Paul is writing this letter to the church at Colossae. More specifically “to the saints and faithful brothers.”
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” Colossians 1:1-2
Commentary told me that this is not a church that Paul knew personally. This was a small city that it is believed was very prosperous at one time but was on the decline at the time Paul wrote this letter. Paul had heard of problems in the church there that he wanted to address.
As Paul does many times, however he starts out with a prayer of thanksgiving for them and for their work in Christ.
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing-as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. Colossians 1:3-8
Epaphras was a minister to the church in Colossae and had possibly been the one who had brought the gospel to the christians there. The people had embraced his preaching and Paul is starting off telling them all that they have done right. The next part of his prayer is a good one to pray over someone that you are praying for. I love praying scripture over people and this one is a good one.
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:9-12
Paul prayed for the Colossians and according to this prayer he prayed for them constantly. He was praying for them to be filled with knowledge and understanding of the gospel as well as for their walk with the Lord. He was praying for their work for the Lord to be fruitful as they increased in knowledge and that they would have strength, endurance and patience. He also pointed out that when they, when we work for Jesus it is our way of sharing in the inheritance of Jesus.
Paul goes on in verses 15-18 Paul is explaining Jesus to them, and who He is. Jesus was the firstborn of all creation, and all things were created by and through him. Everything that our Christian life is based on, everything we are is through Christ.
“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 the cross.” Colossians 1:19-20
He is our reconciliation to God. Jesus and the blood of the cross is what reconciles everything on earth and in heaven. We can be reconciled to God because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him” Colossians 1:21-22
The last part of this chapter is Paul explaining his ministry to the people of Colossae. I am sure they knew who Paul was, however, Paul lets them know why he is a minister of Christ, yes even in his sufferings. Paul’s aim and his goal is always to “make the word of God fully known.”
“of which I became a minister according to he stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.” Colossians 1:25-26
Paul is telling them that he knows that this word was a mystery to many for “ages and generations” but it is now for everyone, even to the Gentiles.
“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
Christ in you, Christ in me, Christ in all of us is “the hope of glory”. Our hope is built on Christ in us. Any power, any strength, any hope we have is based on Christ in us. Paul wanted them to know it, to know the hope of Christ in them. It was Paul’s aim and it was Paul’s reason for preaching, teaching, and for writing letters.
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Colossians 1:28-29
Oh thank you sweet Lord for the passion and the teaching of Paul and for these letters that teach and preach Christ to us, Christ in us, to the hope of glory!
Please pray for small businesses and the service industry today.