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Summary: PAUL INTRODUCES HIS STABILIZING TEACHING TO THE COLOSSIANS WITH THANKSGIVING, A REMINDER, AND A PRAYER ON THEIR BEHALF

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BIG IDEA:

PAUL INTRODUCES HIS STABILIZING TEACHING TO THE COLOSSIANS WITH THANKSGIVING, A REMINDER, AND A PRAYER ON THEIR BEHALF

(:1-2) GREETING

A. Author

1. Paul – The Authority of Leadership – His Divine Calling

a. Based on his elevated office = “apostle of Jesus Christ”

1) elevated by nature of the function

2) elevated by nature of the relationship

b. Based on Divine Initiative

“by the will of God”

2. Timothy – The Fellowship and Equality of Brotherhood

“our brother”

a leader as well, but on a lower plane than that of the apostles

Paul wrote the letter, but labored in partnership with Timothy

B. Recipients

1. Identified by Character = What type of people

a. Based on Divine Calling

“the saints” – set apart to God and His holiness

b. Based on Family Loyalty and Faithfulness

“faithful brethren”

2. Identified by Location

a. Geographical -- “who are at Colossae”

b. Spiritual – “in Christ”

C. Salutation

1. The Blessing

a. “Grace” – Covers any external circumstances

b. “Peace” – Covers internal tranquillity – based on the objective peace

Christ has accomplished in our relationship with the Father

certainly there were lots of pressures to trouble them

2. The Blessor

a. “God” – Transcendent = all-sufficient and all-powerful

b. “our Father” – Immanent = family provider who loves His own

Note how Paul tailored the greeting of each epistle to the particular need and circumstancs of his audience.

I. (:3-5) THANKSGIVING FOR CORE CHRISTIAN COMPETENCIES

FAITH / LOVE / HOPE

cf. business illustration – What are the core competencies of a company?”

cf. sports illustration – What are the fundamentals?”

A. Two Core Compentency Activities – Present Tense (ongoing activities)

1. Giving Thanks

2. Praying

“always” – could go with either or both; Greek word order does not determine

like English

Note: we stand in the same relationship to God as Jesus does

Jesus = son by nature

us = sons by adoption

B. Three Core Competency Character Traits

1. Faith in Christ – essential for spiritual life and for union with Christ

2. Love for all the saints – supernatural agape love; sacrificial at its core; not just a feeling but taking action that is in the best eternal interest of the one loved

“faith without works is dead” – these two must be combined

3. Hope – presented here as the basis for Faith and Love = feeds and intensifies them

Focus on the Future

Focus on the unseen

We are vulnerable to those who claim to have an inside track on more immediate and more tangible riches of spiritual experience.

What do we learn here and elsewhere about the relationship among these three traits?.Paul treats these together in other passages: Rom. 5:2-5; 1 Cor. 13:13; 1 Thess.1:3; 5:8

Transition: :5b

II. (:5B-8) REMINDER OF THEIR OBJECTIVE ANCHOR –

THE UNIVERSAL AND EFFICACIOUS (PRODUCTIVE) GOSPEL MESSAGE

Don’t pull up anchor now and drift in a different direction; don’t be blown about by

every wind of doctrine

Go back to your gospel roots

A. The Gospel is the Word of Truth – Objective

- every teaching must be measured against this standard

- “faith comes by hearing and hearing by theWord of God”


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