepts from letters he had written to others around this same time. Paul had a consistent message...)




Colossians 3
1 If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.

(Doctrine: Christ is currently seated on the right Hand of God.)

2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth.

(Those who are raised with Christ will put the spiritual preeminent, seeking those things that are above.)

3 For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory.

(An effect of focusing on spiritual things is that Christ will be apparent through us via the Holy Spirit which is grace. Christ is our life…our ability to repair...)

5 Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry;

(…therefore, we should kill our flesh. An effect of following grace is that our flesh is killed. Also, the more our flesh is killed/weakened, the more the Holy Spirit will flow through us.)

6 for which things' sake cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience:
7 wherein ye also once walked, when ye lived in these things;
8 but now do ye also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth:
9 lie not one to another; seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings,

(Paul listed the negative effects of people who are not allowing God to be manifested through them in grace.)

10 and have put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that created him:

(The new man, through being born anew, is renewed in knowledge from the image of God. Again, knowledge of God's Will, which would come via the Holy Spirit (grace), would lead to growth in our day-to-day Christian walk.)

11 where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.

(Foundational Doctrine from the Book of Romans: All divisions have been removed.)

12 Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering;
13 forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye:
14 and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.

(Above ALL, we ought to love, which is the bond of perfectness. Love will bring the utmost of profitability. This list looked very similar to the nine fruits of the Spirit from Paul's letter to the Galatians: Galatians 5:22-23.)

15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.

(Peace is harmony between two beings. The harmony in our hearts is with God through the Holy Spirit. The peace of God in our hearts is grace: the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.)

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God.

(In verse 16, the word word was the Greek word logos, which meant "the word that brings understanding." Paul specifically stated we need to understand the Word of God which meant knowing the why well enough to help others: teaching and admonishing. This was another way to intentionally grow in our day-to-day Christian walk: understand the Word of God and have fellowship with those who understand the Word of God so that God will flow through us via grace to each other in teaching and admonishing.)

17 And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

(Verse 17 was the First Command: Love God (Jesus) with your entire being. This ought to be the cause for EVERY believer. What concluded this chapter looked very similar to how Paul began the final chapter of his letter to the Ephesians: Ephesians 6.)

18 Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing in the Lord.
21 Fathers, provoke not your children, that they be not discouraged.
22 Servants, obey in all things them that are your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord:
23 whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men;

(The First Command will lead to loving others.)

24 knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance: ye serve the Lord Christ.
25 For he that doeth wrong shall receive again for the wrong that he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

(Paul gave the understanding supporting his concluding instructions from this chapter: Justice will be equaled out for everyone. No one will escape judgment.)

(Theme of Chapter 3: Paul presented a second way to intentionally grow in our day-to-day Christian walk: understand the Word of God and have fellowship with those who understand the Word of God so that God will flow through us via grace to each other in teaching and admonishing. Again, there were several similarities between this chapter and sections of other letters that Paul wrote.)




Colossians 4
1 Masters, render unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

(Masters should be just and equal because they are servants of a higher Master: God. How a master treats their servants is a statement of their will in how they want to be treated by their Master. Like we stated during the discussion of this same topic in Ephesians 6:9, a way to apply this to today's culture is to see masters as bosses/employers and servants as employees.)

2 Continue stedfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving;
3 withal praying for us also, that God may open unto us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds;
4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

(This was the same prayer Paul requested at the end of his letter to the Ephesians.)

5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

(Walking in wisdom is making profitable decisions. This is done by walking in grace. Verse 5 was focused on how believers ought to interact with unbelievers...which was also covered in several chapters in 1 Corinthians.)

6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

(We should also let God direct our speech. Salt does not add flavor, it removes bitterness. Our approach to unbelievers ought to help them remove their bitterness...which would be unique to each person we talk to...which should not be done from our own strength because we get stuck in ruts of tradition and tend to use the same approach on everyone. The Holy Spirit, via grace, is the best way for us to answer everyone.)

7 All my affairs shall Tychicus make known unto you, the beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord:
8 whom I have sent you for this very purpose, that ye may know our state, and that he may comfort your hearts;
9 together with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things that are done here.

(Again, Tychicus brought this letter to the Colossians, just as he delivered the letters to the Ephesians and Philemon. It looked like Onesimus, who was a runaway slave of Philemon, accompanied Tychicus.)

10 Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner saluteth you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (touching whom ye received commandments; if he come unto you, receive him),

(“Mark” in verse 10 was John-Mark, who went on the beginning portion of Paul’s first missionary journey with him and Barnabas.)

11 and Jesus that is called Justus, who are of the circumcision: these only are my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God, men that have been a comfort unto me.
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, saluteth you, always striving for you in his prayers, that ye may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him witness, that he hath much labor for you, and for them in Laodicea, and for them in Hierapolis.
14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas salute you.

(Luke was with Paul. Luke was a doctor and also wrote the Book of Acts and the Gospel according to Luke.)

15 Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house.

(Another mention of a church being in a house.)

16 And when this epistle hath been read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye also read the epistle from Laodicea.

(Paul wanted this letter to be read to the Laodiceans and also his letter to the Laodiceans to be read in Colossae. A letter to the Laodiceans? We know that the church of Laodicea was considered to be lukewarm during John's writing of the Book of Revelation (Revelation 3:14-19). Did Paul warn them also about becoming lukewarm?)

17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
18 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you.

(Theme of Chapter 4: The best way to answer unbelievers is to allow the Holy Spirit to answer through us via Grace.)

(The Epistle to the Colossians was written at the same time as Ephesians and Philemon, with all three being delivered by Tychicus. These letters were written by Paul around 64 AD from Rome during his time in prison. This was the seventh book of the section of the New Testament known as the Pauline Epistles and the fourth (and last) book of the mini-section known as the the Prison Epistles. So far, we have seen that:
-Romans presented the most foundational Christian Doctrine: Salvation.
-1 Corinthians focused on the application of the foundational Doctrine towards a very new church.
-2 Corinthians was a more mature application of foundational Doctrine.
-Galatians was a review of these first three Pauline Epistles.
-Ephesians presented an overarching framework for the rest of Christian Doctrine unto its end, which is The Meaning of Life: All believers interact with each other as "cells in the body" of the Bride which is married to Jesus.
-Philippians focused on the day-to-day effects that ought to result from a believer understanding the previous five epistles: joy regardless of the circumstances.
-Colossians focused on growth during our day-to-day walk, both what is able to hinder our growth (deceivers trying to focus believers on the Law) and what we can do to intentionally grow: know God's Will and understand the Word of God. This letter referenced many of the same concepts as what Paul covered, especially what he wrote in his letters to the Ephesians and Philippians...the previous two letters. This may be why this epistle was placed immediately following those two epistles.)

Day 341

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