Chapter 1, Verses 1-9
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This Week’s Lesson, “How You Would’ve Gotten on Paul’s Prayer List”
Colossians 1:1-9) [KJV] Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
2) 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.
3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
“praying always” – “Rather connect always with we give thanks, and render we give thanks for you always” [Vincent].
NOTE: Perhaps, according to Vincent, vs. 3 should have affixed “always” to giving thanks instead of affixing it to praying. However, vs. 9 lets us know that they also prayed always/without ceasing for the Colossian believers.
4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
QUESTION: Why did Paul always pray for, or thank God for the Colossian believers?
ANSWER: He did it because he heard of their faith in God and love for God’s people.
QUESTION: Why did those reports he received about their faith and love affect him this way?
1 John 3:18-23) [KJV] My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19) And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20) For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21) Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22) And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23) And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
ANSWER: Faith in God and love for His people is the goal of the Christian experience. When we are doing these 2 things (trusting God and loving His people) we have confidence in God, and consequently, our prayers are answered. In other words, WE HAVE POTENTIAL, SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL! All things are possible when we have confidence God will answer our prayers.
NOTE: Paul prayed for those who were faithfully loving people and trusting God. He prayed that they would reach their full potential in Christ.
ANOTHER NOTE: Allow me to say this another way: if you don’t trust God and love His people you have no potential whatsoever to do the things that God wants you to do.
5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
(ERV) Your faith and love continue because you know what is waiting for you in heaven–the hope you have had since you first heard the true message, the Good News.
(GNB) When the true message, the Good News, first came to you, you heard about the hope it offers. So your faith and love are based on what you hope for, which is kept safe for you in heaven.
QUESTION: What weaved this faith and love into the very fiber of who these believers were?
ANSWER: The hope of Heaven, which the Gospel promised them, produced the fruits of faith and love in them.
1 John 3:2-3) [KJV] Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
NOTE: The hope every believer has, that being the hope of Heaven, is what produces Spiritual fruit, such as faith and love, in us.
Hebrews 11:8-11) [KJV] By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9) By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10) For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11) Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
QUESTION: Who is Abraham in relation to us?
Romans 4:11) [KJV] And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
ANSWER: He is the father of our faith.
QUESTION: What motivated Abraham to obey God when God asked him to do difficult things?
ANSWER: He “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” [KJV].
NOTE: Abraham believed in Heaven, even though he lived before a single verse of the Bible was written. God revealed the truth of Heaven to him, though we are not given the details on how God did that. The truth of Heaven’s reality built courage into Abraham’s life to always obey God.
ANOTHER NOTE: When our hope is focused on everything else but Heaven our Spiritual fruit dries up, just like the fruit on the fig tree Jesus cursed. Some say, “Some people become so Heavenly minded they’re no earthly good!” I say, “When we become Heavenly minded we become a blessing to those around us.”
6) Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
(GNB) The gospel keeps bringing blessings and is spreading throughout the world, just as it has among you ever since the day you first heard about the grace of God and came to know it as it really is.
QUESTION: What was it that had “come unto” them?
ANSWER: It was the message of grace, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Colossian believers had come to thoroughly understand this message.
7) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
8) Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
QUESTION: Who is this Epaphras?
“Epaphras was then with Paul. Phm_1:23. He had probably been sent to him by the church at Colossae to consult him in reference to some matters pertaining to the church there.It is evident from this, that Epaphras was a minister of the church at Colossae, though there is no evidence, as has been often supposed, that he was the founder of the church” [Barnes].
QUESTION: What had Epaphras told Paul about the Colossian believers?
ANSWER: He had told Paul that the Colossian believers truly had the love of God for one another.
9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
QUESTION: What do we learn here?
ANSWER: Vs. 3-4 are reinforced. Paul, and his entourage, constantly prayed for these believers because they were walking out the message of loving one another.
QUESTION: What did Paul ask God to do for these believers?
ANSWER: He asked God to fill them “with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” He saw potential in them and began to pray that that potential would be fulfilled in them.
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church