MONDAY, MAY 21
SCRIPTURE: COLOSSIANS 1
Today we start another book. This book that we call Colossians is a rich book, full of theology and application. Each chapter is full of incredible truth that deserves to drilled down into. In fact, it would be more than possible for us to spend several days in each chapter. But our promise was one chapter a day. And the promise will be kept even though that means we will have to gloss over some pretty important stuff and basically ignore some other important stuff.
Colossians is one of Paul’s prison epistles. He wrote it while in a Roman prison. He opens the letter like he does all of his other letters: identifying himself (and in this case Timothy); and, identifying his audience. He then offers a very typical Pauline greeting: grace and peace. Don’t miss the importance of the order of that greeting. Grace must necessarily precede peace. We will never know God’s peace until we have first experience God’s grace.
If you will skip down to verses 15 and following, you will find the basis of this chapter. In this section, Paul talks about who Jesus is. He is the image of the invisible God (the God not seen) as opposed to idols made by human hands which could obviously be seen.
He is the firstborn of all creation. The word firstborn does not refer to a physical birth or a creation event in which Jesus came into being. He is not a created being. He is eternal. He has always existed. The concept of firstborn is about position not creation. In the eastern culture, the firstborn male in the family had all the rights of inheritance and power. That is the sense in which Jesus is firstborn.
Jesus is creator. Of everything. And He holds everything together. In verse 18, Jesus is the head of the church. In verse 19, He is preeminent in all things and in Him is the fullness of God. In other words, Jesus is fully God. In verse 20, He is the reconciler who made peace with God possible by His death on the cross.
Now let’s change direction just a bit. Because of who Jesus is and what He has done, we who were totally opposed to God (verse 21) have been reconciled to God. Verse 13 says we have been rescued from the domain of darkness and moved into the Kingdom of the beloved Son. We have been given a forever relationship with God.
This relationship is the basis for a lot of important things. Way back in verse 9, we read about being filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. The only way we can know about God and His plan is through Jesus. Verse 26 says the mystery of God’s plan is being revealed to those who are in personal relationship with God.
In verse 10, we find where our relationship with God through Jesus is the basis and foundation of living a different life: a worthy walk. Trying to live like that apart from God is the basis for self-righteousness. Living like that in relationship with God through Jesus is the basis of an incredibly fruitful life and a deepening understanding of who God is (verse 10).
See, I told you there is a lot of stuff in theses chapters. By the way, I didn’t even scratch the surface. But maybe I gave you enough to encourage you to read a little more and dig a little deeper.