Mar. 7, 2021. Colossians 1:1-8

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2nd GENERATION CHURCH.  Colossians 1:1-8.  03/07/2021.  #1.

Colossians 1:1-8 [New King James Version]

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 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. 3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.

  1. Introduction to the epistle
    1. Colosse = app. 85 miles east of Ephesus
    1. Part of Hierapolis/Laodicea/Colosse tri-city area
    1. On Lycus R. before Meander R. (cloth dying region)
    1. Frequent earthquakes (became lesser of 3 cities)
    1. Near Roman Road from Ephesus to Euphrates R.
    1. Paul had never been there
      1. Established by Epaphras (Phm. 22-23)
      1. Home of Philemon and Aristarchus (pastor)
    1. Paul hoped to visit Colossians upon release from prison
    1. Similar epistle to Ephesians = apparently, Colossians was written first and then Ephesians expands on same themes Paul also wrote a letter to Laodicea at the same time, but we don’t have it (Revelation 3 = letter to Laodicea)
    1. Two main issues: deity of Christ and worship of angels
  2. Greetings
    1. Paul gives a typical greeting from him and Timothy
      1.  Calls them faithful brothers in Christ
      1.  Paul had heard about their faith
    1. Paul thanked God for their salvation
      1. Paul could not reach everywhere, so he was gratified that the gospel spread beyond his work and churches were established
      1. First church not directly established by Paul
      1. Sets the pattern for church expansion
    1. Epaphras carried questions to Paul that he could not
    1. directly answer in the Colosse in person
      1. Establishing the right doctrine from the start is critical for proper spiritual growth
      1. The spread of heresy counteracts the  mission of the church
      1. II Corinthians 11:14-15 Satan loves to counterfeit the real church and spread confusion
  3. Right start
    1. Epaphras gave the right gospel, but he could not answer all their doctrinal questions
      1. Pagan beliefs, superstitions, and practices carried into the new faith
      1. Two results: (1) false doctrine that gives false hope (2) a mixture of truth and error so tainting the gospel that it is of no effect
    1. We are often unaware of what erroneous influences from our past and culture that dilutes our faith Epaphras was a faithful believer, but he was still learning and was wise enough to ask Paul for help
      1. He did not speculate or invent answers
      1. Truth must be diligently sought out
      1. II Timothy 2:15-21 not lazy in study or merely listening to what others say (not stay ignorant)
    1. When error settles in = becomes heresy and then cults
    1. Paul starts by elaborating on deity of Christ (best!)
    1. Encourage: Paul praises Colossians faith, but corrects error

Key verse: II Timothy 2:15-21

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, [d]sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.