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“All who dwelt in Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus…” Acts 19:10
Colosse in the Province of Asia
Colossians is a prison Epistle written in Rome while Paul was in prison there. The Church at Colosse was founded at the same time as the Church in Ephesus. The Epistle to the Colossians was written at the same time as the Epistles to the Ephesians. Epaphras carried the three letters to each destination. Colosse was a cultural and religious melting pot. There were Greek, Jewish and Oriental religious ideas merging together. Colosse was once an important town, but by the time this letter was written, Colosse had been side-lined and overshadowed by nearby Laodicea, which was receiving far more traffic. Colosse became more of a market place and today is completely uninhabited and does not exist.
Colossians and Ephesians
Both Colossians and Ephesians contain great doctrines of the Gospel which was read aloud to the churches, but each was written for very different sets of circumstances. Ephesians is calling believers the Body of Christ. Colossians talks about the Head of the Body, Jesus Christ. In Ephesians, the Church of Christ is the important emphasis, but in Colossians, it is the Christ of the Church that is emphasised. Both are needed. You cannot have a body without a head.
False Christology is at the Root of all Heresy
Heresy has broken out in the church of Colosse, misleading the young believers and calling for strict observance of Jewish ceremonies and rituals. The message of Colossians was written to counter these false teachers that is leading them away from the pre-eminence of Christ. The place that Christ holds in any religion determines how true or how false it is. Every cult has a false idea of Christ. They either deny His finality, or His divinity. Misrepresenting the truth of who Christ is and what He has accomplished and His person in His work is the root of all heresy.
Fashionable not Faithfull
Paul is warning against the legalism and intellectual arrogance of the Judaizers, being fashionable rather than faithful to God's Word, becoming man-centered and involved in philosophy that is humanistic, rather than being Christ-centered. Colossians speaks about the Deity of Christ, the sufficiency of Christ, the fullness of Christ and our fullness in Him.
Faithful and Fruitful
“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. We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 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, 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; as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.” Colossians 1:1-8. Paul, by the Will of God, writes to the saints in Christ. Paul thanks God for the Church of Colosse, which was founded by people who had been converted to Christ by Paul in Ephesus. He hopes to see them if he is released from prison.
Scripture is our Foundation
The Five Solas of the Reformation are repeated in this introduction. Sola Scriptura, the hope that you have because of the Word of the truth of the Gospel. Scripture is our only authority.
The main emphasis is Solus Christus – Christ alone is the Head of the Church. Salvation is through Christ alone. It is through the Atonement of His Blood on the Cross alone.
Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 9-14
Renewing our Mind
The Protestant Reformation dismantled the altars which symbolised the sacrifices of the mass and put in its place the Lord’s Table and displayed an open Bible, symbolising that access to God comes through the Word of God. Christ has died once for all, a never to be a repeated sacrifice. The centrality of the pulpit emphasises the importance of knowledge of the Scriptures. Understanding of God's Word and wisdom is preached and taught as we need to have our minds renewed. Faith comes by hearing and hearing from the Word of God. The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Our most important priority is worship, that the meditations of our heart that would be acceptable in God's sight. We obtain the renewing of our minds through the washing of God's Word that we might develop the mind of Christ through coming to understand the Scriptures.
Sola Scriptura – Our ultimate authority is Scripture alone,
Sola Gratia - Salvation is by the grace of God alone,
Sola Fide – Salvation is received through Faith alone,
Solus Christus – Salvation is through the Blood of Christ on the Cross alone,
Soli Deo Gloria – the fruit of salvation is to the Glory of God alone.
The Pre-eminence of Christ
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in Heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the body, the Church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.” Colossians 1:15-18
Christ Alone is the Head of the Church
While some people were raised from the dead, we speak here about the resurrection to eternal life with a new body. Christ alone is the Head of the Church. All other authority is limited authority. This teaching is clear because the legalism of the Judaizers attempts to bring believers back to the shadows of the Old Covenant. We do not need the circumcision of the flesh when repentance is the real circumcision. We do not need the temple because Christ is the real Temple. We do not need their priests because Christ is the real High Priest. We do not need their sacrifices, because those things were only shadows pointing to Christ who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We do not need the blood of bulls and goats on altars. We have the Blood of Christ. We do not need sacrifices done every day, Christ is the only perfect sacrifice, once for all, a never to be repeated sacrifice.
Atonement Through the Blood of Christ Alone
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in Heaven, having made peace through the Blood of His Cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and above reproach in His sight - if indeed you continue in the Faith, grounded and steadfast and are not moved away from the hope of the Gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under Heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Colossians 1:19-23
Remain Steadfast in the Faith
We need to live a Christ-centered life. We need to remain steadfast, faithful, to not be moved, to not be distracted, to turn neither to the left, nor right, nor to turn back to fables, myths and legends, nor to the blood of bulls and goats, nor to a human temple, nor to human priests, nor to legalism. Christ alone is our hope and our glory. He is our Salvation. We are not to allow ourselves to be distracted, discouraged, or deviated. Nor to be diluted in our faith and steadfastness.
Christ in You – The Hope of Glory
“I now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the Church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” Colossians 1:24-29
Suffering Can Aid Sanctification
Paul is not saying that Christ’s sufferings are not all-sufficient for our Salvation. But in our discipleship, there is a need for us to suffer. If we share in Christ’s sufferings we will also share in His glory. He is the example for us to follow in His footsteps. The suffering is temporary. The glory is eternal. The suffering is essential in our discipleship, for our sanctification. Without pain, there is no gain. We need to learn how to say No to the flesh. To be self-controlled. To suffer for Christ.
A Theology of Suffering
Joseph Tson said: “You Christians in the West have a theology of prosperity. In the East, we Christians have a Theology of suffering for Christ. We are God's army of lambs.” That seems so much more Biblical and Christ-honouring than the self-serving attitude in the West. We need to follow Christ’s example of living a humble life. The health and wealth prosperity preachers are not following the example of Christ and are not teaching the message of Christ.
True Love is Measured by Sacrifice
In Justification, you are saved by grace alone received through faith alone. In sanctification, true love is measured by sacrifice.
The Word of God Incarnate
The mystery of God which has been hidden throughout ages and from many generations has now been revealed to the saints through the New Testament in Christ. The mystery of God in the Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ. The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. The mystery is Christ in me.
Our Duty and Responsibility
A very high standard is set. We need to preach Christ and warn and teach every man, in all wisdom and knowledge. We need to strive to present each man perfect in Christ Jesus. The rest in the Lord is work with joy, which we may sow with tears, but we will reap with joy. The labour is fruitful and worthwhile. “Greater is He that is in me than him that is in the world”. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. There is a sense that the ability does not come from ourselves. We do everything we can and we trust God to do everything we cannot. I only have the right to ask God to do what I cannot do. Only when we have done everything we possibly can. We do our duty and then we can trust God to do what is beyond our ability.
All the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge
Chapter 2 is an exhorting to steadfast faith. We do not trust in man-made humanistic philosophy, but in Christ alone. “For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:1-3
Dig Deep into God's Word
Many Christians are satisfied with a shallow and superficial understanding of God. We really need to understand the knowledge of God, as there is so much more for us to find. As Charles Spurgeon observed: “No man can ever exhaust the treasury of the Scriptures.” You can study the Word of God every day and you will keep on finding treasures. The Lord has things hidden in the Scriptures for us to find and it will take persistence and hard work. The more we study the Word the more it comes into focus and the clearer it is and the greater the riches of wisdom and knowledge we can enjoy.
Do Not Be Deceived
Some people think the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in secular humanist universities and in secular humanist textbooks, in atheism. Somehow many think that the Evolutionist, atheist, anti-Christ pagans have more knowledge and wisdom. Such people reject Christ and profess themselves to be wise but they are fools. Those who claim that there is no God are fools. “Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:4-5
Take up the Shield of Faith
Faith is something solid. The Bible is full of warnings about being deceived. Do not be deceived! Christ said there will be many false prophets, many false shepherds. They will be persuasive, even with lying wonders. We have to be discerning. Sola Fide! Your faith must be strong and steadfast. We are saved by God's grace alone received by faith alone. The Bible speaks of the shield of Faith, it is solid and substantial. It can withstand the onslaught of the enemy. It can stop swords, spears and arrows.
Established in the Faith
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the Faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
In Christ alone.” Colossians 2:6-7
Rooted, Built up and Established in the Faith
You may hear people saying you must “accept” Christ. This is not Biblical. You need Christ to accept you. We need to trust and obey Christ. We need to take up our cross and follow Christ. We need to deny ourselves and reject the world, the flesh and the devil. We need to surrender to Christ and resist evil. Surrender and submit to and follow Christ! You cannot accept Jesus as your Saviour and reject Him as your Lord! We need to maintain daily discipleship. The foolish man builds his house on the sand. The wise man builds his house on the rock. Jesus is the Rock of our Salvation. “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” He is the solid foundation. Biblical Salvation is rooted, built up and established in Christ.
Beware of Empty Deceit
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power.” Colossians 8-10. Most of what is going on in our universities is empty deceit. According to the traditions of men and the basic principles of this world and not according to Christ.
Wide Gates to Hell
500 Years ago, Professor Martin Luther warned: “Beware lest our schools become wide gates to hell.” He advised no one to place their child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution not daily engaged in engraving the Word of God in the hearts of the students must become corrupt. The unregenerate man is being conformed to the world. Solus Christus! Christ is not only the Head of the Church, He is the Head of all principalities and power. Every institution which is not daily engaged in engraving the Word of God in the hearts of their students, must become corrupt. Our universities and schools have become wide gates to hell. They have allowed themselves to be cheated through anti-secular humanist philosophy and the traditions of men according to the basic principles of this world. They are being conformed to the world and not being transformed by the Word of God and the renewing of their minds. A good school is Bible-based, Christ-centered and Holy Spirit-led.
Christ is the Head of all principalities and power. He is Almighty, powerful, everywhere-present. He is not only the Creator, He is the Eternal Judge before Whom we must stand before on the last day and give an account of our lives. He is the ultimate Authority. We belong to Christ twice over, first as our Creator the second as our Saviour. All education should be Christ-centered. This has been documented in Dr. James Kennedy’s What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? book and film and in Professor Alvin Schmidt’s book, How Christianity Changed the World. Everything good comes from the teachings and example of Christ and from the faithfulness of followers of Christ. Most universities used to have written over their entrances: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”
Full Salvation Through the Cross
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:11-15
Legalism Can Never Save Anyone
The Judaizers were saying that you cannot be a true Christian unless you first became a Jew and that included circumcision, Saturday worship, etc. But these were just shadows, the fulfillment is Christ. They want to go back to empty legalism. You cannot be saved by the blood of bulls and goats! There never was salvation in the Temple. The Temple was pointing to Christ.
Life from the Dead
Solus Christus and Sola Fide. It is through Christ alone received through Faith alone. Baptism symbolises death. Buried with Christ in Baptism, raised in newness of life in Christ. It is only through the grace of God alone we who were dead in our sins are now alive in Christ. The picture of Salvation in John 11 is when Lazarus was dead in the grave four days, Jesus came and stood outside and ordered: “Lazarus come out!” it seemed unreasonable. How could you ask a corpse to come out of the grave!? This is the power of God's Word. Through the Word of God, the dead can be made alive in Christ.
Turning Defeat into Victory
We have violated God's Laws. These have been nailed to the Cross. He made a public spectacle of the principalities and powers. In what seemed like satan’s victory over Christ, betrayed by Judas, the Jewish Sanhedrin and the chief priests and pharisees and scribes and king Herod and the Romans. They all worked together to crucify Christ and they thought they had won a great victory through false testimony, an unjust trial and illegal sentence. Yet after all that Jesus rises from the Dead! What appeared His greatest defeat was actually His great victory! He has now disarmed principalities and powers. They were blinded by their hatred. What they meant for evil, God turned for good.
Sabbaths are only a Shadow – The Reality is Christ
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” Colossians 2:16-19
Salvation is in Christ Alone
How much clearer can the Apostle Paul put it? The Judaizers want to judge us, but these are all shadows of things to come, the substance is of Christ. Those who bless Christ are blessed. Those who curse Christ are cursed. Your eternal destiny depends on your relationship with Christ, not some religious ceremony or some pope in Rome. It is in Christ alone that we place our trust.
Reject the False Humility of the Legalists
“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations – ‘Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,’ which all concern things which perish with the using - according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” Colossians 2:20-23
Reject Those Who Reject Christ
Paul is demolishing the legalism of the Judaizers. Total depravity is the reality of human nature. Man outside of Christ is utterly lost, depraved, dead in trespasses and sins. Salvation comes by the grace of God alone, received by faith alone. Salvation is on the basis of the finished work, the Atonement of Christ and His Blood shed on the Cross of Calvary. We should reject anything that rejects Christ or which distracts from Christ: secular humanism, Judaism, Catholicism and all the different false religions and cults of the world. Christ is all-sufficient. Christ in you the hope of glory. The fullness of Christ, our fullness in Him, the deity of Christ, the sufficiency of Christ, the pre-eminence of Christ.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4
In Christ is emphasised. We are to walk in Him (2:6), to be rooted in Him (2:7), to be built up in Him (2:7), brought to perfection (2;10), united in Christ (2:2), complete in Christ (2:10), dead in Christ (2:20), buried with Christ (Rom 6:4), Risen with Christ (3:1), hidden with Christ in God (3:3).
Live in the Light of Eternity
We should be investing our time, our talents, our treasures in that which last for eternity, seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We should set our minds on things above. So much of the Christian life is avoiding the distractions of the world, recognising the deceits of the world and refusing to be deviated from the narrow path of following Christ, refusing to be defiled by the world. Refusing to allow the world to defeat our purpose: Christ in us the hope of glory.
Dead to the World – Alive in Christ
“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.” Colossians 3:5-9
These are the vices we need to reject. These are the old deeds we need to put off. We need to put off the old man and put on the new man. We are buried with Christ in baptism and raised to newness of life. Being born again means to die to the old life and being born again to the new life. To follow Christ means to turn away from the world. “…put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:10-11
Body, Mind and Spirit
These are the virtues we need to put on. Knowledge is important, we are meant to be renewed in our mind, heart, body, lifestyle and habits. We are body, soul and spirit and we need to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. It starts in our heart and mind and is meant to be demonstrated in our hands and feet, with all of our strength. We need to be wholehearted. There is only one way of Salvation for all and the Great Commission applies to us all.
Let the Word of God Dwell in You Richly
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another and forgiving one another. If anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17
Set Apart for Worship
Some things are set apart for special purposes. We are set apart for God's use. Christ owns us, He created us. He is our Redeemer and Eternal Judge. Charity is one of the fruits of being in Christ. We need to forgive one another and if you have a complaint against one another, forgive them, even as Christ has forgiven you. Each of us is accountable for our own life, we are not accountable to confess or be responsible for someone else’s sins, or even judge anyone else. There needs to be harmony in the home. Let God guide you. We need to let the peace of God rule in our heart.
We Have a Reason to Sing
Christianity is unique among the religions of the world. Singing is a major part of our corporate worship. We have a singing faith. Sing wholeheartedly. We need to let the Word of God dwell in us richly and with all wisdom and teaching. Be thankful. The central element of the Protestant Worship service is the preaching, teaching, reading, expounding, explaining and education of the Word of God. The singing of the Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs is central. The Protestant Reformation gave singing back to the whole congregation so that everyone could sing, not just the choir. A major emphasis of the Protestant Reformation is that we are a Kingdom of priests. We all have access to God directly through Christ. A Christian’s work ethic is emphasised. Do everything unto the glory of God.
All Relationships Must Be God Honouring
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done and there is no partiality.” Colossians 3:18-25
Harmony in the Home and in the Workplace
Our relationships in the home should reflect our standing in Christ. Each set of people are addressed in order: Wives, Husbands, Children and Bondservants. This directs towards harmony in the home as well as in work relationships. All this should reflect that we are new creatures in Christ. James Dobson says: “If your animals don’t know you are saved, you are not!” Your animals should see the change in your lifestyle. (“A good man is kind to his animals but the wicked are cruel to theirs.”). If you have been converted, others should immediately see a change in your relationships. We need to do things for the glory of God, not for the approval of man. We must never give place to the flesh. We are meant to fear God. Our relationship with God should reflect on how we behave in all areas of life.
Giving Must Be As Unto the Lord
We need to give as unto the Lord. Yet a lot of people give broken and damaged clothes and toys to Missions, which reflects the mentality of people’s hearts. Our offerings unto the Lord is meant to be excellent, it is meant to be a sacrifice. We should give God the first fruits of the harvest. We are not to give him broken, trampled, wrecked goods we cannot use ourselves. This is because most do not have the fear of God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We need to give with sincere hearts. You will keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Walk in Wisdom
“Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in Heaven. Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the Word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:1-6
You Have a Master in Heaven
Although we may have people under us, we must remember that we ourselves are under Christ. There are some exemplary Christian leaders in history who understood that they were under a higher authority. We need to have the same attitude. We may be masters, but we are also servants and slaves of God. Our Master is in Heaven. Prayer is to be continuous, earnest, vigilant and be filled with thanksgiving. True love is measured by sacrifice. Paul has been whipped and scourged and is in chains for the Gospel, yet he is still writing letters from prison. He is not concerned for himself, but for the Church in Christ.
Time is Life
Do not waste your time. Time is precious and valuable. Today many people say time is money, but time is far more valuable than that. You might get more money, but you will never get more time. When a person is late or wastes your time, they steal more than money, they steal part of your life. To be punctual is a mark of a thoughtful Christian. It is to respect other people’s time. To be able to be true to our word, to say what you mean, to mean what you say is to fulfill our commitments, to do what we promise to do.
Be Salt of the Earth
We should know how to answer with grace. Salt which loses its saltiness is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. Today the salt has lost its therapeutic quality and no longer has the ability to heal what is infected. Our speech should be seasoned with salt and we should know how to give an answer to skeptics, for the hope that is within us.
Stand Complete in the Will of God
“Tychicus, a beloved brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, with Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him) and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the Kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you and those who are in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.” Colossians 4:7-14. This series of greetings to different individuals are examples of fellow people labouring for the Gospel with Paul.
Be Sure to Complete the Task you Received
“Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.’ This salutation by my own hand - Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.” Colossians 4:16-18. Regardless of how well, or not you start the race, it is important that we finish well. We need to fight the good fight, keep the Faith. We need to fight the good fight of Faith.
Christ is Creator and Conqueror
The main message of Colossians is: Do not allow anyone to distract you. Do not allow anyone to cheat you. Do not allow anyone to kidnap you. Do not allow anyone to deceive you, delay you, or lead you astray. You have come to Christ, now continue in Christ. The emphasis is Christ and the pre-eminence of Christ. Christ is the Creator of the universe. He is the Conqueror of all powers and principalities. He is the Controller of the Church. He is the image of the invisible God. He is the firstborn of all creation. All things were created by Him. He is before all things. In Him, all things are held together. He is the Head of the Church. He is the beginning. He is the firstborn from the dead. Through Him, we are reconciled to God. In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. In Him, the fullness of the Godhead lives in bodily form. He is the Head over every power and authority. In Him, you have fullness and perfection.
“Christ in you the hope of glory.”
Dr. Peter Hammond
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Cape Town South Africa
The Old Testament Survey book consists of 284 pages and includes 37 pictures, maps, charts and chronologies and the Old Testament Survey Audio and Data MP3 boxset (42 audio sermons & 39 PDF sermon notes - 28hrs & 18min) are available from CLB.
The New Testament Survey book consists of 304 pages and includes 14 pictures, maps and charts and the New Testament Survey Audio and Data MP3 boxset (31 audio sermons & 1 PDF book) are available from CLB.
These above resources are available from Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.