Summary: An inspiring introduction to the powerful, Jesus-focused book of Colossians.
Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—
Intro to Colossae
We don't know when it was founded, but it was already in existence in the days of Xerxes, 500 BC, the king during Esther's time. So, it was an old city.
It was located about a hundred miles from Ephesus, in present day Turkey.
Lycus and Meander rivers, right in that little valley, three important cities grew. One was called Hierapolis, the other was called Laodicea and the third was called Colossae.
area was known for two earthquakes. Earthquakes destroyed Laodicea many times.
by 400 A.D.... 400 years after Christ ... Colossae no longer existed...totally out of existence. And in the day of Paul it was a nothing place, it was totally insignificant. It was on the way down to its extinction.
The People of Colossae:
1. They had a good start.
Not a famous city, a very insignificant one. How did the church get started there? Well, let me give you just a quick look at that. On Paul's third missionary journey, he went to Ephesus. Ephesus was a great center of Asia Minor. And Paul went there on his third journey and he stayed there for three years. Remember?
Paul never visited Colossae, as far as we know, but people started coming to him from all over Asia Minor.
During those three years the church at Ephesus was founded, and all seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 were founded, you have Ephesus, Laodicea, Smyrna, Philadelphia, Pergamum, Thyatira, all of those churches were founded during that time and so was the church in Colossae and so was the church in Hierapolis? They were all outgrowths of Paul's ministry on his third missionary journey, as he ministered there.
• The Gospel had filled the whole area… This is the way the Gospel spread. The Gospel spread in such a powerful way that it filtered out from the cities to the countryside and region surrounding.
In Acts chapter 19, verse 10, it says, and this is part of his ministry there in Ephesus, "And is continued for the space of two years," this was the first part of it, "so that all they who dwelt in Asia," that's Asia Minor, a province, "all that dwelled in Asia Minor heard the word of the Lord Jesus both Jews and Greeks." Verse 26, when they wanted to throw him out, they said, "Morever you see and hear that not alone in Ephesus but almost throughout all Asia Minor, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people saying, They are no gods which are made with hands." So, it is the comment of Luke in verse 10 and it is the comment of his persecutors in verse 26 that his gospel had filled the whole of Asia Minor. From the vantage point of Ephesus, people would come hear the gospel and go back.
The gospel spread in such a great way that it was impacting the whole region. We are strategic… we are in a city, it is imperative that we work and pray hard that Christ will help us to impact the culture of our city.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we worked in such a way that churches and Bible studies started springing up in people’s homes in Mustang, Midwest City, Tuttle, El Reno, Norman, Piedmont, Yukon? Then Stillwater, Cushing, Paul’s Valley, and more? Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone felt the Spirit speaking to them to go and plant churches in those places?
Wouldn’t it be incredible if the owners of porn stores, the drug dealers and the gang leaders of Oklahoma City got together and said this about us? Almost throughout all of Central Oklahoma, that Bible Methodist Church has done the terrible deed of dampening our business! Let’s go after them!
All because some people came here and heard the Gospel. Then they went back home and said, “We need this where I come from.”
That’s what happened here:
From Colossae came a group of people ... Epaphras, Philemon, Apphia, Archippus. From Laodicea came Nymphas. All of them received Christ under the ministry of Paul, all of them went back to be used of God to begin churches. The most influential person in the beginning of those three churches in those cities was Epaphras.
2. They had elders that were committed & concerned.