Summary: To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. - Colossians 1:2 It is amazing when we take a bird's eye view of the bible or step back and consider things we usually don' .
To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. - Colossians 1:2
It is amazing when we take a bird's eye view of the bible or step back and consider things we usually don't when just reading through the epistles. One thing that stop out to me is that Paul the Apostle was writing to God's people in a city. We sometimes in our evangelical culture think of each of the epistles as being written a a church building, house church or small gathering of believers. But in most cases, the epistles were written to believers in a city, and usually not just a few believers but hundreds or in the case of the Church in Ephesus, thousands! So each letter was written to believers all in one city as there was only one denomination (you could say) in each city and that was the Church. That gives a great sense of the unity the early believers had and if someone confessed Christ they were part of the one Body and one Church that existed.
Though there have always been fractures in the Church even in the Scriptures we read of some false teachers drawing away people to themselves. Yet, overall the Church remains united in the common faith given to all saints. Some groups arose in Early Church history that had deviant views where still true believers were a part of but it became "unhealthy" division such as the 2nd century belief of Montanism. Eusebius of Caesarea says, "And he [Montanus] became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning." According to our day, this was an ultra-charismatic group that claimed revelations of the Holy Spirit that could be extra-biblical and supersede those of Paul or John the Apostles. Yet there were very genuine true believers amongst this group and one namely Tertullian, who in the end left the group. God's Church is unified, the Lord knows those who are His, may we seek to find that unity of brethren and look past divisions that have occurred in the body of Christ.