Colossians 1:1-8

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints [holy ones] and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:1-2.

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God…” Colossians 1:1a.

Not having seen most of these Christians, Paul asserts his absolute authority to speak for God as one sent by Jesus Christ himself.

“…and Timothy our brother” Colossians 1:1b.

While he is not an apostle, Timothy is spoken of as a brother, which is what all Christians are, brothers and sisters; not Pope, Cardinal, or most reverent reverend, or many of these other high sounding names that imaginative men come up with to call each other.

It is true that the pastor, deacon, or elder of your church has been given authority over the local church and they should be treated with respect, and their advice should be heeded.

It is not true that they should be allowed to bring in teaching which is inconsistent with church doctrine or which is heretical. Nor do they have the right to engage in immoral behavior without being challenged on it.

“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’ Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.” 1 Timothy 5:17-20.

“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ…” Colossians 1:2a.

Christians are called saints because they and all Christians are a holy people set apart for holiness, happiness and having Christ sanctified in them.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10.

We are “…brethren in Christ” saints, yes, sanctified and set apart to Christ, also brothers and sisters in Christ and to each other as children of God.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name…” John 1:12.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…” Romans 8: 14-16.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” 1 John 3:1.

“We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel…” Colossians 1:3-5.

“…praying always for you” again the apostle highlights the need for the continual, fervent prayer essential for all Christian workers, in the pulpit, in home Bible study groups, in the mission field, and rescue missions, to name some.

You will always find something or someone to pray for; you only need to ask your pastor, or any of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Be sure you do not miss out on a simple opportunity to serve Jesus on this earth and make a huge difference in the body of Christ and the lives of others.

Do this especially for your own family, their salvation, growth in Christ, their health, their safety, absolutely everything that God points out to you.

For confidence in prayer confess your own sins before God before lifting others up. Confessing your sins will increase your faith that God will hear your prayers.

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” James 5:16b-18.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16.

This is a no-brainer my friends, all you will lose is whatever time you use praying, and your reward will be great in heaven. No financial advisor will ever give you better advice, ever.

“…since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven…” Colossians 1:4-5a.

Again the apostle brings out the three Christian graces of faith, hope, and love, which have been mentioned on other occasions.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13.

“…remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father…” 1 Thessalonians 1:3.

“For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8.

“He [Jesus Christ] indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart…” 1 Peter 1:20-22.

“…the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.” Colossians 1:5b-8.

It is the “truth of the gospel” that brings forth fruit. We live in a world built upon lies, whether it is the lie of commercialism telling folks that one more thing will make them happy.

The lies of false religions give those who want a god who suits them a way to heaven and offer peace, and if they lie to themselves about it, they will think they have peace.

There is the selfish lie of hedonism telling the unbeliever that their pleasure or happiness is the highest good.

There is the philosophy of evolution deluding people into thinking that they are nothing but an animal and have a right to act like one.

The philosophies of greed, sensuality, sexual immorality, and self-will, all make wonderful promises, until you follow them all the way out and see that they are all destructive in one way or another. Never just listen to the side of those arguing for one of these things, seek out the arguments against them.

For instance, the news carried an article about porn stars who were trying to quit and make a normal life for themselves. The results were disappointing with many of the women who were actually able to leave winding up going back into it because the money was much better than an unskilled woman could earn on the outside.

One woman left, gained a little weight, dyed her hair and qualified for a real estate license (not an easy thing to do) and became quite successful; anyway, for some reason she started to lose weight and began to look like her old self, she was quickly recognized and fired.

You cannot be a star, any kind of a star without someone somewhere recognizing you sooner or later.

There is a warning here. If anyone posts a photo on the internet, a cute baby picture, someone with their dog or posing seductively in a bikini, sooner or later someone else will recognize them and it could cost them their job or their reputation.

I sternly warn you ladies not to let your husband or especially your boyfriends take nude pictures of you no matter how in love you are. What is the harm, they are just for him and he says he loves you?

Breakups still happen, perhaps even to you no matter how wonderful it was. How quickly things become bitterness and acrimony. I know of young ladies who have had their phone numbers written on restroom walls. Today a naked picture can be plastered all over the internet for millions to see!

Your excuse for not allowing him to take pictures is simple and true. What if his phone were lost or stolen, then the pictures would be out there.

Can he not see you unclothed anytime? Can he not at any time close his eyes and dream of you? No dear ladies, do not risk your privacy and reputation no matter how remote such a disaster seems.

The same warning goes for those of you who take nude or seductive selfies to send to your loved one. You risk humiliation, censure, even rape, and if you marry someone who becomes famous for some reason, your pictures will be found and dragged out for everyone to see.

One must always think twice before sending things out over the phone or posting on the internet, especially on forums like Facebook.

While pornography carries a sort of sleazy glamour, you will find that many who have quit, male or female, will not talk about it at all. And many have had abortions or four or five STDs (venereal diseases) and in general are miserable.

“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘This Man [Jesus] receives sinners [porn stars and prostitutes, etc.] and eats with them.’” Luke 15:1-2.

“And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, ‘Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners [porn stars and prostitutes, etc.], to repentance.’” Luke 5:30-32.

“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” Romans 10:9-13.

Yet what does the hedonist or sexually immoral say, “Boy, a chance to make tons of money without working hard, doing something everyone dreams about. What kind of fool would turn that down?”

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 16:25.

Can you see what I mean about following an argument to its conclusion? What are the results of following this particular religion, spending all my time speculating on the stock market, trying to keep up with the Joneses, or acting like a highly evolved animal?

The truth of the gospel then is reality.

“Truth is the revelation of all things as they really are, from God Himself.” William Kelley.

For the unbeliever I give the same advice, follow the gospel of Jesus Christ to its conclusion. Do this by reading the Bible (starting with the New Testament) with just as open a mind as you would have while discussing evolution or any philosophy.

Do this by weighing the Scriptures and the words of Jesus Christ against what you observe around you, not by what you think of phony Christians or greedy churches, they do not represent Jesus. In fact they are contrary to the word of God. Weigh these things honestly without lying to yourself.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is said by Paul here to be, “…bringing forth fruit”, the fruit is the salvation of souls, and the changing of lives, with these same Christians going out and telling others of the peace that can be found in Christ Jesus.

It is said of the outworking of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life is as follows.

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

Some may think it boring, but I think the world would be a peaceful place if it was filled with honorable men and women like this.

Colossians 1:1-8 taken from posted on 11-19-13, updated on 1-30-20.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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