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The 12th Book 12 of the NT has 4 chapters and was written by Paul during his imprisonment, about 60 AD. This letter was sent to the church at Colossi, situated in present day Turkey. Time to read: 15 mins.
Key people: Paul, Timothy, Epaphras and several other co-workers.
Outline. Epaphras had started this fledging church. When Paul heard some were infiltrating it and trying to combine secular philosophy and pagan culture with the Christian doctrine he wrote refuting this false teaching, declaring “In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. “I tell you this so you will not be deceived by fine sounding arguments. See to it no one takes you captive through hollow, deceptive philosophies which depend upon human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Col 2:3,4,8). Christ is the source of truth and the Bible the standard by which all teachings propagated by people are to be judged. Human culture which makes its own rules doesn’t have a lot in common with a true faith in Christ.
Main lesson. In Christ we have everything we need for salvation and for living the Christian life so be firmly grounded in the Word of God, not looking to the world’s deceptive and warped viewpoint.
Key verses and thoughts: * “Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding so you can live a God-honouring life, and please Him in every way bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:9,10). Although the church was formed by other converts, and Paul had never visited it, he took spiritual responsibility for these believers, continually praying for, giving of himself, and imparting the divine knowledge he had gained. Are our prayers and efforts just focused on our own immediate little ‘world’ or do we reach out to those we have not even met, praying their lives will be productive for the Kingdom of God – outwardly towards others besides the inner development in grace?
* “All things were created by Him and for Him…He is the head over every power and authority” (Col 1:16, 2:10). We only find our purpose and significance in Him. When we don’t understand the perplexities of life and wonder ‘why’ we need to remember that He is the centre of the universe not me. He is working everything out according to His goals, not mine! It is better to co-operate and be used by Him than thinking we know best and resisting.
* “But now you are reconciled by Christ’s death, without blemish and free from accusation in God’s sight, if you continue in your faith” (Col 1:22,23). It is only by the initiative and sacrifice of the triune God that we can be in this privileged position of ‘good standing’. It is our responsibility to live up to that standard and maintain our walk with Him, humbly acknowledging “Christ …in you, [is] the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). He’s living in His temple (1 Cor 6:19). He’s not just with us but in us, and through my body God is reaching out to the world.
* “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules...You have been raised with Christ, therefore set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things” (Col 2:20, 3:1,2). “Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature...and put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col 3:5-10). “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col 4:2).