THE GLORY OF THIS MYSTERY
The Grace Of God In Truth
Paul uses his standard salutation establishing his call as an apostle and recognizes Timothy. He greets the church and speaks of the family at Colossae with great affection. Paul continues to condense the gospel by mentioning the grace that saves and the peace that follows. Salvation is from God. Paul was not nominated or voted on for the office of apostle, rather he was appointed by Jesus, authorized to speak on his behalf, and commissioned to organize the churches. When Paul speaks, it should be received as Jesus personally addressing the church (2 Corinthians 5:20). He acknowledges their faith and encourages them by letting them know that he regularly prays for them. Paul commends the Colossians because they are progressing and have been fruitful from the start. The Colossians had learned the gospel from Epaphras, who had communicated their love in the Spirit to Paul. Paul prayed for their knowledge and godly habits. He prayed for spiritual understanding and discernment, faithful obedience, and moral excellence. He reminds them of their identity in Christ. They could find strength, endurance, patience, joy and thanksgiving because they had been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of God. They are the children of God because Jesus has redeemed them, forgiven their sin, and they are his righteousness.
All The Fullness Of God
Paul transitions into a beautiful declaration concerning Jesus nature, work, and his preeminence. Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, not simply because he is a human made in the image of God, but also because he possesses the same nature as God. The Father is invisible to us, but God reveals himself by his Son. Jesus said that to see him was to see the Father. Jesus is the firstborn of creation due to the truth that Christ pre-existed with the Father and the Spirit before the world was created. Jesus is the divine agent of creation, and everything owes its origin to him. Creation exists for Christ. Every particle and molecule in the universe are held together by Jesus, and he has dominion over all things. He is the head of the church, and he exercises his authority by the Spirit and the word. Jesus is the greatest, supreme, foremost, best, finest, and most excellent over all things. Jesus is fully God and fully man possessing the fullness of God, and it is through the person and work of Jesus Christ that reconciliation his made possible by the peace that comes through his cross. The glorious news of the gospel is that Jesus reconciles those who are alienated, hostile, and capable of nothing but evil. His death is our life. His perfection is our righteousness. Our faith has a sure object in Jesus. We have the promise that he will keep us to the end, and the demonstration of his work in our lives will be seen in the ongoing pattern of repentance and faith. Jesus nature, work, and preeminence are the reason for ministry, and the gospel gives us reason to proclaim and hold fast to our hope. God will keep his people by the work of the Holy Spirit, but believers are responsible for persevering and working out their salvation if they expect to be vindicated.
Christ In You
Paul speaks of his sufferings for you because participating in the sufferings of Christ is the result of a believer’s union with Christ. He then speaks of his body because of the universal church which he serves through suffering. Paul participates in the sufferings of Christ because there is nothing he can add to the finished work of Christ. God's plan of redemption had been hidden for ages and generations as God continued to reveal it until he reached the apex of his revelation in Jesus, the Word who became flesh. God has revealed himself most clearly in Jesus, and he is the one that Paul preaches. The gospel of Jesus Christ reveals God's plan of redemption which includes the Gentiles. Christians are united with Christ, and it is his finished work that gives the believer the hope of glory. Paul proclaims Christ through the Word of God. Paul explains that through his preaching he is prophetic, fatherly, and scholarly. The Spirit and the Word will do their work through faithful preaching. Paul labors with all his energy and his might, but it is Christ who works in Paul enabling him to fulfill his calling.
Things To Consider:
- Why do you think Paul called attention to the role Jesus gave him?
- What is the gospel? How do you know?
- What does it mean if someone that professes faith in Christ does not bear fruit or increase?
- Why isn't Paul jealous of Epaphras?
- Why must a believer love the people of God?
- How does one increase in the knowledge of God?
- How does the Father qualify us? How do you know?
- What is the domain of darkness?
- How did Jesus transfer you to the kingdom of his beloved?
- How is Jesus the image of God if he is invisible?
- How can you describe the greatness of Jesus?
- What is your response to Paul's description of Jesus?
- Is your heart filled with affection for Jesus? Why or why not?
- Why do we forget just how incredible salvation is?
- Have you thanked God for reconciliation?
- How does Jesus make peace by the blood of his cross?
- How will Jesus present you holy and blameless?
- If grace saves us, why are we held responsible for working?
- Are you willing to suffer for Christ's church?
- Why is a knowledge of God linked to his word?
- Why is preaching essential for the church?