Colossians (Part 1)

We will be in the book of Colossians for the next few weeks. I believe that God wants us to have a deeper revelation of Jesus and how knowing Him changes how we live.

Paul has never visited Colosse. The Colossian church was an outgrowth of His three-year ministry in Ephesus. It was probably started and led by a man named Epaphras who was most likely a convert from Paul’s ministry. Sometime during Paul’s imprisonment, Epaphras asked Paul’s help to deal with some false teaching that was threatening the church in Colosse. The false teaching resembled Gnosticim, which taught that Jesus was not both fully God and fully man. It taught that Jesus was semi-divine and that he bridged the chasm between God and the world. Paul defends the universal Lordship of Christ throughout this letter.

I. The power of the Gospel at work

Colossians 1:3-8: We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News. This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

A. There is a genuine work of Christ in this church

  1. This church grew out an overflow work from the church in Ephsesus.

  2. Paul heard of their faith in Jesus and their love for people. They had a true encounter with Jesus.

  3. The Holy Spirit gives us love for other. Another reason why we need Holy Spirit at work in our. We need to become familiar with Him, which comes through relationship.

Colossians 1:9-13: So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

B. Paul is now encouraging and instructing them through his prayer.

  1. The false teachers were promising their followers knowledge which was self-serving.

  2. NKJV version: "Walk worthy of the Lord" - this describes a radical commitment of will, affection, and disposition of pleasing Christ.

  3. May you be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have endurance and patience

  4. He has taken us out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of His Son

II. Christ is Supreme

Colossians 1:15-20: Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Paul is obviously cleaning up the mess the false teachers made. Jesus paid a great price for us to know Him. He wants us to have a clear picture of who He is so we can have a clear picture of who we are. This will change the way we live. He holds everything together. When things seems to be falling apart in your life, go to the One who holds everything together.

III. A clear identity in Christ

Colossians 1:21-23: This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

We were once enemies of Christ and separated from Him. Now we are reconciled to Him through the cross. He has brought us into His presence and has made us holy and blameless. We stand before him without a single fault. Don’t drift away with your assurance that you received through the Gospel. Keep a clear picture of Christ and then you will have a clear identity in Christ.

Colossians 1:27: And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

Being a Christian is not about gaining more knowledge from the Word. It’s not about trying harder. It’s about knowing Jesus and having a clear picture of who He is and a clear identity of who we are in Him. Once this happens then, we will see His life growing for our and His Kingdom expanding.