Series: Paul’s Letters
Colossians 1:13-14 ESV
Colossians 1:15-20 ESV*
Colossians 2:6-7 ESV
Colossians 3:1-4 ESV
Colossians 4:2-4 ESV
Colossians 4:5-6 ESV
Colossians 4:18 ESV
In Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae, Paul begins by defining the meaning and purpose we find in Jesus. From my earliest remembrance of God, I remember being told that Jesus loves me and He came for me. I was very young and I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but I saw glimpses of what Jesus meant to my dad. I knew Jesus was important.
In Colossians 1:13-14 Paul gets right to the point when he tells us, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
As a child I knew the light of Jesus removed the darkness. I wasn’t a very brave child and I didn’t like dark places so I really really liked it that the light of Jesus protected me. It was probably the first characteristic that drew me to Jesus. When I was alone in the dark, I could talk to Jesus and that comforted me. I did not totally understand redemption or being forgiven for my sins, but gradually I came to a place where I found comfort in being able to turn to Jesus when I did something bad. I would say ‘sorry’. My kindergarten Sunday School teacher was a very kind soft spoken woman and she would look at me and tell me, “oh my, how Jesus loves you.” I trusted her and I believed her.
In Colossians1:15-20 Paul jumps right in when he says,“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Paul tells us that Jesus (who came as a baby) is the image of God and is firstborn of creation. An image is a likeness and the Greek word Paul used eikon expresses much more than a physical image. The specific use of that word means it includes the divinity of God. God was revealed when Jesus came (https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/colossians-1/). While the prophets told the Hebrew people about God, now God the Son came in the flesh.
It’s also important that Paul identified Jesus as the firstborn of creation.
In John 1:1-5 the disciple wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
While Paul had not visited Colossae, he wrote to them because they were susceptible to false teachings that Jesus was not God (https://insight.org/resources/bible/the-pauline-epistles/colossians#:~:text=The%20church%20at%20Colossae%20was,addressed%20these%20issues%20head%2Don.)
Paul was making a case for Christ.
In Colossians 2:6-7 he wrote, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
Paul advised them to stay the course and rely on Jesus God.
In Colossians 3:1-4 Paul wrote, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Paul knew turning to God and seeking answers from God would be essential for the church to overcome its difficulties.
In Colossians 4:2-4 he advised, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
By asking the believers to pray for Paul in prison, a close bond was formed. Paul prayed for them and they prayed for Paul.
In Colossians 4:5-6 Paul gave the believers practical advise that would help sustain and connect them to unbelievers, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
In Paul’s final greeting in Colossians he gives us a clue about the network God directed him to form. Paul specifically mentions eight men and women who are working for the Lord in various places. He uses the Greek word “diakonos” to identify them. It has been translated to mean servant or minister.
His final words in Colossians 4:18 remind them he cannot physically visit them. He simply says, “remember my chains”.
Spiritual Practice: Pray Always
Turn to Jesus and sit with…remember Paul’s words to the church in Colossae and ask God to speak to you today through the letter written to the church in Colossae.
In God, Deborah