Summary: To look at the three things the church in Colossae was known for: faith, hope and love. Has introduction to book of Colossians
In Christ You are Complete
The city of Colossae- Colossae use to sit in the Lycus valley near the Lycus
river. It had been a city of great wealth, known for it’s wool and dyeing
skills. It was a large city in 5 B.C., but had been eclipsed by the larger town
of Hierapolis and Laodicea nearby. Colossae is only about 11 miles from
Laodicea, which has the distinction of being known as the lukewarm church
in the book of Revelations. By the time Paul writes this letter it is only a
small village. It has a very diverse population. Greeks and people from the
east were continually traveling by trade route through this city on the way to
Ephesus and points west. Even though they were in decline, they were
exposed to all the modern thoughts of the day and all the philosophies of that
time. It also had the modern problems of idol worship and gross immorality
found in most Gentile cultures.
There is no record of Paul ever personally visiting this city, but
Epaphras, mentioned in v.7 was a convert of Paul. He probably started this
city and possibly the church in Laodicea.
2 Main Reasons Paul wrote to Colossae
1. To encourage the young church in their faith- they were threatened by a
false teaching, but they were standing firm. There was strong evidence of
faith, hope and great love in their congregation.
2. To speak against the heresy threatening this church. More of this is
emphasized in chapter 2, but it is throughout the book. To those who are
confusing the issues, Paul wants to remind them that Christ is all they need.
Even though they face great dangers, Paul is optimistic that they will
overcome them. In fact, he’s very thankful for them. v.3
3 Things this church is known for:
1. Faith- without faith it is impossible to please God or to do great things for
God. With faith, great things can happen in small places. They stepped out
by faith and attempted great things for God even though the church was
small. This became something that was known to Paul even though he hadn’t
been there. It was something that encouraged him. Are we known as a
people of great faith? What have we attempted for God that only He can do
The Rev. and Mrs. R. Porteous were taken prisoners by Chinese
communist bandits in 1931, and led to a lonely spot on top of a hill where
they were to be executed. The leader said, “This is the place.” The
executioner took a long knife from its holder and raised it above the necks of
the courgeous couple. Certain death seemed imminent. However, instead of
cringing and begging for mercy, the couple began to sing. The bandits stared
open-mouthed as they heard this hymn.
Face to face with Christ, my Savior, Face to face-what will it be?
When with rapture I behold him, Jesus Christ who died for me.
These two were ready for death and thought that would be their last song.
But, no order was given for their execution. The executioner returned the
knife to its place, and the couple was released.
The early church showed the world the validity of it’s claims by a clear
faith that demonstrated a belief in a mighty God. See Hebrews 11:32-38.
They faced harsh realities with determination and grace.
2. Love- Their love for God demonstrated itself in a love for other saints.
3. Hope- Their hope was not in this life, but in the next. All of these qualities
led to fruitfulness.
Russell Davis was a 10 year old boy who knew a hope that went
beyond this life. He had fought cancer for 4 years when he wrote this note to
his best friend.
Dear Brian. How are you doing? I’m alright in the hospital but a little
sleepy. I know that you worry about me some but don’t worry too much.
Also if it will help you feel better you can come see me if you have time.
When I die, if I do soon, don’t worry ‘cause I’ll be somewhere special
in Heaven. And sooner than I know it you’ll be up in Heaven with me ‘cause
a thousand years on earth is a minute in Heaven.
I know you’ll miss me when I’m goine but just accept it like you did
with your uncle. My mom will give you something of mind so you can
remember me always. So don’t worry too much Love, Russell.
Three days later, Russell asked for a sip of water and said, “I love you,
Mom. I love you, Dad” And he went home to be with the Lord.
Billy Graham said in his book “Hope For the Troubled Hearted” that