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Colossians

Chapter 1

Commentary by Tom Brown

 

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

 

2 To the holy and faithful a brothers in Christ at Colosse:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father. b 

 

holy and faithful. Three qualities should stand out in our lives: holiness, faithfulness and believing; this is especially true for ministers. Too many ministers do not live holy or are faithful to their calling or simply doubt the Holy Scriptures.

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,

 

4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—

 

5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel

Faith and love that spring from the hope. Hope is the foundation of love and faith. Hope will always precede faith and love. You cannot love or exercise faith unless you have hope in the person you love or hope for the thing you trust God for.

6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.

All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing. What would the world be without Christianity? Few hospitals, hardly any schools, no democracy, slavery still existing and no civil rights. While many criticize the Church, one must still recognize the great contributions of sincere Christians in making our world a better place.

7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our c behalf,

 

8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

 

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will. Worldly knowledge will never enlighten you to the will of God. You need God’s knowledge.

spiritual wisdom and understanding. The word understanding has the Greek meaning of “putting it together” much like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Wisdom gives you the pieces; understanding helps you put it all together so it makes sense to you.

10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord. The reason for knowledge, wisdom and understanding is not simply so you know the will of God, but that you “do it.” Knowledge without action puffs up.

bearing fruit in every good work. The work must be good works and that it bears fruit which means the good works continue even without the person who sowed the good deeds. Seeds planted continue to grow even after the one has planted it. So our works should follow us even after death.

growing in the knowledge of God. You come to better understand who God is by bearing fruit, not simply by reading the Bible.

11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might. You do not produce good fruit through you own strength but by God’s glorious might.

great endurance and patience. Clearly walking with the Lord will require endurance and patience in removing trials.

joyfully. Joy is the proof you have patience. 

12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you d to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

qualified. When you were saved, you were entitled to particular benefits and privileges. Most see God’s blessings as special gifts that one may or may not receive. You must see God’s gifts as benefits and privileges that you are entitled to enjoy.

the inheritance of the saints. An inheritance is not a special gift but an entitlement.

13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

rescued. There was an outside force, the devil that tried to keep you as a hostage. You cannot save yourself anymore than a hostage can free themselves. God freed us from Satan’s dominion.

dominion of darkness. A reference to Satan and his hosts. Darkness or ignorance is how Satan keeps us bound.

kingdom of the Son. We are now citizens of a new kingdom, ruled by Christ.

14 in whom we have redemption, e the forgiveness of sins.

 

redemption. Is to purchase back what once belonged to the original owner. Mankind started out with God but later was sold because of our sins.

forgiveness of sins. This forgiveness is complete. When God forgives, He does not hold our sins against us anymore.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

image of the invisible God. Christ is visible, the Father is invisible. God is supreme over all visible and invisible things. On earth (visible) and in heaven (invisible).

firstborn over all creation. In ancient times, the firstborn inherited all of the father’s wealth, and thus, in this way Paul was showing that all of God’s wealth is found in Christ. This is not to imply that Christ was “created” by God, thereby making Him a created being. Never! Christ is the eternal God.

16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

For by him all things were created. This is proof that Christ is God, because only God created all things. If Christ was a created being, then how could he have created Himself?

whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities. These thrones are both visible and invisible thrones. Visible thrones would be earthly, governmental thrones and invisible thrones would be a reference to Satan and his angels. Whether presidents, prime ministers or kings of nations understand it, Christ is their head. They have an obligation to serve Christ.

17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

in him all things hold together. All created institutions will hold together and even thrive when Christ is their head. Governmental leaders have done a disservice—to not only Christ—but to their people when they make laws against the laws and teachings of Christ. Laws favoring abortion, prostitution, no-fault divorce, legal drug use, same-sex marriages, etc. are sure to dismantle a government or, at the very least, overburden a government so that it cannot afford to govern effectively.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

he is the head of the body. In a practical way, Christ rules through His body, the Church. You cannot say that you follow Christ yet refuse to be part of the body of Christ, the Church.

he might have the supremacy. No human leader can claim the supremacy. It belongs to Christ alone. He is the supreme leader.

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

 

20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

 

to reconcile to himself all things. The intent and goal of Christ is to reconcile everything to Himself. No one is saved without reconciliation to Christ.

making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. There could be no reconciliation without the shed blood on the cross. Many seeker sensitive churches think that in order to win people to Christ they must divest themselves of religious images including the image of the cross. Many Churches have even removed crosses from their buildings. We should never be ashamed of the cross. We are not making headway in winning people to Christ if we compromise the message to be politically correct.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of f your evil behavior.

enemies. Strong word to describe the disposition of the sinner. But it is accurate.  

because of f your evil behavior. We were alienated from God, not because of Adam’s transgression alone, but because of our own evil behavior.

     22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

Christ's physical body. By emphasizing Christ physical body, Paul means to remind us that we too, as Christ physical body, have a mission to reconcile the world to Christ. Paul does not mean that Christ’s sufferings are simply “physical or natural” because Christ went through spiritual agony as well. 

holy…without blemish and free from accusation. Holy is our legal standing, without blemish is how we look to God, and free from accusation is our defense against Satan’s condemnation.

23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

 

if you continue. You must persevere. It is not enough that you begin in faith, you must continue in faith. 

24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions. There is nothing lacking in regards to the atonement at the cross. Paul was not referring to the physical death of Christ, but the afflictions and persecutions of Christ’ body on earth, which is His Church. Others lacked the willingness to suffer for Christ, so Paul took in their share of sufferings. Paul suffered much for being a Christian.

25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—

word of God in its fullness. Many preach half of the gospel. Every minister has an obligation to preach all the Word, not just the parts that make people happy or the parts that make people miserable.

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.

 

27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

 

riches of this mystery. We are joint hears with Christ. All His wealth is ours.

Christ in you. This is the ultimate of what it means to be a follower of Christ. He comes to live in us. We cannot fail with Him inside of us. He lives through us.

28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom. Three important facts about what makes a good sermon: first there is admonishing which means correcting, rebuking and encouraging people; second, teaching which is explaining why we believe as we believe; third, with all wisdom means we help people know how to live for Christ.

29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.

 

his energy. We do not operate on our own strength. We will find a supernatural energy from God helping us accomplish God’s will.

which so powerfully works in me. Combine His energy with your faith, and you have the divine generator turned on within you. 

 

Chapter Two

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