3/14/17 An Apostolic Greeting

Monday, March 13, 2017


Col. 1:1-4

Morning Meditation 3/14/17

Verses 1-4 say, "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. 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."

The first thing Paul does in writing to a Church is to,


In every Epistle that Paul writes (possibly with the exception of Hebrews) he begins with his name. If the letter was written in scroll form this would be a way of knowing who the letter is from without unrolling the scroll. I think that I would have a problem reading a letter not knowing who it was from before I finished. We have other ways of introduction. Most of the time we can tell by the return address on the outside of the envelope. I get a lot of junk mail. If I get one from the IRS it will be the first I open (very cautiously)!

Paul had never been to Colosse, i.e., they had not seen his face (2:1). So first of all he introduces himself by NAME. Paul had a reputation among the churches. Even in those churches he had not been to. They knew of his conversion and ordination to the ministry.

Second, he introduces himself by OFFICE. He says, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ . . ." The word "apostle" translates "apostolos" and means, "one sent with a commission." Jesus ordained The Twelve. The apostolic office was established in the church and lasted during the early days of the church until the completion of the Word of God. These men were walking Bibles with authority and power to work miracles as a means of confirming the message of the resurrected Christ.

Third, he identifies the source of his AUTHORITY. He says, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God . . ." Paul was what we call "a God-called preacher." He didn't decide that this would be a good profession to enter. Paul says in Galatians 1:15-17, "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were APOSTLES BEFORE ME (Caps mine for emphasis); but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus."

Fourth, he identifies a COMPANION with the words, "and Timotheus our brother." Paul calls Timothy his son (in the ministry) in 1 Tim. 1:1, 18 and 2 Tim. 1:2. Here he calls him brother. This makes Timothy the brother of every Christian in Colosse. Timothy was probably known as a traveling companion of Paul.

Then Paul,


First, he identifies the PLACE. Colosse was a city of Phrygia, on the river Lycus, a branch of the Meander. John Gill says of Colosse that it was, "a city of the greater Phrygia, in the lesser Asia, near to which stood the cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis, mentioned in this epistle."

Second, Paul identifies the PEOPLE to whom he is writing. He says, "To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse."

There are two classifications that Paul makes:

1. The word "saints" is an identification of all believers. Every believer can be referred to as a saint. It means "one who has been set apart." 1 Corinthians 1:2 says, "Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours." All believers are "sanctified in Christ Jesus." If you are saved you are in Christ, if you are not in Christ you are not saved (2 Cor. 5:17).

2. The words "faithful brethren" take this a step further. We all know that all saints are not faithful. The word "faithful" means, "trusty, faithful, and is used of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties." There are those who can be counted on. They are faithful to the Lord and His church. If you want something done they are there, and they will do whatever needs to be done. They are faithful.

Then Paul,


The words, "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." The grace is that by which we are saved and by which we are enabled to serve. Paul speaks of being called to the office of an apostle by grace (Gal. 1:15). The churches of Macedonia gave beyond their ability, and this is called a grace bestowed (2 Cor. 8:1). God uses human instruments to supply special needs to His people. I need grace every day I live because I do not deserve what I need. God's grace is His undeserved favor.

The word "peace" translates, "eirene" and means, "a state of national tranquillity, peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord." The church at Colosse needed peace in three areas. They lived in a time of turmoil and needed God's gift of peace upon them concerning the AUTHORITIES. The authorities in those days gave the Church a hard time. They needed peace IN THE CHURCH. The church that has internal turmoil will be weak and will do very little for the Lord. Then they needed peace IN THE HOMES. Souls were being saved in the communities. If the wife was saved and the husband not, that in itself could bring unavoidable problems to the home. I am sure there were trying situations that existed in the homes of the members of the church at Colosse. They welcomed this apostolic blessing bestowed by means of this Epistle.

Then Paul,


There are three things that we learn from this expression of thanksgiving:

1. Thanksgiving for them motivates continuous prayer. He says we are, "praying always for you." The church at Colosse was confronted with the heresy of Gnosticism. Paul wrote this letter to combat the false teaching of Gnosticism. The Christians there who recognized this danger would be comforted and strengthened by knowing that Paul and those with him were praying continually for them.

2. Thanksgiving for their faith in Christ Jesus. This is not just a saving faith. It is referring to a faith that continues to be in Him as Lord and the Supplier of every grace and blessing that is needed for the fulfillment of His will in their lives.

3. Thanksgiving for their love for all saints. They were known for their love for ALL SAINTS. The word "all" means "each and every." This is without racial distinction. Racial discrimination by Christians is a sin. There will always be strife between races on the national and international level. But it should not be in the church. Paul is thankful that the church at Colosse has agape love (John 3:16 love) for ALL THE SAINTS. Incidentally, if you have a personal problem with race discrimination, that problem will never be solved by someone pushing a person of another race on you. That sin went out of my life as I bowed before the cross and let Him cleanse me of the sin and tell me who to love. He did not only instruct me to love but put His love in my heart for ALL SAINTS.


1. It is a blessing to know that when we read this Epistle we are reading the Word of God. It was given to us through an Apostle who wrote according to the will of God.

2. It is a blessing to know that if I am saved I am considered by the Lord to be a saint. I need to see myself as God sees me. He sees me as a saint.

3. We should be challenged to take steps after we are saved to be faithful. Our goal should be faithfulness in all things. It is not enough for us to be known as Christians. We should be known as faithful.

4. We should also discipline ourselves to love ALL SAINTS. May God bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ,

Bro. Earl White

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