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Clear Loving Communication

Colossians 1:1-3

Letters are a special form of communication.  As they are a potentially permanent record, most people take care that their letters accurately reflect what they want to say and the emotions they want to express without ambiguity; knowing it may be read many times, shared, copied and archived.  This letter by Paul to Christians in Colossae was just like that.

Faith That Works

Colossians 1:4-6

Some people think that faith is a personal fantasy to make the believer feel better.  In the minds of many, all faiths are equal in providing personal well-being and community purpose.  Although those who trust in Jesus receive His peace and joy, and they are certainly part of a community with an internal and external purpose - faith in the Lord Jesus is a life-changing adventure which affects every part of who we are until we see the Lord Jesus in Glory (1 Corinthians 15:19).  And by God's grace, the way we relate to Jesus affects the lives of those around us (Matthew 5:16).

Living Gospel Growth

Colossians 1:6-8

All biologists know that growth is one of the properties of living organisms.  It usually occurs by cell division and multiplication, so that new cells are formed, the body increases in size and learns how to coordinate its activities so that it functions effectively.  The template for this behaviour is in the DNA which provides all the messages to tell the new cells how to function.

Learning To Grow In The Gospel

Colossians 1:9

The birth of a baby is just the beginning of the process of growth to maturity.  The infant has a wonderful new body and mind but does not know how to use or control it.  In the same way, new Christians have all the potential of the life of God but are vulnerable until they have learned how to live as a mature adult.

Qualified For Heaven

Colossians 1:10-12

Qualifications are important.  Usually, they mean that you have studied well, trained hard and are competent to do the job.  Many people think that in the same way we qualify ourselves for heaven by learning from the Bible, working hard at following the example of Jesus and thus proving our suitability for God's presence.  All those things are good and should be a part of our Christian discipleship, but none of them qualify us for heaven.  Although Paul does not minimise the importance of pleasing the Lord (Ephesians 5:10), even our best efforts cannot qualify us for heaven (Isaiah 64:6): b

Choose To Give Thanks

Colossians 1:13-14

Wise parents teach their children to say, and mean, three important words: 'please', 'sorry' and 'thank you'.   Yet all of them are against our human nature.  We would rather demand our rights than wait for somebody to be pleased to give; we resist admitting our failure; and feel that gratitude makes us indebted to others.  In the previous verse, Paul the Apostle encouraged the Colossian church to live maturely, "... and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light" (Colossians 1:12).

Who Is Jesus?

Colossians 1:15-17

Faith in Christ, is just that: not faith in the church, or leaders or our own ability to follow religious rules (Galatians 2:16) - but trusting in the person of Jesus Christ.  Of course, nobody can believe in Him unless they know who He is.  Therefore, it is critically important to know His identity and authority.  Today's verses explain both.

Jesus is Number One

Colossians 1:18

Jesus is Number One!  Already in this chapter, Paul has described Jesus Christ as the 'image of the invisible God' (Colossians 1:15), 'Firstborn over all creation' (Colossians 1:15), 'Creator of everything' (Colossians 1:16): now Christ is presented as 'Head of the church' (Colossians 1:18), 'Firstborn from the dead' (Colossians 1:18); and later the 'Fullness of God' (Colossians 1:19) and the 'Reconciler of all things' (Colossians 1:20). There is no doubt that Jesus takes the highest place in every way.

Jesus - The Fullness Of God

Colossians 1:19-20

For those who think that Jesus was merely a good teacher, these verses will come as a shock.  The Son of God contained all the fullness of God (Colossians 1:19-20).  Everything that identifies God was in Jesus Christ.  So, the great divine characteristics of perfect love, absolute authority and infinite power were and are in Jesus.

Jesus - The Reconciler Of Enemies

Colossians 1:21-23

Conversion, from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God, is a huge change (Colossians 1:13): from aliens to citizens; from enemies to allies.  Before conversion, everybody is outside of God's kingdom, opposed to it in thinking and actions, and personally rebellious against the sovereignty of God (Philippians 3:18-19).  The product of their lives, however apparently good and applauded by others, is offensive to God because it reeks of self – and God’s Word is offensive to them (Jeremiah 6:10).  Unsaved minds are opposed to God’s authority resulting in behaviour which Paul describes as