Summary: An introduction to a series on the book of Colossians
Sermon 8/6/06-Col. 1:1-14-an Introduction
This morn. Begin series in the book of Col.
I. The city of Colosse (1:1-2) (read)
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.”
It was located in Asia minor. (present-day Turkey)
Shared the Lycus Valley with cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis. Both were larger.
B. It was a small historically insignificant city.
Had previously been larger because of its location along the main trade route between Ephesus and the Euphrates river, but by the time of Pauls letter it had become a small town that within a few years of the writing of this letter would be destroyed by an earthquake, most likely never to be rebuilt.
All that remains is this tell, unexcavated, and the city would probably not be remembered at all were it not for this letter from Paul.
II. The church of Colosse (1:3-8)
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints-the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the spirit.”
The church was founded as a result of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus. (Acts 19:9-10, 26)
“But some of them became obstinate; they refuse to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. (Demetrius)26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia.”
See the impact of Paul’s ministry for those 3 years in Ephesus. Spread all over Asia (minor), the province. (slide)
Colossae was located 110 miles east from Ephesus
How did the gospel spread from Ephesus to Colossae? Vs. 7
B. Epaphras heard the gospel from Paul and took it back to Colossae.
During those 3 years of teaching in Ephesus apparently Epaphras had heard the gospel and been trained before being sent back to his hometown of Colossae to plant a church.
-Now he has traveled 1300 miles to give Paul a report on the church he has been pastoring. Why?
In these next verse we begin to see the Purpose for the letter and the main theme in Paul’s writing.
III. The letter to Colosse (1:9-14)
“For this reason since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: Bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Purpose: To Refute False Teaching. (9-12)
As we study the book we will see that there were false teachings that were threatening the church in Colossae.
Precise nature is unclear, but can discern the primary errors as we study Paul’s response, also clues in his prayer here for the Colossians.
emphasis on knowledge-forshadowing of Gnosticism-teaching that salvation came through knowledge and not through faith.
The false teachers in Colossae were apparently teaching that there was more to know for true salvation.
Epignosis, the word Paul uses here. (vs. 9-10) literally means full, perfect, precise knowledge.
What sets epignosis apart was the impact the knowledge made on the life to the person. epignosis often refers to knowledge which powerfully influences the form of one’s spiritual life