Tuesday, February 28, 2017



Colossians 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Paul wrestled in prayer, struggled with hearing of heresy among the Colossian believers, and worked to encourage them and the Laodiceans through correspondence. He could not be with them in person because of his imprisonment, but he was with them in spirit. He was with them in spirit because he was in constant remembrance of them and their challenges through intercessory prayer on their behalf.

Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;           3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Paul works that others will believe and trust in Jesus and then grow in their relationship to Him. Paul desired the Colossians and others who read his letters to have a tenacious confidence in their salvation. Paul wanted to be certain that believers had an assurance of their inheritance in Christ that no one could talk them out of. He wanted them to understand that they should be sewn together by their mutual affection for one another. Jesus Himself commanded that His followers love one another and said this would be the evidence of their trust in Him. Jesus taught that the defining characteristic of His disciples would be love for each other.
John 13:35 (KJV) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Paul wrote that he wanted them to be confident in their understanding of the Gospel and the deity of Jesus. One of the heresies plaguing the church at Colossae was that Jesus could not be fully human and fully divine at the same time. Like Gnosticism which came at a later date, this heresy taught that matter was evil which would mean that a perfect God could not inhabit a human body made up of matter. Paul had countered this by pointing out in chapter one that God created everything, created matter. They mystery of the Gospel message is that Jesus, Father God, and the Holy Spirit are One God and that this God, because of the work of Jesus, can live in those who believe.

Colossians 2:3 (AMPC) In Him all the treasures of [divine] wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God) and [all the riches of spiritual] knowledge and enlightenment are stored up and lie hidden.

If you are seeking knowledge, wisdom, insight into life, they are found in Jesus Christ. There is no higher source than the Word of God made clear by His Holy Spirit. The heretical teaching was that there was some type of “higher knowledge” given only to a few, but Jesus makes the knowledge of God’s love available to all who believer.
Colossians 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

False teachers can sound very convincing, with plausible ideas; but if they stray from the basic message of redemption through faith in Christ ALONE, they are leading people down a wrong path. Other religions can sound tempting, but they are deceptive. Those who teach that any religion can save a person are false teachers.

John 14:6 (AMP) Jesus said to him, “I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Colossians 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Colossians 2:5 (CJB) For although I am away from you physically, I am with you in spirit, rejoicing as I see the disciplined and resolute firmness of your trust in the Messiah.

One of Paul’s facilitators (or as I call Susie – Tater) had brought him news of the growth in the believers at Colossae. He could not be with them physically but still held them up in prayer and praised their undaunted commitment to Christ.

Question any teaching that:
·    Contradicts the Word of God
·    Presents Jesus as anything less than completely God and completely man from conception
·    Indicates there is some “higher knowledge” than the Word of God
Says you must accomplish works in order to be saved

Sunday, February 26, 2017



Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

Paul considered it a privilege to suffer for the sake of Jesus and His gospel. He actually experienced joy while being imprisoned for sharing the good news. Imagine that! Amazing! His joy came from the flow of the Holy Spirit through him as he ministered to the Gentiles, leading them to Jesus and discipling them through correspondence. Paul was not saying that Christ’s sufferings were not sufficient to pay the price of our sin. Jesus’ death on the cross did not ring up as “insufficient funds” with the Father. Jesus paid it all. Paul is indicating that those who seek to serve Jesus will suffer, especially ministers of the gospel of grace. Yet, their joy cannot be quenched.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (CJB) But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it will be evident that such overwhelming power comes from God and not from us. 8 We have all kinds of troubles, but we are not crushed; we are perplexed, yet not in despair; 9 persecuted, yet not abandoned; knocked down, yet not destroyed. 10 We always carry in our bodies the dying of Yeshua, so that the life of Yeshua may be manifested in our bodies too. 11 For we who are alive are always being handed over to death for Yeshua’s sake, so that Yeshua’s life also might be manifested in our mortal bodies. 12 Thus death is at work in us but life in you.

John MacArthur Study Bible:
4:12 Paul faced death every day, yet he was willing to pay that price if it meant salvation for those to whom he preached (cf. Phil. 2:17; Col. 1:24; 2 Tim. 2:10).

Jesus explained to His disciples that if He was persecuted, they would be as well.

John 15:20 (NASB) Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

John 16:33 (AMPC)   I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

Jesus did not say we “might” have trouble but that we “will.” Just what I wanted to hear, NOT. He does promise that He will be there with us in the midst of our sufferings. Our troubles bring glory to God when they are the result of obedience to Him. We have victory because of Jesus and through His Holy Spirit.

Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

God was Paul’s employer and had assigned him to a particular group as pastor and overseer, primarily the gentiles. His job description was not by his choice, but by God’s design alone. Paul did preach to Jews, but his main calling was to spread the gospel to the gentiles, the news that they too could be redeemed by Jesus’ death on the cross. The gospel is for everyone who trusts in Jesus and His teachings.

Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

We like verses 26-27 in the Voice translation:

Colossians 1:26-27 (VOICE) the mystery of the ages! What was hidden for ages, generations and generations, is now being revealed to His holy ones. 27 He decided to make known to them His blessing to the nations; the glorious riches of this mystery is the indwelling of the Anointed in you! The very hope of glory.

God has revealed the mystery to those He has chosen, those who believe that Jesus is the Messiah sent by the Father to redeem them. And what is this mystery? The mystery is that the Lord makes His home in us, the Holy Spirit comes to live in each believer.

John 14:16-17 (KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Christ is in us via the vehicle of the Holy Spirit.

Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Paul’s determination was to preach the simple truths of the Gospel message, Jesus and His accomplishment on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.

1 Corinthians 2:2 (AMP) for I made the decision to know nothing [that is, to forego philosophical or theological discussions regarding inconsequential things and opinions while] among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified [and the meaning of His redemptive, substitutionary death and His resurrection].

Paul spread the good news and trusted that Jesus would apply it to the lives of the hearers. Paul taught doctrine, taught Christians how to live in his writings. However, his primary life’s purpose was proclaiming Christ and Him crucified.

Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Paul was an “energizer bunny” because Christ was his perpetual, holy infusion of strength and power. The characters in The Lord of the Rings were sustained by Lembas bread. Paul had no need of that because he was filled with the Bread of Life.

Challenge: We are all commanded to proclaim Jesus, to share the gospel with others. No, we do not all have the gift of evangelism; but we can all tell our friends and family the good news of what Jesus has done for us. Make it a point to share the Gospel with someone this week!

Thursday, February 23, 2017



Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

In addition to being the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Jesus is the head of the church, the body of believers, the Messianic Community. He is Lord and Master of each individual believer and of the collective group of believers known as the church, the Bride of Christ. Jesus was the first fruit of the resurrection, the first person to die and be raised permanently to eternal life. Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, but Lazarus eventually died again. Jesus, on the other hand, has been permanently restored to life as we will be eventually. Jesus is pre-eminent in all things, even resurrection.

Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language


1. Superiority in excellence; distinction in something commendable; as pre-eminence in honor or virtue; pre-eminence in eloquence, in legal attainments or in medical skill.

The preeminence of Christianity to any other religious scheme—

2. Precedence; priority of place; superiority in rank or dignity.
That in all things he might have the preeminence. Colossians 1:1.

Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Colossians 1:19 (CJB) For it pleased God to have his full being live in his Son

This is a bold statement of the deity of Jesus, that He was fully man and fully God when He walked upon this earth. One day it will be our pleasure to be completely one with the Father even as Jesus is one with the Father. It is our reward for total trust and surrender to Jesus. This is the “good” that the Father works through all things, that we be made to be like Jesus.

Romans 8:28-29 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Jesus’ work on the cross was the final peace offering, the final sacrifice, to reconcile humanity to God. As our High Priest, Jesus sacrificed Himself to Himself, in order to redeem us from sin. A bit of a mind-bender, but true.

Hebrews 7:27 (VOICE) Unlike other high priests, He does not first need to make atonement every day for His own sins, and only then for His people’s, because He already made atonement, reconciling us with God once and forever when He offered Himself as a sacrifice.

We receive what Jesus has accomplished on the cross for us when we surrender our lives to Him, trusting Him alone for salvation.

Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Before a person trusts Jesus, he/she is the enemy of the Lord.

Matthew 12:30 (NIV) “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

However, Jesus died for those who would eventually believe even while they were still His enemies.

Romans 5:6-8 (CJB) For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people. 7 Now it is a rare event when someone gives up his life even for the sake of somebody righteous, although possibly for a truly good person one might have the courage to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in that the Messiah died on our behalf while we were still sinners.

When we trust Jesus, when we become Christians, He transforms us into brand new people. This is the bedrock of Christianity, that Jesus does in and for us what we could never do for ourselves. His part was His sacrifice on the cross. All we had to do was to receive this gift, to trust Him for eternal life, the privilege to live with Him forever. His Holy Spirit is daily in the process of making us more and more like our Master. Paul is making the same point to the Colossians as he did in his letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:27 (CJB) in order to present the Messianic Community to himself as a bride to be proud of, without a spot, wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without defect.

We do not first have to clean ourselves up to be His bride. He takes us where we are and does the cleaning Himself!

Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

“If” should be translated “for as much as” or “since”. There is no doubt that the true believer will continue in the faith because God will make sure that he/she does. Someone who completely leaves walking with the Lord, who denies or rejects Him, who walks away and never returns, most likely had never truly come to know the saving grace of our Lord.

The Lord takes those who trust in Jesus and changes them completely. He places His desires in them because the Holy Spirit lives in them. They are made into entirely new creations.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMP) Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

God Himself is the enablement to continue growing in faith, but we must stay plugged in to Him. He has saved us, and that cannot be revoked; but it is also by His power that we continue growing in Christlikeness.

Philippians 1:6 (AMP) I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].

The true believer WILL continue in the faith. This is referred to as “the perseverance of the saints.” We will NOT be moved away from the Gospel because the Lord will keep us there.

Jude 24-25 (NASB) Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

We should not take a detour from following the Lord; but if we as true believers do try to take the wrong path, the Lord will rein us in and redirect us like a shepherd uses his staff to grab a stray sheep.

John 10:27-28 (NASB)  My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

No one, not even ourselves, can separate us from the love of God once we have surrendered ourselves to Jesus.

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ponder This: Jesus DIED to reconcile you to Himself – to enable you to come into relationship with Him. He did not NEED us, but we NEED Him. Have you received this priceless yet free gift of salvation? Do you believe that Jesus Christ was God incarnate – fully man but fully God? Do you believe that He came to earth for the purpose of redeeming, paying the price to buy His people back from sin’s slavery? Have you placed your total trust in Jesus to change your life and make it brand new? If not, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017



Colossians 1:9 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;

Because Paul had heard that the believers at Colossae were a fledgling church, he continually interceded on their behalf.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV) 17 Pray without ceasing.

Paul was practicing what He often preached that believers should continually lift each other up in prayer.

Ephesians 6:18 (KJV) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

We should always be in an attitude of prayer and ready to intercede at all times for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul and his co-laborers prayed that the Lord would enlighten the Colossian believers not only with knowledge but with the wisdom and spiritual discernment to apply knowledge.

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Since they have received Jesus by the wooing of the Holy Spirit, and that Spirit now indwells them, Paul prays that the differences between the old man and the new man would be apparent. They would not be earning salvation through worthiness because that is impossible. The fact that they had trusted Jesus already would enable them to live in a worthy manner. Their faith would be pleasing to God.

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

We cannot please God in our own strength or power. We cannot please God outside of the Spirit. We can only please God by Jesus’ strength flowing through us by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:5-8 (NIV) Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Spiritual fruit includes leading others to Christ, worshipping and praising God, giving of one’s resources to God’s work, living a life that shows evidence of being changed by God, and exhibiting the “fruit of the Spirit” found in Galatians.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The change brought on by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be evident in our lives. Stephen Curtis Chapman has an excellent song about this called “The Change.” You can listen to it here:

John MacArthur has a great explanation of “increasing in the knowledge of God.”

John MacArthur Study Bible:
increasing in the knowledge of God. Spiritual growth cannot occur apart from this knowledge (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). The evidences of spiritual growth include a deeper love for God’s Word (Ps. 119:97), a more perfect obedience (1 John 2:3–5), a strong doctrinal foundation (1 John 2:12–14), an expanding faith (2 Thess. 1:3; cf. 2 Cor. 10:5), and a greater love for others (Phil. 1:9).

Psalm 119:97 (MSG) Oh, how I love all you’ve revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long.

Growing in the knowledge of God comes through the study of His word, hearing the word preached and taught, discussing the Lord with brothers and sisters in Christ, and meditating (pondering) the things learned. Our thoughts about God should be continual, never-ending. The result will be perfect peace.

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

We have no strength to obey or please God on our own, but Jesus infuses us with His own strength.

John 15:5 (KJV) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Philippians 4:13 (AMP)   I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

In our study of Ephesians, we discovered a new synonym for longsuffering – longanimous.

longanimous - adj showing patient and unruffled self-control and restraint under adversity; slow to retaliate or express resentment.

This reminds me of something my mom’s CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) used to say, “Whatever my sovereign Lord God has called me to bear, He will enable me to endure.”

This patient, longsuffering, longanimous attitude WITH joyfulness can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. The reason the Christian can remain unmoved by whatever is going on in our lives is that our Advocate, our Captain, the Lord Jesus is fighting on our behalf.

Psalm 62:6 (KJV) He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.

You can listen to John Michael Talbot sing Psalm 62 by clicking the link below:

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

We like verse twelve in the Complete Jewish Bible:

Colossians 1:12 (CJB) giving thanks to the Father for having made you fit to share in the inheritance of his people in the light.

Jesus’ work on the cross made us worthy to be adopted into His family, living in His light. We were merely dust, but by His grace, we are His precious jewels.

Psalm 103:14 (CJB) For he understands how we are made, he remembers that we are dust.

Malachi 3:17a (AMPC) And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure).

A song that brings home this point is “Diamonds” by Hawk Nelson:

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

God, by the blood of the Perfect Lamb, the finished work of Jesus on the cross, moved us from the kingdom of Satan to being a royal priesthood in the Kingdom of God.

1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

Our sins are forgiven when we receive God’s free gift of salvation, purchased for us by Jesus’ shed blood on the cross. He continues to cleanse us each time we confess our sins to him.

1 John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Colossians 1:15 (AMP) He is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator] of all creation.

Jesus is the God-man, fully man yet fully divine. Jesus did not divest Himself of His power as God: He chose to limit Himself as to when and how much He would display His might. He is firstborn, not in the sense of being a created being, but as the preeminent, pre-existent One. Jesus Himself told the disciples that since they had seen Him, they had seen God.

John 14:9 (AMP) Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and you do not know Me yet, Philip, nor recognize clearly who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’

The only way to see God with the naked eye and not be incinerated is by seeing Him incarnate in the person of Jesus. This truth is also proclaimed in Hebrews:

Hebrews 1:3 (NIV) The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

God, Jesus, The Word, spoke and the worlds were created. Everything we see and all the invisible realities were created by Jesus. A great song to worship this Creator is “Because of Who You Are.” You can listen to it here:

This shows us how important words are – the words of God and our words to one another. Speech is the vehicle God chose to create everything, so our ability to speak should be used for His glory. Our ability to speak and communicate with Him and each other, sets us above all other creatures and is an essential part of being made in the image of God.  God created everything for Himself and for His glory. We are blessed to enjoy His bounty because He decided to share it with mankind. As His creation, and especially as His adopted children, we who believe should live our lives in a way that is honoring to God. We should exalt the Lord, not only in words, but through our actions.

John 1:1-3 (NIV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

I love this verse in the Amplified Version:

Colossians 1:17 (AMP) And He Himself existed and is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [His is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.]

Jesus existed before all of creation. Since He IS God, He was not a created being but has always been. He did not create the world and then step away. He is the glue that holds the galaxies together! His is the hand that holds the planets in their orbits! As an old song says, “He can turn the tides or calm the angry sea.” Or as we sang as children, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

Ponder This: Paul prayed the Colossian believers would grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God. Part of that process is pondering, meditating on, ruminating on Scripture, God’s word. Jesus created us, saved us, and sustains all of creation. We need to fill our minds with thoughts of the awesomeness of the Savior we serve. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017



Colossians 1:1 (KJV) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

Paul identifies himself as an apostle “by the will of God.” Paul did not proclaim himself to be an apostle, nor did he choose that calling. Apostle is a word meaning “messenger.” Paul, along with the twelve disciples including Matthias who replaced the betrayer, Judas Iscariot, was Jesus’ messenger and was allowed to use the word apostle as a title. The Apostles preached and taught the Gospel of Jesus, and some of them were used of the Holy Spirit to write the New Testament. The Apostles were all witnesses of the resurrected Jesus. Paul is in this category because Jesus Himself appeared to him on the road to Damascus and changed his life forever (Acts 9). The Lord designed the task of apostleship for Paul and declared it to him.

Acts 9:15-16 (KJV) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

Paul loved Timotheus (Timothy) as his son because he discipled him. Paul encouraged Timothy as he worked alongside him and later when Timothy became a pastor himself. 

1 Timothy 1:2 (KJV) Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Timothy could be with Paul even though he was imprisoned because Paul was allowed to have his own quarters.

Acts 28:16 (KJV) And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

Paul was under house arrest. There were no ankle monitors in those days, so he was in the company of a guard at all times.

Colossians 1:2 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.

As with the letter to the Ephesians, Paul was writing to believers, those who had trusted Jesus, at Colossae and then at Laodicea. Paul extended his usual greeting to the recipients of the letter by pronouncing grace and peace to them from the Lord.

Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

In expressing his thankfulness for the Colossian believers, Paul refers to God as the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” which affirms Jesus’ deity. The Son shares identity with the Father. The Father and Jesus are one in nature and in kind.

John 17:21 (KJV) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Paul and his fellow-laborers had the believers at Colossae on their prayer list since Epaphras had brought him news of their conversions, their trust in Jesus and how they ministered love one to the other.

Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

Their hope is the certainty that Jesus has prepared a place for those who have trusted in the redemptive work that He accomplished through the cross and the resurrection. This is the hope, the trust, that we will share in the glory of God in Heaven. They had this hope because the good news had been shared with them, and they received and trusted in this truth. The gospel, the good news, was the truth that Christ was victorious over Satan, sin, and death by His self-sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.

Colossian 1:6 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:

The gospel message is intended for all classes, races, gender, and political groups of people – all the world. The evidence of their salvation is the fruit – their love for their brothers and sisters in Christ. They heard the gospel message, they received God’s grace, and their knowledge was observed in the way they carried themselves in everyday life.

Colossians 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

Epaphras was the shepherd (pastor) of the congregation at Colossae. He had brought the message of redemption through Jesus to them and instructed them in the ways of the Lord.

Colossian 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

Epaphras had journeyed to Rome to report to Paul the love of the believers for one another at Colossae. The fact that they were able to love in this manner was evidence of the Holy Spirit working in and among them.  As we will see further on in this letter, Epaphras had also shared some disturbing news of heresy in the church with the Apostle Paul.

Ponder This: Paul was all about preaching the gospel message, telling others about the saving grace available through trusting Jesus Christ. However, he also mentored churches by mail. He encouraged them in godly living and gave instruction to guard against heresy. Is there a new believer in your life that needs a mentor? Are you in need of a mentor? Encouraging one another and building up the body of Christ should be the work of every mature believer, not just the pastor. 

Friday, February 17, 2017



Chapter 1 – We learned that when we trust in Jesus, we are graciously adopted into the family of God. The mystery of the Gospel is that the Holy Spirit dwells in every believer regardless of nationality or background. In Christ, we are redeemed, rich, and recalibrated to be suitable for the work of the Lord.

Chapter 2 – We found that we had been spiritually dead-men walking until the Holy Spirit awakened us to salvation through Jesus Christ. Once we have trusted Jesus, we are held by the grip of His grace and cannot lose our place in the Family of God. We learned that all Christians are equal – there is no Jew, no Gentile, no man, no woman, no rich, no poor – we are all transformed into God’s precious jewels.

Chapter 3 – Since we are one body, one Messianic community, there should be no discrimination among believers. Jesus gives all believers the ability to approach God’s throne boldly as His blood covers our sin and makes us reconciled to the Father. Paul prayed passionately for the Ephesian believers, a prayer we can use as an example for praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Chapter 4 – Paul again emphasized that all Christians make up one body of believers. Then he gave instructions for building up that body, strengthening our relationships with the Lord and each other. A part of this process is to take off the “old man,” the sinful lifestyle of our past and put on Jesus, dress ourselves in His righteousness.

Chapter 5 – We are to imitate Jesus – be His mini-me, the child imitating the Father. Jesus has delivered us from our former way of life in the shadows of sin and enabled us to live in His light to the glory of God. We are to be characterized by submission, first to the Lord Jesus and then to one another. In so doing, we will put God and others before ourselves.

Chapter 6 -  Proper submission in our earthly relationships brings honor and glory to the Lord. God equips us with the armor needed to engage in daily spiritual warfare against Satan and his influence. Finally, Paul instructs us to be persistent in prayer always for all believers. 

Colossians Introduction

Author: The Apostle Paul is identified as the author of this letter to the church at Colossae in the text itself. This has also been confirmed by many scholars of the early church and by the fact that it closely correlates with the letter to Philemon which is universally recognized as being written by Paul.

Recipients: The letter is addressed to the church at Colossae but was to be circulated from there to the church at Laodicea. Colossae had been an important trade city until the trade route changed to move through Laodicea. It was near Ephesus, and the church was founded by Epaphras who apparently was saved during a trip to Ephesus. Although Colossae was a Roman city, there was a large Jewish colony there. So, the Colossian church was a mix of Jews and Gentiles. The letter may have been written at about the same time as Ephesians and the letter to Philemon. Tychicus was delivering the letters and escorting the runaway slave Onesimus, now a brother in Christ, back to his master Philemon who lived in Colossae. Epaphras was a student of Paul and had made him aware of the problem of heresy in the church at Colossae.

1.               Chapter 1
·    The person of Christ
·    Reconciliation
·    Paul’s work
2.               Chapter 2
·     Warning against heresy
·     Sufficiency of Christ
·     Mistake of reverting to bondage
3.               Chapter 3
·     Forgiveness
·     Putting off and putting on
·     Relationships
4.               Chapter 4
·     Religious duties
·     Commendations
·     Greetings

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Ephesians 6:18-24

We are beginning something new that we hope will be helpful. When we look up a word in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, we will put the Strong’s number in superscript after the word. That way if you wish to look it up for yourself, it will be easier for you. If you do not own a copy of Strong’s, you may use an online version such as the one found at http://biblehub.com/strongs.htm

Ephesians 6:18 Praying4335 always with all prayer and supplication1162 in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

MacArthur Study Bible:

6:18 This verse introduces the general character of a believer’s prayer life: 1) “all prayer and supplication” focuses on the variety; 2) “always” focuses on the frequency (cf. Rom. 12:12; Phil. 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:17); 3) “in the Spirit” focuses on submission, as we line up with the will of God (cf. Rom. 8:26, 27); 4) “being watchful” focuses on the manner (cf. Matt. 26:41; Mark 13:33); 5) “all perseverance” focuses on the persistence (cf. Luke 11:9; 18:7, 8); and 6) “all saints” focuses on the objects (cf. 1 Sam. 12:23).

Prayer indicates worshipful, humble prayer. The Greek word sounds like our word prostrate, a position of humility before our King. Adoration and praise should always be a part of our prayer life. Confession and thanksgiving are another component of our worshipping the Lord in prayer. Supplication is petition, requesting something from God for the person being lifted up in prayer. When we remind ourselves of the awesomeness of our Lord, we can confidently make our requests known to Him.

Pray always – never stop praying. We are to be alert to pray in every situation. Being in an attitude of prayer means we can immediately switch from person to person conversation to communicating with the Heavenly Father about their needs.

What does it mean to pray in the Spirit? We need to be vertically lined up when we pray, praying in accordance with the will of God. As we saw in our study of John’s gospel, praying “in Jesus name” means in a manner that glorifies Him.

We are to be the watchman on the wall, the person on guard duty in our prayer lives. We should be awake and observant, to be ready to pray at all times. When we see a need in the Messianic Community (those who believe Jesus to be the Messiah), we should lift it immediately to the One who can meet it. We should also be prepared to pray for the Lord to draw those who have not yet trusted in Him.

Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Paul asks the Ephesians to pray for him as well. He asks that the Lord would give him the words and enable him to boldly preach the gospel even in his situation of being imprisoned for doing so. This is in accordance with what Jesus told His disciples:

Matthew 10:17-19 (NASB) But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.

Note that he did not ask them to pray for his personal comfort or even for his release. The mystery unlocked was that the gospel was intended for ALL who believe and trust in Jesus, not only the Jews.

Ephesians 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NASB) Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Paul had already been speaking boldly which is why he found himself in prison in the first place. Still, he asks them to pray that he will continue to unashamedly preach the gospel no matter the consequences. Paul did not want his humanity to get the best of him but wanted to continue walking and moving by the Spirit. His desire was to be faithful ambassador for the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 6:21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

Tychicus was a convert to Christianity from Asia Minor and had been sent by Paul on missionary journeys. He was carrying the letter to the Ephesians and could give them a first-hand report of how Paul was faring in prison.

Ephesians 6:22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

Paul wanted to reassure the Ephesians that he was doing well. He did not want them to be overly concerned about his condition.

Ephesians 6:23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity861. Amen.

Paul prays that the God-head would grant the believers at Ephesus and all who would read this letter as it was passed to other churches peace, love, and faith. He also asks that grace for daily living be granted to all who have trusted Jesus, those whose love for Him could not be destroyed.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:
Sincerity861 – aphtharsia – incorruptibility: gen. unending existence. (fig.) genuineness – immortality, incorruption, sincerity.

Ponder this: Prayer is really the final piece of the armor of God. Prayer and Bible Study are how we receive the battle plan from our Captain, Jesus Christ. Praying prepares us for battle, encourages us in the midst of battle, and comforts us during the difficulties of spiritual battle. It is also the way we can build up ourselves and others as we engage in spiritual warfare.