The letters Paul wrote were inspired by God. Because of that fact, they were and still are an inspiration to Believers today.
Do you need inspiration sometimes?
In this study we will feed on a portion of God’s Word, written to Believers in Colosse, and see if we can receive some needed inspiration.
I am using Scripture from the Amplified Bible (copyright - The Lockman Foundation) for our study.
Please turn in your bibles to Colossians 1:
(1) Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the will of God, and Timothy [our] brother,
(2) To the saints (the consecrated people of God) and believing and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colosse: Grace (spiritual favor and blessing) to you and [heart] peace from God our Father.
The Apostle Paul is the one writing to the saints in Christ at Colosse.
Paul is a special messenger of Christ “by the will of God”.
Question #1 - Why did Paul mention that it was God who called him to be a special messenger?
Paul’s ministry was powerful, infused by the power of God. Paul knew his calling and was not ashamed to have it known. He had the proper credentials. His ministry was very effective and many people were built up in Christ through his proclaiming of the Gospel. His message was authentic... he taught with authority and confidence.
There was one more reason… what Paul wrote, was given to him by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. God was the Author.
A person called to service, must be faithful to that calling. He dare not serve his own interests while carrying out the performance of those duties. Paul took his ministry very seriously.
(3) We continually give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), as we are praying for you,
(4) For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God's consecrated ones),
Word of the faith of the Believers in Colosse had reached Paul, who was a prisoner in Rome at the time this letter was written. Think how encouraging it was to Paul, a prisoner for Christ, to hear of the faith of these Believers!
Question #2 - Not only was their faith known to Paul, but what else did Paul mention about these Believers?
Their love for all the saints. Imagine the love of a group of people in modern day Turkey, being so great that a prisoner in Rome, Italy heard of it. What a wonderful legacy.
(5) Because of the hope [of experiencing what is] laid up (reserved and waiting) for you in heaven. Of this [hope] you heard in the past in the message of the truth of the Gospel,
(6) Which has come to you. Indeed, in the whole world [that Gospel] is bearing fruit and still is growing [by its own inherent power], even as it has done among yourselves ever since the day you first heard and came to know and understand the grace of God in truth. [You came to know the grace or undeserved favor of God in reality, deeply and clearly and thoroughly, becoming accurately and intimately acquainted with it]
The hope of what awaited them in heaven was motivating them.
Motivation is needed to promote good works. Don’t you agree? Is laying up treasures in heaven a worthy motivation?
God told us in advance that our reward would follow us.
The Gospel came to these Believers with great power, the power of God. The power to change lives. God’s grace came to them through the preaching of the Gospel, and their willingness to receive it.
There is wondrous power in hearing the proclaiming of the Word of God. The Scriptures say faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
Paul writes that the Gospel is bearing fruit in the world. The Gospel can bear fruit wherever it is preached… in a nation, in a city, and in an individual.
(7) You so learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ in our stead and as our representative and yours.
(8) Also he has informed us of your love in the [Holy] Spirit.
Paul is imprisoned, but the Gospel was free. Epaphras was a faithful minister of Christ doing the work that Paul could not do.
(9) For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things--
(10) That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition].
Although Paul could not go to these Believers in Colosse, he chose to pray for them without ceasing.
He prayed for several things for this group of Believers:
That they would be filled with the full knowledge of God’s will
That they would have spiritual wisdom
That they would have understanding & discernment of spiritual things
That they would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
That they would desire to please the Lord
That they would bear fruit in every good work
That they would steadily grow in spiritual maturity
(11) [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy,
(12) Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light.
Paul also prayed that they would be full of energy by God’s power, and made strong so they could exercise endurance and patience with joy.
Finally, Paul says that he gives thanks to the Father Who qualifies and makes us all to share in the inheritance of the saints.
Question #3 – Have you ever prayed for someone like this?
What do you think of Paul’s prayer?
I think this is an amazing prayer. I need to pray this for others.
(13) [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
(14) In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.
The first part of this letter was addressed to a specific group of Christians. But now, do you see a change in how Paul is writing?
Now the letter is more open... to any and all who are believers.
We see that our Father has delivered us out of the control and the dominion of darkness.
Question #4 – Did you realize that this was your previous condition?
Question #5 - Do you think people who are unsaved realize that this is their condition?
The Father has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, our sins have been forgiven.
Do you notice that our transfer from the dominion of darkness to the kingdom of Christ has already happened. Jesus accomplished it on the cross.
(15) [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation.
(16) For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.
(17) And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).
When I read of Jesus in these verses, I am amazed that He could love me. That He would die for me. That He would care about my life.
Jesus is the Christ... everything is subject to Him. Everything was created by and for Him.
Question #6 – What does that mean to you?
Do you see it?
You were created for Jesus Christ. He decided to create you. Jesus gave you life because He wants to share life with you. You were not a mistake. He loves you tenderly and compassionately. Whatever you are going through, He cares about.
Does that touch your heart?
Sometimes people wonder why they were born.
I want to ask each of you a question:
Question #7 - Are you walking as closely with Jesus as He wants? Is it possible for you to walk closer to Jesus?
Jesus proved His love for you. Jesus laid down His life for you. He never said you had to clean up before He would accept you. He forgave you and redeemed you, just as you were on the day you prayed to Him.
God isn’t finished with you yet. You are an uncompleted work. The Holy Spirit is at work in you to help you become all you can be in Christ. Will you work with the Holy Spirit or fight back?
There is one more thing... He has asked you to be His Bride… and to spend eternity with Him.
I pray you will meditate on this truth.
Bible study by InAwe