“To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae” Colossians 1:2
Teaching on the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the young church in Colossae has been a joy the past several weeks. I certainly have learned something and grown in the Lord as the Spirit has given me insights to pass on to you.
Paul opens chapter 1 with a beautiful poem (1:15-20), speaking about Jesus who is the Creator and sustainer of all things. Jesus is not lesser in any way to God the Father and is in fact God himself “in whom all things hold together” (1:17). Colossians 1:20 reminds us that our Lord’s mission was reconciling sinners to a holy God by way of a cross, confounding our natural expectations that a King would choose this path of suffering in order to serve his subjects with his agape love.
Paul is particularly impressed with their “love in the Spirit” (1:8), reminding us that true and proper worship of God overflows into loving one another. The opening lines of Colossians emphatically state that lasting growth comes from God alone. Growing in faith, hope and love results in a grace and peace from God the Father evidenced by their love for one another in the Spirit. Jesus’ plan for your growth is through the Holy Spirit whom Jesus has given us until he returns.
Paul opens his letter with “grace and peace” (1:2). Peace from God in Christ is to be what rules/judges/umpires our hearts (3:15), instead of our fears of spiritual forces, legalism or anything that undermines our secure relationship with Jesus. Paul closes his letter with “Grace be with you” (4:18), bookending this letter with “grace” and thus our very lives as followers of Christ. Grace is not just for salvation but for your sanctification.
I hope you’ll spend time reading the rest of Colossians on your own, though I hope to return to this short but rich letter that gives us a glimpse of Paul’s heart for the gospel and desire to see followers of Christ grow into maturity. I hope our time in Colossians has been a blessing to you as well.
LIVING INTO GOD’S WORD
Lord, continue to impress upon me how you want me to grow as your follower this year. May I continue to marvel at the reality that you laid down your life though you are the ruler of all. Fill me with your grace and peace today as I seek to be a representative of your unearnable and unlosable love to a watching world. Amen.