Simply Colossians Introduction Part 2

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:1-2, NKJV)

The city of Colosse was the smallest and least important city that Paul ever wrote a letter to. In a sense, writing this letter to this church did not work effectively to spread the gospel.

Why would he invest the time and attention? Something was wrong in the church in Colosse. There was something he thought had to be set straight.

There seemed to be a problem of belief (doctrine). It is referred to as “The Colossian Heresy.” We really do not know the precise details of this heresy but a corruption of Christianity existed in Colosse.

The environment of that day was much like our own. It was a time of religious mixing, with people took a bit from this religion and a little from that religion. The difference was that in the first century, you joined a group who did the borrowing. Today, we concoct our own religion as we see fit.

What was likely going on was what I would call “Burger King religion.” Groups of people who combined bits of early Gnosticism, mysticism, and Judaism with this new religion, Christianity. What a mess!

Paul did not spend the effort to refute or rebut. Nothing is ever accomplished be arguing and tearing down. He focused on the solution: a better understanding of Jesus. Knowing the real Jesus helps us to stay away from the counterfeit, no matter how it comes packaged.

The city of Colosse is not even mentioned in the Book of Acts. All our Biblical information about this church comes from this letter and a couple of allusions in the letter to Philemon.

Historically, Colosse was a prosperous city, and famous (along with other cities in its region) for its fabric dyes. Yet by Paul’s time the glory it had as a city was on the decline.

Paul’s greeting was familiar but heartfelt:

“Grace is God’s unconditioned goodwill toward men and women which is decisively expressed in the saving work of Christ.” – F.F. Bruce

This letter, full of love and concern, written to a church Paul had neither planted nor visited, shows the power of Christian love. Paul did not need to see or meet or directly know these Christians in order to love them and be concerned for them.

Points To Ponder Simply Colossians Introduction Part 2

  • Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.It is easy to mix and match religion. A little of this and some of that is not Christianity. It was a problem in the first century and it is an issue today.
  • We need to know the “real” Jesus. He is clearly set forth in the Bible.
  • Be sure you are diligent to embrace the Jesus of the Bible. Anything else can easily lead you astray.

Prayer

Father God, keep us from the folly of foolish judgment. It is so easy to do in our fallen nature. Help us to use our words to build up and edify, not to judge. In Jesus name, Amen.

1 Year Bible Reading

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Previous Editions Of Simply Colossians

Simply Colossians Introduction

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