Colossians 4- We Are The Church

Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Colossians 4:7-14

Often when we think about Paul’s Epistles and all the Churches he has helped plant, we don’t think about all the workers behind the scenes that helped make this happen. The Apostle Paul was a great teacher, preacher, and writer, however has was just a human , just like us. He wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything , of course without God, but also without the rest of the body of Christ, the Church, his brothers and sisters in The Lord

Here we see Paul list several names just for the Church of Colosse, some recognizable like Luke and Barnabas. And some other not so familiar names like Tychicus and Onesimus. However, every one of these Christians played a vital role in building Gods Kingdom, because everyone of them are part of the body of Christ.

Paul does some extensive teaching on the roles in the Church , such as 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, ect. As Paul has stated, the hand is not greater than the foot, and vice versa. Everyone in the body of Christ, the Church, has a role and purpose. Nobody is greater than anyone else.

As Jesus said “Whoever desires to be great, must become your servant” (Matthew 20:26) This should be the attitude of the Church, its not about me , its all about we. Even in my own life, I noticed when I collaborate with other Christians, the Holy Spirit seems to be working more effectively. When we break off and try to accomplish things on our own, we struggle and usually fail. The body of Christ was meant to live and work together, not to separate and compete.

I love reading this acknowledgement from Paul of every brother and sister’s hard work and dedication to the Kingdom of God. As the Bible says “a three strand cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) We are the Body of Christ, We are the Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it in Jesus name , Amen!

Colossians 4- Continue in Prayer

Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.   Colossians 4:1-4

The late Leonard Ravenhill once said “No man is greater than their prayer life” Prayer needs to be central to our existence. Typically people who are uncomfortable praying in public or for others, is because they have a weak prayer life. How can you expect to have a relationship with God, if you never pour your heart out to him? Prayer should be like oxygen for our soul, it’s not an option whether to pray , it’s vital to our spiritual health

The Apostle Paul says here “Continue in prayer or devote yourselves to prayer” Prayer is foundational for our daily life. Before we do anything we should pray about it. Before we leave the house we should pray, before we begin our work we should pray, before we got to sleep , we should pray. Prayer should be central to our daily lives. How do we know the will of God without prayer? 

Paul also asks the Church to pray for them “Praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door” Before we read our Bible, we should pray that the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and understanding. Before we interact with others, we should pray the Holy Spirit gives us the words to speak. The Lord should be leading and guiding our lives, as Christ is our Good Shepherd

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:5-6

Paul instructs the Church, when you share the gospel with others, make sure your speech is “seasoned with salt”, what does he mean by this? If you’re going to be a street preacher, then you need to know what you’re talking about. You need to be able to effectively convey the gospel of Christ, without hostility or rudeness. How do we go about being prepared? Have a strong prayer life, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words to speak, and the ability to understand God’s wisdom. Read your Bible daily with the Helper, the Holy Spirit

If you want to know why God feels so distant or you don’t understand the will of God, ask yourself “How strong is my prayer life”? Time spent with God in prayer and reading of his word, is never time wasted. Everything we do, continue in prayer daily, without ceasing , in Jesus name Amen!

Colossians 3- Servants of Christ

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. Colossians 3:22-25

Slavery or bondservants was a popular practice in the 1rst Century Roman-Greco era. Jesus and the Apostles addressed this group many times, because the gospel will set us free spiritually. Groups that were being opposed now had hope because of Jesus Christ. This is the message Paul wanted to convey to the people, because Christ is Risen, we have the final victory

The Master/Slave relationship in the 1rst century world was more viewed as an Employer/Employee relationship. That’s why Paul says “obey in all things your masters according to the flesh” As servants of Jesus Christ, we are to live Godly lives. That means we are honorable and hard working. We don’t try to cheat our employer or Master, out of time or steal from them. We are the hands and feet of Christ, we are to show respect to our authorities, even when they might not deserve it

However, notice this statement also , “according to the flesh” Regardless of who is our governing authority or boss, Jesus Christ is our Lord and King. We will be obedient and respectful to our authorities, but our allegiance belongs to God. We will not do anything that will go against our Lord Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Peter said “ We obey God rather than Men” (Acts 5:29)

Whatever we do, we do it for The Lord, so if your boss is telling you to sweep the floor or clean the toilet, we will do this in obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord is our Master, our big boss, everyone else is second. When we do things , big or small, we are doing it to please Christ. If you hate your job, still do the best work you can, why? Because this will bring honor to Christ. Be respectful to people even when they are rude, be dependable and reliable, all these things bring honor to our King

This same concept is then applied to our spiritual lives. We are not just Christians in name and title, we are servants of our Master Jesus Christ. That’s a true disciple of Jesus, it’s not someone who says “I’ll do what I want, when I want”, no our attitude is “Lord your will be done”

As Paul also says “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31) In everything we do in life, live to bring honor to our Lord and King Jesus Christ, Amen!

Colossians 3- Foundation of the Family

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Colossians 3:18-21

Paul here gives some more practical and good advice for the Christian family, similar to his teaching to the Church of Ephesus on the foundation of the family. God is a God of law and order, people were made and born with roles and purposes. The image above shows the Christian structure of a family, Christ is the head of the Church and family, then the husband , then the wife, and then the Children. 

This seems very simple and straightforward to understand, however we live in a world today that is so depraved, that the thought of a Godly family is offensive. The world can’t accept the biological reality that God created us male and female.(Mark 10:6) God created and sanctified marriage between one man and one woman.(Genesis 2:24) The world today can’t simply accept these basic truths, because then they would have to accept the fact there is a God, and salvation can only be found in Jesus Christ alone (John 14:6)

So in order for the world to eliminate God, the world will eliminate reality, they will make believe a man can believe they are a woman, they will believe the scientific impossibility that a man can naturally reproduce with another man. Anyone with any basic common sense knows these are illusions, however the world will agree with these lies in fear of being persecuted by the world. 

Even the Church today has become so worldly and broken, that the Church is trying to incorporate these illusions into the Church and reject the authority of the Bible. However Christians who deny the foundations of a family, One Man and One Woman, would have to deny the Triunity of God, Father , Son and Holy Spirit. 

The Son of God, Jesus Christ, humbled himself and became obedient to God the Father, to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2) Does that mean Christ is no more God than the Father or Holy Spirit? No, Jesus is truly God as He is also truly man, but fulfilled his role to the salvation of the world

Marriage can be viewed as the Triunity of God, even though we have different roles doesn’t mean one is greater than the other. As the Bible says “The two become One flesh” (Mark 10:18) The husband and wife are One, yet compliment each other with different roles. It’s the same with the Triunity of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all fully God, yet compliment each other with different roles

The family is the foundation of creation. The reason Satan continually attacked the family is because he knows it will destroy the foundation of society and the Church, which we are seeing today. Amen!

Colossians 3- Peace of God

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:15-17

Peace is a very valuable thing, it’s something that can’t be purchased or prescribed, even though many look for peace in various different ways. How can we truly find inner peace? And why can’t we ever seem to obtain peace? The only way to obtain the Peace of God is through Jesus Christ, period. Jesus will calm the storm in our hearts and minds, because Christ is in complete control of all things

I find it interesting if you look at all the different English translations, some will say “the Peace of God” while others will say “the peace of Christ” , Christ and God are used interchangeably here, and it doesn’t come as a surprise. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh (John 1:14, Isaiah 9:6), the Son of God part of the Trinity (Matthew 28:19) Jesus Christ is your Lord and God (John 20:28) If Christ is not your Lord and God, then this is probably where your issues begin, to deny the true deity of Christ, is to deny Gods redemptive power

The reason you can’t obtain peace outside of Christ is because of our sins. Most people believe they are a “good person” and don’t want to acknowledge their sin, however sin makes us enemies of God (Romans 5:10) You will never inherit peace because you are at war with your Creator, and whether you acknowledge God or not, your soul longs to be reconciled back to our Heavenly Father

Jesus Christ is the only way to be reconciled back to God from your sins (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) There is no other way to be forgiven for your sins, there is no other way to be reconciled back to God the Father, there is no other way except through Christ alone. No other religion or philosophy can provide atonement for your sins. How do we know we are sinners? By the Law of God, hence the Ten Commandments. The moral law of God reveals to us our sinful nature and need for a Savior, Jesus Christ

Paul says “Let the word of Christ dwell in you” hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and let it dwell in you, allow the Holy Spirit to open your heart to plant the seeds of God’s words and promises. Meditate on the Word of God (The Bible) daily and allow it to dwell in you, because the Word of God is alive and active, sharper than a two edge sword (Hebrews 4:12)

If you want peace, seek Jesus Christ, allow the Peace of God to rule in your hearts by the Holy Spirit, Amen!

Colossians 3-Bear One Another

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Colossians 3:12-14

The book of Colossians should be a manual for every Church, there is so much practical instruction and wisdom here. First notice Paul addresses the Church as the “Elect of God”, yes, if you are a Born Again Christian then you are the elect of God, you are a Child of the King, you are part of the Body of Christ. And that’s why this letter applies to all of us Christians, nobody is exempt from these teachings

The next part is Paul describes the fruits or characteristics we should be demonstrating or producing as Born Again Christians. Compassion, mercy, kindness, humbleness, meekness, and patience, does this describe you or your Church? If not, maybe you need to work on that, or maybe your Church does also. The Church is always an interesting entity, so many different people coming together for the same common goal, Jesus Christ. When we bring together all these different people, we have conflicts, however we need to learn to love one another as Christ loves us

As Paul instructs here “Bear and forgive with one another” There are going to be times when your Church family hurts your feelings or does something wrong against you, we are called to forgive them because Christ has forgiven us. Now this should be going both ways, we should forgive any quarrels or fights we may have with one another in the Church. I know this sounds easier then what it really is, but remember the battle doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to The Lord. The Church is the body of Christ, Jesus is the Head of the Church, those Christians who don’t act appropriately will have to answer to Christ himself, not just us

What is the bond of perfectness or unity? It’s love, as Peter said “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8) Remember even when we didn’t deserve mercy or grace, Christ gave it to us anyway, why? Because Christ loves us, our fellow Church family might not deserve to be forgiven however we forgive anyway, why? Because Christ loves us and demonstrated that love for us all on the cross

There is no perfect Church because there are no perfect people. So let’s stop making excuses why we hate everyone at our local Church, there are a million reasons why God could hate us, be God chooses to love us anyway, because God is full of grace and mercy. We need to be more like Christ , and love the Church as Christ loves the Church

Therefor , elect of God, the Church, bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and love and forgive one another, in Jesus name Amen!

Colossians 3- One In Christ

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Colossians 3:11

One of the big mistakes I see made in Christianity, is the alignment with social groups and issues. Now you might wonder what is wrong with this? First of all, we need to understand our identity comes from Christ and not ourselves. When you have become truly Born Again in Jesus, your old self died and your new self was risen with Christ. At this point, I’m sure there are alot of Carnal Christians I lost with this statement, and that is total the point

As the Apostle Paul says here “There is no Greek or Jew, no circumcised or uncircumcised, Barbarian or Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all” Now let me paraphrase this for modern understanding, “there is no black and white, there is no different nationalities, there is no rich and poor , in the body of Christ, we are all one in Jesus Christ. As Christians we are all part of the Body of Christ, the Church , there is no one greater than the other, there is no separation based on race or social status. If you don’t understand this, then you totally missed the root of the gospel

When I see Churches that cater to one particular race or caters to a particular group, this is a complete heresy. There is no Biblical foundation to support this practice whatsoever. Temporarily it might be easier to only associate with “Christians” who look and think only like you, but this isn’t the Kingdom of God. The body of Christ is composed of  “The Great Multitude” (Revelation 7:9) There isn’t only one race in Heaven, or one group in Paradise, it’s the elect from God brought together by one common denominator, Jesus Christ

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13

Paul goes on to teach, there is only One Holy Spirit, and we are baptized in only One Church, the Body of Christ, doesn’t matter who you are , we are Born Again by the same Holy Spirit, by the One and only Lord Jesus Christ, and the only God the Father

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Paul even takes it a step further here, spiritually it doesn’t even matter if you’re male or female , we are all One in Jesus Christ! While we can argue exactly what Paul was referring to here, the point is there is only One God, One Lord, One Holy Spirit, and One Church! (Ephesians 4:5-7)We are all brothers and sisters through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!

Colossians 3- New Man

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Colossians 3:5-8

How do we know if someone is truly Born Again? Jesus said “You will be known by your fruit” (Matthew 7) If someone has truly become transformed by the Holy Spirit, we should see some evidence of spiritual fruit. If someone continues to live in the same sinful lifestyle as before they came to Christ, then they have never been reborn to begin with. As Peter said “It’s like a dog returning to his own vomit” (2 Peter 2:22) Meaning someone who continues to live in habitual sin

The Apostle Paul said “Mortify therefore your members, which are upon the Earth or Put to death, the components of your earthly nature” As Jesus said to the women caught in adultery ,your sins are forgiven go and sin no more” (John 8:11) Jesus didn’t say, your forgive so keep on sinning. There is an expectation of your transformation when you come to Christ, God is not going to leave you where He found you

Going back to what Paul was saying here, notice he lists all the carnal and fleshly sins that we commit, he said Put them to death or in layman’s terms “stop sinning”! This is a message that today’s Church doesn’t even want to hear, we love hearing about eternal life and God’s Kingdom, but sanctification that’s a forbidden word in today’s Carnal Christianity.

Now I know it’s easier said than done, I know there are many of us who struggle with addictions and bad influences, but the Holy Spirit is living inside of you. As Paul said “The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead” (Romans 8:11) Think about that, the Holy Spirit is living inside of You as a Born Again believer in Christ. Greater is He living inside of me, than He that is living in the world (1 John 4:4) 

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Colossians 3:9-10

Notice the language here by Paul, put off the old man and his deeds (sins) and put on the New Man. Your old man was crucified and buried with Christ, your New Man was risen to eternal life with Christ, put on your New Man and walk by the Holy Spirit and not by the flesh

When you understand this concept, you understand what Jesus was saying “Unless you are Born Again, you will not see the Kingdom of Heaven” (John 3:3) Put on the New Man in Christ, Amen!