THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS:
A Radio Transcript of James'
Verse-by-Verse King James Bible Study
Copyright © 2017 James Battell, www.excatholicsforchrist.com
Chapter 1, verses 1-2: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In reverse order, verse 2, the word “peace” appears, and we have peace with God through our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Muslims don’t have peace with Allah. Roman Catholics don’t have peace with God or with their saints or with Mary. They are still in their sins, trying their “best” to be saved.
To say to a Catholic “you can know you are saved” is the “sin of presumption,” even though the word of God tells us from 1 John 5:13 that we can know we are saved. Nevertheless, they do not understand justification, and they certainly do not teach, believe or uphold imputed righteousness. Therefore, they don’t have peace with God. They can never know that they are saved.
But praise be to God, we can know that we are saved. To those of us that are in Christ Jesus, there is no more condemnation. We are completely at peace with God.
This epistle starts with Paul clearly putting his name right at the beginning of this epistle. All of Paul’s epistles start with his name. Paul was a very humble man, so much so that, from verse 1, he includes Timotheus.
Timotheus of course, is Timothy, and Timothy was a young leader in the New Testament and Paul includes him in the very first verse. By verse 2, he is writing to the saints and faithful brethren. Not pastor A or pastor B, or bishop A or bishop B, or your eminence A or your grace B. No! He addresses this to the saints.
How do you become a saint? Well, you become a saint by God when you are born again. Only God can make you a saint. The church of Rome cannot make you a saint. God, and God alone, makes you a saint. And once you are a saint, you are also the faithful. You are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.
In verse 1, Paul says he was an apostle of Jesus Christ. An apostle means someone who was sent.
The Lord Jesus Christ didn’t call Paul during His time on the earth. He waited until His death and resurrection. James, John and Peter were pillars of the early church, and upon the death of Judas they replaced him with Matthias because they thought that they had the right, they had the ability to replace Judas with Matthias.
But these men, as great and as privileged as they were, did not call Paul. Paul was called independently of those men. Paul was called via the Lord (Acts chapter 9). Jesus Christ made him an apostle.
If you look at the church of England today, you will find that number 10 Downing Street make the final decision as to who the next archbishop of Canterbury is going to be. If you look at the Roman Catholic church, you find that the pope chooses cardinals, and once the pope dies, the cardinals get together in the papal conclave and they vote in the next pope.
The laity in the Church of England have no say whatsoever as to who the future archbishop of Canterbury will be, and the Roman Catholic laity also have no say whatsoever in who the next pope will be.
Here, chapter 1 verse 1, God Himself intervened (Acts chapter 9) as Paul was on the road to Damascus, and He, and He alone, called Paul to be an apostle. As I say, Paul was a very humble man, and he was quite happy and willing and content to include Timotheus from verse 1.
He is writing to the Colossians with Timothy in mind. In some ways, this is a joint epistle, but of course Paul wrote it. Paul was equipped to be an apostle, and he is quite able and capable of penning this wonderful epistle to the Christians in Colosse, known to us, of course, as the Colossians.
Chapter 1, verses 3-8: “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.”
Verse 3 tells us that Paul and Timothy were praying always for this early church. We are told to pray without ceasing. It’s not easy to pray, and it’s even harder to pray without ceasing, and yet it is very rewarding, and here Paul, as an apostle, was praying for this early church.
He says they are spoken of abroad, much like the Romans were spoken of abroad. Their testimonies ricocheted around the world. They were known as something special.
Paul, like a parent, must have been very proud of this early Christian community because they were standing firm. They were resting in the finished work of Christ. And yet Paul was always mindful of false teachers that were never far away, that were quite capable of coming in and seeking to dismantle all the good that he had done for them. If you look at the church in Corinth, you have a very carnal group of people, a very immature group of people. If you look at the church in Galatia, you have a very legalistic, self-righteous brigade.
But here, Paul doesn’t have that problem. Here, Paul is writing to mature, well-grounded people. And yet these people weren’t immune from false teachers. Nobody is immune from false teaching; the flesh is weak. Yes, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. And Paul himself said from Romans chapter 7 that even he battled the old man.
So, if you come across any particular person or organisation which teaches sinless perfection, take such a party to Romans chapter 7. And if that doesn’t show them the folly of their false teaching, take them to the Epistle to the Corinthians, and there you find God’s people very much in the flesh, and some being put to death for their rebellion against God.
Chapter 1, verses 9-17: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
Verse 9 down to verse 17 didn’t have one full stop. It’s like Paul was on a run, and he wasn’t prepared to stop. Verse 17 that says He (Christ) is before all things, and by Him all things consist. Revelation chapter 4 tells us everything was made for the glory of Jesus.
In verse 9 and 10, Paul says that he wanted them to be filled with all knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. And for us living today, we go to the epistles for the meat of the Scripture. For us to know the will of God, we need to know the word of God. But for the early church, yes, they had epistles, but the New Testament wasn’t completed until the death of the apostle John.
Today, the Scripture gives us perfect peace, and it gives us the ability to be fully equipped unto all good works. Here, Paul is still alive, writing to the Colossians and driving them forward.
The early church was very privileged because obviously they had the apostles, they had miracles, and they had certain epistles. Those of us living today don’t have any apostles or prophets, and the greatest miracle that we can expect to see is regeneration.
The problem I have with Charismatics and Pentecostals is that they place a heavy emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit, not the fruits of the Spirit.
But here, Paul says from verse 10 “that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.” And that’s going to feed into latter verses from the first chapter and the second chapter which I will get to shortly, which feeds into one’s rewards at the judgment seat of Christ.
By verse 13, he says that we have been delivered from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son. Pre our salvation, we were not only enemies of God, we weren’t just children of disobedience, but we were completely outside of the commonwealth of Israel. We had no hope whatsoever. We were completely blind, we were completely shut out, we were completely indifferent to the things of the Lord.
The Scripture says for the Son of Man has “come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). If you go back to the Book of Genesis, you find God coming for Adam. “Wherefore art thou?” He knew, of course, where Adam was, but He, as a loving Saviour, came looking for Adam. If God didn’t come looking for man, man wouldn’t go looking for God. That’s just how it is; there’s no point in tiptoeing around it. The word of God tells us that man does not seek after God because man is wicked, man is depraved, and man has nothing in common with God.
Therefore, when man comes to God and gets saved, he must give God all of the glory, because God has made it possible for mankind to be saved. The new birth comes solely and primarily via the triune God.
In verse 14, Paul tells us that “we have redemption through his blood [the precious blood of Christ], even the forgiveness of sins”. We are saved by our faith in the precious blood of Christ.
I’ve spoken to Jews over the years, and I spoke to a rabbi who went by the name of Cohen, some years ago. And we got on to the Lord Jesus Christ, of course, and I said to him that, as a Christian, we believe that we are saved by the precious blood of Christ.
And I will just say this also, from the opening verses, especially verse 2, which spoke about saints and the faithful brethren, that not only do you not find the one-man minister in the Scripture, you also shouldn’t call religious people “Rabbi” or “Father.”
I didn’t call this particular party a rabbi. In fact, I think I called him rabbi once when I first had the opportunity to speak to him, but after that I didn’t address him as rabbi because the Scripture says we have one Rabbi, who is Jesus, and we have one Father, which, of course, is God the Father. John 18 told us that God the Father is our holy Father, not the pope of Rome.
So, when you get into this whole problem of organised religion, the reverends and the holy fathers and your grace or your eminence, or your this or your that, forget it! You don’t find that in Scripture.
Epaphras, from verse 7, was called a fellow servant. That’s all that we are. We are fellow servants. We are servants of the Most High God. And back to verse 14: through His blood we have forgiveness of sins.
We don’t get saved by being baptised, we don’t get saved by joining the church, we don’t get saved by tithing to a fellowship or a ministry, or even going overseas as a missionary. We get saved by our faith in the precious blood of Christ.
In verse 15, Paul says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. I don’t believe that mankind has yet seen God the Father, and I’ve said this in previous unscripted verse-by-verse Bible studies that when I look at the Old Testament and I look at Moses coming face to face with Deity, or Solomon or Jacob, or even Adam, I don’t believe that those greats saw God the Father, I believe they saw God the Son, a Christophany. All of the Old Testament appearances of deity, I believe, are in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ.
But for those of us living today, for those living when this was written and for those living during the gospel period, during the time of the Lord’s presence on the earth, they saw an image of the invisible God. Christ reflected all that the Father is, and it goes on to say that He, Jesus, was the firstborn of every creature.
All you have are Jew or Gentile. Gentiles take up about 99% of the world’s population, leaving, under, 1% for the Jews.
Once a person gets saved, they are in the church of God, 1 Corinthians chapter 1, and according to Galatians chapter 3, they are no longer male or female, Jew or Gentile. They are a non-entity, if you will, they are a non-gender, if you will, but they are in the Church.
So, here it says that Christ was the firstborn of every creature, like I say, in reference to Jew and Gentile, not in reference to animals whatsoever. And Paul goes on to say that by Him, Jesus, were all things were created, that are in Heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, dominions, thrones, so on and so forth.
If you have ever been in a church which holds to the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed, one of my problems with that is that it starts along the lines of “We believe in one God, the Father and Creator of heaven and earth.” No mention of God the Son creating anything, found here, or of the Holy Spirit creating anything (Job 26 and also Genesis chapter 1).
The triune God created the entire universe. John chapter 2), we read that God the Son raised Himself from the dead (John 2:19). Galatians chapter 1, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Galatians 1:1). Romans chapter 8, the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11). So I don’t hold to the Nicene Creed because, quite simply, it robs Jesus of His glory.
But go back to verse 15: Jesus is the image of the invisible God and is also the firstborn of every creature. That doesn’t mean that He was the first person to be born. Clearly not! Adam was given a body. Adam was born prior to the Lord Jesus Christ.
So this term, “‘firstborn of every creature”, what does it mean? Please turn to Psalm 89, Scripture with Scripture. Never mind what the Church of Rome teaches. Never mind what the Church of England teaches. Never mind what ex-Catholics for Christ teaches! What does Scripture tell us about this term, the “firstborn of every creature”?
Psalm 89, look at verse 20, please. “I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him”. David was anointed with literal oil via Samuel the prophet, but oil in the Old Testament is a picture of the Holy Spirit; it’s a type of the Holy Spirit. David was anointed by God. David was the youngest of Jesse’s sons. Look at verse 27: “Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.” So, here David is anointed via the holy oil from verse 20, and please remember that David was a type of Christ, and by verse 27 he has now been elevated to be higher than the kings of the earth. Why? Because God has made him His firstborn, meaning he is the most important person at that time on earth.
Back to Colossians, please. So when it says in verse 15 of chapter 1 that Jesus was the firstborn of every creature, you know that it is in reference to His preeminence, and I’ll get to that shortly. Also from verse 13, Paul says that we were delivered from the power of darkness.
Please go to John chapter 5. Again, Scripture with Scripture and if you are able to do this for a typical Bible study, you will never go wrong. Verse 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
That started my verse-by-verse study, that we have passed from death unto life. Why? Because we believe His word, the gospel. And we believe that God the Father sent Him and, therefore, we now have everlasting life. We were saved out of Satan’s kingdom into God’s kingdom. No more condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus (Romans chapter 8:1).
Chapter 1, verse 18: “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
There’s that word again “preeminence” which feeds back into verse 15, where it speaks about Jesus being the firstborn of every creature, and Psalm 89 (which I’ve already given you) showed us that David, being a type of Christ, was elevated from among the sons of Jesse to be the greatest. And of course, as I say, he was a type of Christ, and Jesus is our final prophet, our final messenger, our final revelation from Heaven.
This term “firstborn from the dead”, again, it doesn’t mean in a sense of a genealogical meaning, because if you go back to the gospels you find the boy from Nain who died and was resurrected, you find Lazarus who died and was resurrected and you find the little girl from Mark chapter 5, the “Talitha Cumi” child, that died and was resurrected. These people were resurrected pre the Lord Jesus Christ.
So we don’t look at this and suggest that Jesus somehow was firstborn from the dead, as far as a timescale goes, because like I say, the boy from Nain, the little girl from Mark 5, and Lazarus from John 11 were all resurrected pre the Lord Jesus Christ.
No, this term “firstborn from the dead” and “firstborn of every creature” simply means that He has the preeminence. His resurrection is preeminent to anyone else’s resurrection, and His birth was preeminent to anybody else’s birth. He is a cut above everyone else, because verse 17 says “he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” He is very God and very man.
Chapter 1, verses 19-20: “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
There’s that word again: peace. Verse 19, it pleased the Father that all the fulness would dwell in Him. God is a jealous God. God won’t share His glory with anyone else, but He shares it with Jesus because Jesus is God. Not God the Father, not God the Holy Spirit, but God the Son. Verse 20 says: “having made peace through the blood of his cross,” the precious blood of Christ.
Go to Acts chapter 20. If you ever get into a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness, they will try to argue that Jesus was just a good man. The Muslims tell you that He was just a prophet. And the Mormons tell you that He was Lucifer’s brother. Dismiss those organisations; they don’t know what they’re speaking about.
Go to Acts chapter 20, Scripture with Scripture again. Start from verse 26, Paul speaking. Acts 20:26: “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
You don’t share the entire counsel of God with unsaved people, you give the gospel to an unsaved party and you pray for that party, but you don’t go back and forth over a period of time. You don’t cast your pearls before swine.
Look at verse 28: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Who hung on the cross for six hours? God the Son. Here, Dr. Luke writing this, quoting Paul and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells us that God purchased the Church with His own blood. Holy, precious, sacred and divine blood. Your blood cannot save you.
So when the Jehovah’s Witnesses tell you that Jesus was a good man, dismiss it. Even if He was a good man, even if He was an angel, He can’t save you unless He is from Heaven.
If you sin against God, only God himself can forgive you. Also, from verse 28 you find Paul addressing the overseers, the elders of the early church, quite possibly in Ephesus. There isn’t a one-man minister found anywhere in the Scripture. A good, healthy local fellowship will be run by a group of godly men which have been recognised from within their community, from within their church, and those men are ordained by the Holy Spirit and equipped to teach and preach the gospel and the full counsel of God, of course.
But back to Colossians, please, Colossians 1:20. That word “peace” is invaluable. That word “peace” really only applies to the born-again Bible-believing Christian. No other organisation, no other religion has the peace that the born-again Bible-believing Christian has.
Paul also says that through the blood of Christ, He was able to reconcile all things that were in Heaven and that were in earth. That’s a very interesting scripture. Whatever went wrong in the Garden of Eden, and some hold to the Gap Theory, some believe that pre-Adam, the sons of God (the angels) fell and through their rebellion they were kicked out. Others hold to the teaching that Adam was the first person, and everything started with the creation of Adam.
Either way, through His precious blood He has reconciled all those things that are in Heaven and all those things that are in earth. And this feeds into how the atonement works, because 2 Corinthians 5 tells us that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. God has already reconciled everyone and everything unto Him.
John 12 tells us that Jesus has drawn all men unto Himself. John 16 tells us that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin. Acts 5 tells us that God has already granted repentance to the Jews. And by Acts 11, He has granted repentance to the Gentiles. Every creature! Found from verse 15, Jew and Gentile. That’s all there is.
So He has granted repentance to Jew and Gentile. He has convicted the world of sin and He has drawn all men unto Himself, and here (Colossians 1:20), through His precious blood He has reconciled everything unto Himself.
Therefore, you have to be reconciled unto Him. You now have to believe on Him. If you go to John 3:16, the word of God tells us “For God so loved the world [past tense], that he gave his only begotten Son [past tense], that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
How does that work? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”. That’s God’s provision. He has provided the world with His only begotten Son. But read on: “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
You have to appropriate the atonement in order to be saved. And you won’t perish, meaning go to Hell where you will burn forever, but you will have (present tense) everlasting life. So, you see, God has provided an atonement for the world. God has reconciled everyone and everything unto Him, but “whosoever believeth in him should not perish”. So you have to believe on Him in order to be saved.
Back to Colossians. Colossians 1:21:
Chapter 1, verses 21-29: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
Again, no full stop from verse 21 right the way down until verse 29. He’s on a roll, and he’s going to keep on going, pouring out his heart and rejoicing in this incredible message.
Back to verse 21, he says that you were “enemies in your mind by wicked works.” From Romans, Paul says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. In our worst possible state God died for us. We were enemies of God, through our wicked works, and yet He still died in our place.
In verse 22, he says: “In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight”. This is way beyond justification; this is way beyond sanctification. This is glorification!
He wants them to be presented holy and unblameable when they arrive at the judgment seat because by verse 23, he says: “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel”.
Why does he say that? Well, the pressure in the early church towards Jew and Gentile from outside forces was immense. If you were a Jewish believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you had pressure like you could not imagine, coming from Jewry.
The unbelieving Jews wanted you to go back to the Law. Of course they did! The self-righteous, legalistic Jewish believers found in the book of Acts wanted the Jews that had come to the Messiah to continue keeping the rituals and the feast days, so on, so forth. And Paul says those things won’t save you. He especially did not want the Gentiles to get caught up in the Jewish rituals, which had now been fulfilled in the death, burial and resurrection.
Really, verses 22 and 23 feed back into verse 10: “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord”. And this is building up to the final crescendo, really, from the latter part of chapter 1, where he says in verse 28 that he wants to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, complete in Christ Jesus, meaning as they arrive at the judgment seat of Christ, they don’t fall short.
I think very few Christians are going to be blameless at the judgment seat. We will be judged not only for what we did post our forgiveness of sins, but also what we did not do. And that’s why Paul was always emphasizing a holy lifestyle and a separate lifestyle. Separation from the world is mandatory if you wish to receive a full reward, if you wish to do great things for the Lord.
In verse 25, he says that he was a minister, which is another term for a fellow servant, a slave for the Lord or a bond slave.
In verse 26, Paul speaks about the mystery, which was hid from ages, mystery meaning a secret. God waited until a specific time in history to send Jesus to die for the sins of the world, and Jesus then chose His apostles, and they and they alone were given the gospel to preach to the world. And they, and they alone had the sign gifts because they and they alone were going to write the New Testament.
Chapter 2, verses 1-3: “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
He that has the Son has the Father. You cannot separate the Father from the Son or the Son from the Father.
In verse 1, Paul had great conflict. This man suffered more than any of the other apostles, and yet like I’ve already said, the apostles didn’t even choose him for service. Jesus chose him for service. This man wrote most of the New Testament, and here he says that everything feeds into the hidden wisdom and treasure through the Father and the Son.
So it’s interesting, if not disturbing, when you come across organisations which claim to be “Christian” which then turn around and deny the deity of Christ. And I’m thinking of the Christadelphians, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons. These organisations deny the deity of Christ.
And yet here, Paul says all the treasure and wisdom is found in them.
Chapter 2, verse 4: “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.”
Most of the world has been deceived, has been beguiled, has been tricked. Most of the world either believes in the lie of evolution, or in the lie of Roman Catholicism, or in the lie of Islam.
And yet here Paul is warning his precious little flock not to be deceived with enticing words because words can trick you, words can deceive you, if you are not careful. Hence, why you need the word of God.
There are lots of people on the Internet that claim to be Christian, and yet these same people turn around and criticise the Bible. These same people claim to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Bible, and yet turn around and say that the Bible is somehow flawed and that they somehow have extra knowledge. These are the modern-day Gnostics. John wrote about them in his epistle, and they’ve been around a long time and you can appreciate they are always going to be around and as you get nearer to the return of Christ they are going to increase.
Hence, why it is imperative (with a capital “I”) that we mark them, that we separate from them, and of course that we expose them. But also that we go to the Scripture. Sola scriptura.
And therefore, it is of no surprise to us when the Catholics criticise the Bible as being the final authority and they continue to try and deceive the world with their enticing words, found today in the ecumenical movement. But here, Paul isn’t having it for a moment and he’s going to mark them because they are enemies of the cross.
Chapter 2, verse 5: “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.”
This isn’t some mystical connotation here that somehow Paul is going to be with them in an invisible way. No, he’s with them in love, and he’s going to be joying with them because his spirit is with them. Because they knew him, they loved him and they had his epistle and they had Christ. They were in the Son, they were in the Father, they were in the Holy Spirit. The triune God lived within them.
Chapter 2, verses 6-7: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
They’ve received Him. “To as many as received Him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). They are in Him! They have the peace from chapter 1.
And therefore, he wants them to build themselves up, to grow in grace, to renew their minds. How do you do that? Read the word of God every day. Separate yourself from worldliness, found in the 3rd chapter. Spend time with Him in prayer daily. And the latter part of verse 7 “with thanksgiving.” Always thanking Him! Praying without ceasing and always thanking Him for saving you and giving you His written word.
Chapter 2, verse 8: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
Where do you start with that verse? Beware lest anyone spoil you through philosophy. Philosophy is a new word, really, found in colleges and university. To be a liberal, just go to a typical Bible college! To be an agnostic, just go to a typical university!
In the West, they will educate you out of being a theist. But if you go to the East, they are fighting over which god to believe in and worship.
Also, this term “philosophy” which feeds into tradition can also be in reference to the religious elite, and I think of Calvinism, and I think of the flawed TULIP which John Calvin pretty much reinvented from Augustine, and I look at Geneva’s police state, and I have criticised the Catholics for the amount of people that were murdered during the Inquisition: 80 popes over 600 years put to death over 50 million people.
And yet John Calvin, in Geneva, with his police state, killed many people. Not directly, of course. The popes didn’t directly kill anyone, but indirectly. People died through the philosophy of John Calvin. People died through the tradition of the Inquisition because that didn’t come from Christ, it came from the world.
Hence why, once again, you have to go to the Scripture. If you come across a party that does not believe in the Lord, just walk away from that party. Don’t declare war on that party. Don’t persecute that party. Witness to them, and if they don’t want to hear it, walk away.
If you come across somebody who is preaching heresy, rebuke them, mark them and expose them, but don’t declare war on that party.
Paul is very clear: don’t let anyone spoil you through philosophy. Again, evolution! The science religion! It is deceiving millions of people all over the world.
There was a story in the paper just a few days ago of a well-known biologist in the UK that was banned from going on the BBC because he didn’t believe in global warming. He criticised global warming and he was persecuted for it. He stood against the deceit, the tradition of men. He’s not saved, of course, but nevertheless he didn’t want to go along with the philosophy, the vain rudiments of the world.
Watch out, mark them, be careful! Because once these people get their claws into you, it’s very hard to get them out of you.
Chapter 2, verse 9: “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
Jesus! Again, God won’t share His glory with anyone, but He does and He will share it with Jesus Christ. The Godhead, another term for the Trinity. All of the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Christ. He that seeth the Son, seeth the Father. Jesus isn’t God the Father, but He reflected all that God the Father is and was.
Chapter 2, verses 10-12: “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
In verse 10, you are complete in Christ. In Christ! Not in your church, not in your organisation. You are complete, you are perfect, you are safe in Christ because He is the Head of the Church and He is also the head of all principality and power, meaning the spirit world too. Everything is in subjection to Him. Circumcision, found in verse 11, isn’t a physical circumcision; it is a spiritual circumcision.
Verse 12 says you are buried with him in baptism. Not a water baptism, please. Ephesians 4 says there is one baptism. And according to 1 Corinthians 12, that occurred the moment you were born again. Once you are born again, through your faith in the finished work of Christ, then you are baptized with Him.
So here you see that circumcision is spiritual, and baptism is also spiritual. Also, you are already risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, meaning your spirit is already in Heaven. Yes, you are still physically alive in your body, your soul is still in your body but your spirit has been born again, and is now in Heaven with the Lord.
Chapter 2, verses 13-15: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
He went into Hell, and He declared victory over them. While He was down there, He took the righteous back to Heaven with Him. Look at the latter part of verse 13: “having forgiven you all trespasses”. You are already forgiven through His precious blood! You have the forgiveness of sins here and now. He’s already reconciled the world unto Himself.
And yet scores of Protestants recite the Lord’s prayer: “Father, deliver us from temptation. Forgive us our sins.” He’s already forgiven you your sins. He’s already delivered you from evil, meaning Hell, meaning the devil himself.
But, like I’ve already said, “whosoever believeth on him should not perish” (John 3:16). You have to appropriate the atonement. These verses will mean nothing to you until you are born again and until you have understood justification, imputed righteousness, meaning Christ gives you His sinlessness. You become perfect in Jesus Christ. When the Lord looks at you, He sees His son. Imputed righteousness!
Your practical standing could fluctuate, and it probably will do. You’re still going to battle the flesh. Paul did, from Romans 7, and like I say, the Corinthians were carnal too. But here Paul says: “having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us.” And Jesus “took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross”, His bloody cross, His divine blood shed for the sins of the world.
Chapter 2, verses 16-17: “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
The Jews were still keeping the Sabbath, this was written pre-70 A.D. Hence, why he speaks of the Sabbath still in a future sense, and also in the Millennium the Sabbath will be quite possibly restarted but according to Hebrews 4, Jesus is our Sabbath rest. Therefore, we rest in Him and nobody should judge us in what we eat, from verse 16, or what we drink.
Chapter 2, verses 18-19: “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”
There’s that word again, “beguiled”. Don’t be beguiled, don’t be deceived. There are many antichrists that have gone out into the world, written by the apostle John.
Paul, as I say, suffered great persecution. He was tossed to and fro, he was battered, he was almost left for dead, and yet this man was remarkable. And here he is absolutely clear that he does not want the Colossians to be in any way deceived.
Yes, they were a pretty sound church. Like I say, they didn’t have the problems that the Corinthians had, this carnal, fleshly, do-as-you-will attitude. They didn’t have the problems that the Galatians had of wanting to return to the law, to somehow be super-duper, to be legalistic and self-righteous. No!
But at the same time they weren’t immune, because the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. And that cannot be emphasised enough, and therefore Paul is going to continue to warn the Colossians not to be deceived, not to be tossed to and fro, because the moment you take your eye off the simplicity of Christ you are in for a fall.
Chapter 2, verses 20-22: “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?”
Why put yourself back under the law? Why are you now subject to ordinances? You’ve been set free from the law. You are now free in Christ. You have peace with God! Why are you allowing yourself to be judged from verse 16, in meat, or drink, or in respect of a holy day? If you wish to keep a holy day, if you wish to meet on a Sabbath, or on the Lord’s day, or on a Monday, or a Tuesday, fine! Romans 14 says you can.
If you don’t wish to eat certain foods, fine. If you do wish to eat certain foods, that’s fine as well. But here, from verse 20, Paul says you are dead with Christ, you’ve been raised with Christ, so why are you putting yourself back into a system of being subject to ordinances?
The Lord came to set us free from the penalty of the law: curseth is he that doesn’t continue on in the law. These things are to perish.
You’ve been set free from the law. Why put yourself back under the law? That’s what the Galatians were trying to do. They thought they could be more spiritual if they put themselves under the law, which even the Jews could not keep. Only Christ kept the law perfectly.
At times I think Paul must have been ripping his hair out, trying to keep his precious, sacred little flock on the straight and narrow. And praise be to God, we have the word of God to read, to study and to bury deep into our hearts. But here, he’s so clear.
You’ve already been forgiven of your trespasses; you already have the forgiveness of sins through His precious blood, so why put yourself back under the law. Why?
Chapter 2, verse 23: “Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”
The flesh is decaying, the flesh is dying. The flesh is at enmity with God. If you want to grow in grace, get into the Scriptures, study the Scriptures, walk with the Lord, have a good prayer life.
But putting yourself back under the law, observing religious days, observing food or drink restrictions, isn’t going to benefit you whatsoever because you’re simply feeding the flesh, and you’re puffing yourself up. And again, you’ve taken the eye off the ball. You’ve failed to realise that Christ has done everything for you. Come to Him: “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
Trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then if you want to really become a remarkable Christian, study the Scriptures, get deep into the word of God.
Chapter 3, verse 1: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
Christ is sitting at the right hand of God because He has already atoned for your sins. To sit down means He has finished what he was sent to do. In the Old Testament, the high priest would go to the temple and offer sacrifices for the people of Israel, and he could never sit down. It was an ongoing sacrifice, it was an ongoing ministry. But Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God.
Also, from verse 3:1, you have already been risen with Christ. You have been raised to newness of life. When you got saved, your spirit was saved, your spirit was regenerated and you went to be with the Lord. Yes, you are still physically on the earth, and your soul is living within you, and when you die, your soul goes straight to be with the Lord if you are saved, but your body sleeps. And your body continues to sleep awaiting the rapture.
When the rapture occurs you get a new body, and your new body is enjoined to your soul and your spirit, and you are presented blameless, totally and unequivocally blameless, in the presence of the Lord. Because you have already been raised with Christ, you are to seek those things which are above.
Try not to be too distracted by worldly things. It could be political things; it could be entertainment. It could be absolutely anything! Because you have been saved unto a purpose, you are not of your own, you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. And yet you can appreciate some of the things of the world, some of God’s creation, but don’t let it become an idol for you.
Chapter 3, verse 2: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Again, that’s pretty clear. As I say, once you are saved, you do have liberty in the Lord. You can enjoy foods if you choose. You can even enjoy entertainment to some extent, but don’t let those things become an idol to you. Don’t let those things become a distraction to you, and above all, keep your eyes focused on the Lord.
If you are saved, if you are a mature student of Scripture, then you should have some kind of ministry by now. If you are a woman, obviously you cannot be a pastor, or an elder, or a deacon, but you can give out tracts. You can share your testimony with other people. But above all, be busy. Be busy about our Father’s business.
Chapter 3, verse 3: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
When you got saved, Christ put you to death, you were buried with Him and you were resurrected with Him. Therefore, we have already had our funeral. If we were to die, pre the rapture, as I say, we go straight to be with the Lord, and therefore we don’t have to worry about what comes after we die. We should have peace, we should have joy, we should have assurance. But as we are still living and breathing, we are now hid with Christ in God. The Father, the Son and the Spirit are within us, and therefore, I believe, outside of the tri-unity of God we are the most important creatures in the universe, those of us that are born again.
Chapter 3, verse 4: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
In reference to Jesus coming back to rule and reign on the earth. He is our life; we live and exist once we have been born again for His good pleasure.
But here, Paul says we come back with Him. And for me, this is very interesting because I believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, and looking at verses such as this it does present a clear picture to me that to come back with Him means we must have been with Him during the 7 years of the great tribulation.
We come back with Him in all His glory. So, if you wish to hold to the post-tribulation rapture or the mid-tribulation rapture, that is completely your prerogative, but for me, I’m going to stand on the pre-tribulation rapture, and I won’t even attempt to deal with this verse any more than what I’ve just done.
‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory,” because we were with Him throughout the entire tribulation, I believe.
Chapter 3, verses 5-7: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.”
In chapter 1, Paul said we were enemies of God in our mind through wicked works. And here, we can see why: fornication, uncleanness, covetousness. This isn’t a complete list of the sins of the flesh, and yet, for Paul to warn us against these sins means we are still capable of committing these sins. Therefore, mortify the flesh.
You are dead in Christ. Remember that! Don’t allow your flesh the opportunity to sin. Job made a covenant with his eyes. And lust doesn’t just affect men; it also affects women. But here “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness”: all those things are idolatry.
And he says in verse 6: because of these things, the wrath, the fury, the anger of God comes on the children of disobedience, the world. And he says in times past, you too were guilty of these things. Which is what he says, pretty much, in 1 Corinthians 6. But it goes on to say: you are now born again. These things shouldn’t be mentioned among the brethren.
Chapter 3, verse 8: “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”
People say “omg.” I’ve even seen Christians, or people that claim to be Christian, saying “oh my” and they put “God” at the end of that. And sometimes they may even say “Jesus” and then “Christ.” Blasphemy! Don’t do these things. Paul says: put these things away, put them off.
You can have a righteous anger. Here, he’s speaking about an unrighteous anger, malice and filthy communication. Four-letter words shouldn’t be flowing from your mouth, and gossip also shouldn’t come from your mouth.
Again, you wouldn’t put these things in Scripture if it wasn’t possible for saved people to be guilty of these things. Put them away because he wants you to get a full reward at the judgment seat, and to not only give God all the glory, but to silence critics and enemies of the cross. If they can’t fault you, if they can’t trip you up, God isn’t blasphemed, and He gets the praise and glory that He deserves. And also, it strengthens your testimony and it gives you a good witness account to the lost, and like I say from the earlier verses, from this chapter and the previous chapter, your testimony is precious, and therefore he wants you to be completely mindful of that.
Chapter 3, verses 9-11: “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”
Put off the old man, put on the new man. Don’t lie to one another. Don’t fall into the sins of the flesh. Don’t use your eternal security as a licence to sin. You’ve been saved, you’ve been forgiven. Don’t allow the enemy of the cross to come alongside you and blaspheme you. Satan blasphemes the saints every day of the week in the presence of the Lord. Don’t allow unsaved men and women to do so as well.
Chapter 3, verses 12-13: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
This is really what we need to be teaching and emphasizing: the fruits of the Spirit, forgiving one another, not quarreling among each other. It isn’t easy to do these things; it’s not easy to be holy and beloved and be kind one to another because we still have a sin problem. It isn’t easy to even like other saved people.
But 1 John 3 says if you hate your brother, you are a murderer, meaning it is impossible for one saved party to hate another saved party, like Cain and Abel. And therefore, if you have one party hating another party, clearly one of those parties isn’t saved.
So, for me, I think a good sign of a mature, well-grounded Christian is someone who can be merciful, kind and forgiving. I will say this as well, that these things don’t come overnight, these things can take a long time to perfect. But again, Paul wouldn’t put this in the Scripture if it wasn’t possible to reach. And he wouldn’t put this into the flesh in there if it wasn’t possible to be guilty of committing such sins.
We are saved, we have been exonerated; we are now reigning with Christ. But we are still living in our fallen bodies in a fallen world. And therefore we have to be so mindful not to abuse the liberty that God has given us.
Chapter 3, verse 14: “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”
Put on love. “For God so loved the world...” (John 3:16a). That’s a true love. That’s a deep love. There’s no higher love than a man laying his life down for his friends.
Chapter 3, verse 15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
There’s my word again: “peace.” Five letters symbolizing our entrance into Heaven and our pardon from everlasting Hell. Because we have the peace of God, this peace should rule in our hearts, which goes back into verse 13 “forgiving one another” and verse 12, being holy and merciful.
It doesn’t happen overnight, I’ll say it again. But again, these things are possible and they should be evident in the life of the godly man and woman that has been born again.
Chapter 3, verses 16: “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.”
Praise Him, worship Him and honour Him. Read the word of God, study the Scripture. Sola scriptura. That’s why you need the Bible to not only give you peace, but also from 2:8, to avoid philosophy, to avoid tradition, which don’t come from God, but they come from man. But also you need the Scripture to give you peace and joy and soundness of mind. Sing psalms and hymns, rejoicing in what God has done for you.
Chapter 3, verse 17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Use your liberty to do good. Give Him the glory that He deserves.
Chapter 3, verses 18-25: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
In reverse order, verse 25: he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done. The powers that are, the authorities which are in place, are there by God’s decree. Submit to those in authority.
But it goes back, really, to verse 18: that wives should be in submission to their husbands.
Husbands are not told to be in submission to their wives, but to love their wives and be not bitter against them. That bitterness could be for many reasons. It could be that sometimes the wives spend more time doting on their children, and not on their husbands and, therefore, their mind isn’t always on their husband. But wives should submit to their husbands and husbands should love their wives and not be bitter.
Children are to obey their parents in all things. Verse 21: fathers shouldn’t provoke their children to anger, because they will become discouraged and end up sinning.
Verse 22: servants are to obey their masters. Slavery is found in both testaments, and the Lord just deals with it, but servants, I will suggest, in today’s world would be the equivalent to employees, and masters would be the equivalent to employers.
But again, verse 23: whatever you do, do it unto the Lord, not unto men because God sees everything.
If you are a saved employee working for an unsaved employer, do the best you can. It’s not an easy situation to be in, but do what you can and the Lord will honour you. If you are a saved employer, and you have unsaved employees, you, too, have to do the best you can. Because God sees everything, and also you are an example to your workplace.
And if you are fortunate enough to have a saved employer, then you really are very fortunate. But above all, do what you do for the glory of God, and don’t do it with eye service, meaning don’t do something when people are watching you. Work hard, and give a good day’s work to your employer.
And verse 25, like I say, pretty much feeds back into Romans 13, that the powers that be have the authority to execute judgment, meaning of course if you’re not faithful, if you’re not righteous, they will deal with you.
So, this will conclude the third chapter of Colossians, another very rich chapter. And you saw the rapture, from verses 3-4, the pre-tribulation rapture, and Paul’s warning to put the flesh to death in verse 5 and 6, and to be joyful, to be singing songs, and to let the word of Christ dwell richly within you.
But verse 17, pretty much (for me anyway) sums up the third chapter: whatsoever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God. Give God the glory. We are living epistles, and when we shine, we honour him, we glorify Him, and we silence the critics and we have a testimony which encourages other Christians and puts other religions to shame.
Give God the thanks, and above all, set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth.
Chapter 4, verse 1: “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”
John the Baptist told the Roman soldiers that came to him to be baptized how they should be content with their wages. Here, “masters” ‒ as I’ve already said ‒ refers to employers. They, too, have a master in heaven. These masters are to give their employees a wage. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Don’t exploit people. Give them what they deserve.
Chapter 4, verses 2-4: “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”
Us! Timothy and I. Paul didn’t have this big ego; he was quite willing and quite content to request prayer from the Colossians.
Intercession, we all need it. Not only do we pray to the Lord to save an unsaved party, not only do we pray for ourselves, but we also pray for one another. And here, the greatest apostle that ever lived wanted prayer, so he could speak to them, because he was in bonds. Many times he was in physical bonds, but he was also always in spiritual bonds as well.
Chapter 4, verse 5: “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
That term “without” simply means “outside.” Walk in wisdom to those outside of the church. Again, it goes back to being a good witness, being a living epistle, and having a good testimony.
Look at verse 6:
Chapter 4, verse 6: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
Always be ready to give a defence of the faith that lies within you. Be ready in season and out of season. Let your speech be clean. Don’t let filthy communication come out of your mouth. Try to control your temper because the world are watching you! I can assure you, if you are born again, people are watching you. They want you to fail; they want you to fall flat on your face.
The devil wants it to happen, the world want it to happen, and therefore you have to be on guard. You’ve been called, you’ve been saved, and God has equipped you, much like a soldier has the best kit that he needs, and he is sent off into combat. The same is true of the Christian.
The Christian has been saved, and therefore, he/she has been equipped to go off into the world. But we have to put the old man to death. We have to be mindful of the fact that, although we are saved, the old man, the Adamic nature is always with us. And that’s why we need to be completely mindful of this.
And I know that if you’ve been saved for a long period of time this goes without saying, but if you are a new Christian you might not quite yet understand how the old nature clashes with the new nature. But give it a couple of years and you will soon know what I’m talking about.
Chapter 4, verses 7-11: “All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.”
“Jesus” in Hebrew means “Yeshua.” But here, this Jesus is also called Justus, and Marcus, of course, is John Mark, sister’s son to Barnabas. Paul had a small group of disciples, which were faithful and loyal. And yet, by the end of his life Paul is pretty much alone. Luke was faithful unto death, but the vast majority of those that once walked with Paul had forsaken him.
Chapter 4, verse 12: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”
Isn’t that nice to have somebody who always prays for you? When you ask someone to pray for you, how often have you heard that person say: “Yes, I’ll pray for you” and five minutes later, they’ve forgotten all about it? This brother, this party, didn’t. He prayed all the time for the Colossians.
And that’s why if you are able to find a prayer partner, and that prayer partner is a faithful prayer partner, you are truly blessed, because outside of having a saved husband or a saved wife, outside of having a saved employer, this pretty much is the next best thing, to have someone who is always praying for you. It is something which cannot be put into words. It is completely invaluable.
Chapter 4, verses 13-14: “For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.”
Luke was a medical doctor, and sometimes you will come across Christians that don’t like any kind of medicine. If Paul was able to work and travel and live with a saved medical doctor, I don’t see why we cannot consult medical doctors. But above all, take any affliction, take any problem you have, any illness, to the Lord first in prayer, and if necessary, you can always consult a medical doctor.
Chapter 4, verse 15-16: “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.”
We don’t have any of the letters that the early churches wrote to Paul, Peter or John. But what we do have is what we find in the New Testament. God inspired the word of God and He has preserved it: 27 books in the New Testament, 39 in the Old Testament. Nothing has been lost whatsoever.
And here, the Colossians were to read this epistle, obviously, and after they had finished reading it, they were to give it to the Laodiceans.
All Scripture is inspired of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped unto all good works. Hence why we need the word of God. Paul tells the Colossians to read this epistle, and you can believe they did many times, and after they had finished reading it, they were to pass it on to the Laodiceans. Copies of copies of copies would have been made, and the oldest Greek New Testament manuscript, I believe, is from the Gospel of John, which dates to around 125 A.D., and I’ve seen it, and I’ve filmed it, and if you wish to see it, it’s in the John Rylands Museum in Manchester, in the United Kingdom. That is the oldest manuscript from the New Testament. But here, they had Paul’s epistle, and they must have been completely rejoicing over the fact that the apostle to the Gentiles had written to them. And here I am, 2,000 years later, giving you this verse-by-verse commentary.
Chapter 4, verse 17-18: “And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.”
Paul wrote this epistle, even though he had very poor eyesight, even though his health wasn’t the best. He wrote this epistle. He starts it with his name, and he ends it with his name.
So, as always, just a simplistic study of the Scripture, a verse-by-verse read and commentary, and I do hope that if you started with me, you finished with me, but above all, that you had your Bibles open. And hopefully I’ve been able to whet your appetite.
And feel free to give me any feedback you have to this presentation. And if you think I’ve left anything out, or if you would like me to look at any particular books of the word of God which I have yet to do, also feel free to contact me.
But above all, I seek the Lord’s blessing on this informal presentation, with no notes, and like I say, hopefully it’s been a blessing to you, and I will commend this to the Lord. Amen.