Colossians Episode 3
Review the Jar - What or Who is it? Who is in it? The first words with someone can determine the outcome of the encounter.
First words of a baby...Sweetest sound on earth...
PROP: Some questions and lessons from our text.
What did Paul and Timothy say they were doing on behalf of the church at Colossae? V.3
As they begin to address the ones "in the Jar," they say these words, "we give thanks."
This to a church with some BIG problems
Imagine such a thing. However, it is a FINE way of beginning a very serious letter.
The giving of thanks is rare. It tells folks that you take notice of them...that they mean something to you.
"I don't see anything good in you, so I'm going to tell you off."
Too often we are so anxious to get to what is on our mind to say that we fail to give proper recognition.
Also need to notice that they gave thanks to God. God is the one to whom we pray, right? Jesus is not the object of prayer but the mediator for prayer. Lot of folks have this mixed up!
"No one comes to the Father..." John 14:6
We are not going to Jesus, we do intend to see him, but we are going to God...We ought to have an idea of what God is like. Is how you see him in agreement with how He is revealed in scripture?... and the only way there is through Jesus.
"One mediator..." I Tim. 2:5
I don't see Mary's name there either. She was the means that God chose to strip him of what he had with the Father so that he could be that man (Phil. 2:7).
The writers will expand on this later but notice who the origin and or source of Jesus was. Jesus had an origin. God didn't.
Not only "thanks," but PRAYER!
The word used here means that they are putting themselves on the line for the church. This word has two parts:
- "ukay" - Means "vow" as in Acts 18:18; 21:23.
- "pros" - meaning "toward."
A committment to this church they were willing to take to the throne-room of God.
A vow is a serious commitment. There are consequences!
Do not make hasty committments or vows that you can't follow through on...Deut. 23:21-23.
How often do we see substance in prayer? Does it move it out of the "wishful thinking" realm? YES.
Notice also the benefit to being in the Jar! I Jn. 5:14,15.
Where are they?...Not hit and miss...but the homework belongs to those preparing for prayer.
The writers were bringing these folks to God's attention, into His presence and doing so with substance and meaning.
Here is an idea to catch: Rev. 5:8
Is your vial in God's Presence empty? a stench?
What prompted the writing of this letter?...V.4
We heard!! Oh, really? What did you hear? So and so has a wig?....now, I want to discuss wigs with you....
They heard that those folks "in the Jar" had faith. It is really The Faith of you all. This is first a corporate faith.
Their trust together in The Faith stood out~!
- It was not based on family ties.
- It was not based on cultural or economic status.
- It WAS a chosen response to the faith by each believer.
- They ALL equally were in the faith. It was a common faith. Therefore it could be corporate. There is
only ONE faith...Eph. 4:5 Just one. Which "faith do you belong to?" The only one there is.
A church unified in Faith!
They had it...It showed...AND someone reported it! It was a stand-out!
They heard that this body demonstrated The Faith in the love into all. Not selective love. "Into" here means it was something that accomplishes something.
Dribble is often interpreted as love. Nothing could be further from the truth. Long term benefits to each and all
The faith and love were both premised on hope...V.5
It was the heavenly view that nurtured their faith and love.
Now we are getting somewhere!
What was the source of this? The word of Truth.
How did you know about it? We heard it. "Faith comes from hearing" (Rom. 10:17).
No mysticism there...they all heard the same thing. not some quiet, private, personal voice in the night.
The word of truth belonging to the gospel. They had heard it...and they obeyed it...that's rare, too.
It was a universal message. V. 6
Equally profitable to all participants.
It came "into" them. Internalized...bearing fruit.
All that GOD DOES - He does through the written words of truth. Available to everyone - NO private, secret
messages, scattered here and there.
Recap: The two questions...
We learn from the writer's examples...
- To be a people of whom others will put themselves on the line for.
- To be a people with such a strong handle on hope that it produces trust in The Faith (the embodiment
of truth) AND expresses...itself in meaningful and productive love.
The Grace of God (what He had done equally for all) is dispensed in truth and is available to all.
We are always moving toward truth in all matters of faith.
It is the "toward" that pulls people together into one body, one path, one voice.