Colossians Episode 1
Some Background. This city had been around for awhile. It was a thriving, ancient city in modern Turkey. It had a history longer than any city in America. Imagine a history of 500 years. So, it had history.
Like Portland, OR, it was inland from the sea about 110 miles...about the same distance as Ephesus because Ephesus was located by the sea.
In Paul's time it was only an insignificant market town and is now uninhabited. The commerce had been rerouted to Laodicea. This left Colosse to decline in importance...much like Coolidge today.
This church had a problem. Most churches have some problem. In order to keep the church alive in an deteriorating environment it had come to believe that if we just blend all of our thinking, all of our views and just add "Jesus" to the mix we will attract more and stay alive.
This problem is also known as syncretism.
The blending of opposing views. The Colossians did NOT want to make distinctions between the gospel and other views.
"One way is just as good as another way." You probably have NOT ever heard of such an idea!
Let it be said, OUR VIEWS IN THE CHURCH MUST AGREE WITH GOD'S VIEWS.
And there we have the purpose of this book. To reveal the essential doctrines of the church and the effect that those beliefs' MUST have in the lives of its people, OTHERWISE CHRIST'S CHURCH JUST BECOMES ANOTHER SOCIAL CLUB
The Lord's church in this city was the recipient...V.2
But just suppose...IMAGINE: a letter with NO "to whom." A message must be to someone. There must be a recipient! TODAY...we look at two aspects of the recipients...HOW ARE THEY ADDRESSED?
THIS LETTER IS ADDRESSED TO SAINTS v.2
Now these folks are not like every one else in town. Not like the others.
"Saints" Those in a special, unique relation to God - NOT like the pagans and mystics.
Why called saints? Why is that? They were described here by Paul with that term as being participants in
God's revealed nature and character. They were not just observers. Saints are ACTION ORIENTED! Action figures. Not figurines!
Now for some other scriptures that use the word "saint."
Jude 3; Eph. 2:19; I Cor. 1:2; Rom. 1:7
Those recognized as "having been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13).
Participating ones. A child imitates. I Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:1;
I Thess. 1:6. DON'T JUST SIT THERE!!! DO SOMETHING!
All Christians are saints. All saints are Christian...ARE you a participant in the nature and character of God?
ARE YOU ACTION ORIENTED OR JUST CONTENT TO BE AS YOU ALWAYS WERE, TO SIT AND VEGETATE IN THE PEW?
Remember Matt. 7:21 - Why do you suppose that is?
THIS LETTER IS ADDRESSED TO THE FAITHFUL.
Faithful. Can rely on. Worthy of confidence. Yellowstone Nat'l Park's "Old Faithful" You can count on it. Pro. 25:19
Some were holding true even though the world around them was full of compromise. Mentally and morally. Thank God for the Faithful.
"Brethren" Having the same origin...Faithful Brethren.
Now this puts the church in the proper light! We shall remember who Paul is addressing.
AND... to the saints and faithful brethren:
Grace: to you a pleasant, predictable nature. Hopefully they remember this as Paul marches on...When he gets into some sticky material.
Peace: Resolution of conflict. Paul's objective: "END of strife - Solutions FROM God. Followed by the action of the saints...God's solutions APPLIED!
Verse 3: Thanks = TO GOD.
Not co-equals...Jesus always the SON. Faithful and obedient Son.
This is Paul's heart reaching out to them.
NOW THIS IS GOING TO BE A LETTER WORTH WRITING!!!
...and its just beginning! But absolutely foundational for where he will go...