Having diagnosed the danger at Colossae, given the remedy, along with important warnings about the false teachers, Paul turns in chapter three to the practical implications of the teaching he so carefully outlined in the preceding chapters. We will look at three foundational Pauline concepts that help us to understand how to apply the truths of Colossians to our own lives.
Having assessed the problem and prescribed a solution, Paul now gives three warnings to the church at Colossae cautioning them about what will happen if they continue to dabble in the false teachers’ smooth-sounding arguments. His warnings are a good reminder to us to not indulge in human customs or legalism, but to look to Christ, in whom we have been given everything we need for life and godliness.
Paul moves from analyzing the crisis in the church at Colossae to proposing the solution. Since the problem has been caused by the introduction of fine-sounding but deceptive arguments about Christ, the antidote is to re-focus on the genuine article: Jesus Christ the Lord. Paul realizes that this counterfeit picture of Christ jeopardizes both doctrine and practice, so he tells them to continue to walk in Christ, as they had done at the outset. To help them better understand what is needed, he outlines what it looks like to "live in him."
Paul concludes his important teaching on God’s reconciliation of sinners to Himself by noting that believers must persevere to the end, remaining established, firm, and unmovable. But this raises the question as to whether Paul is teaching that after we are saved by grace, are we to work to keep our salvation? We will explore Paul’s teaching that Christians are to both persevere in the faith and be sovereignly preserved by God’s gracious work in Christ applied by the Holy Spirit.
After opening his letter with prayer for the Colossians and a concise theological exposition of the Father’s redemptive work in Christ, the apostle Paul turns to doxology. His praise of Christ and his work of redemption and reconciliation takes the form of a hymn which exalts Christ’s supremacy over the creative and redemptive aspects of the universe. The apostle’s poetic exaltation of Christ gives us important insights into who Jesus is and what he is doing.
In our last sermon on Colossians 1, we saw that part of normal Christian life is to give thanks. Today we’ll look at the three specific actions by God that are the foundation for why we are to give thanks. We’ll see that these divine actions are the core of the Christmas story, the story line of Redemption.
We saw last time that Paul prayed persistently that the Colossians would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. He then goes on to explain his purpose for praying that: so that we might live a life that is both worthy of and pleasing to the Lord. We’ll look at the template that Paul provides that helps us to clearly see how we can tell if we are living a life that pleases the Lord.
As we move into the body of Paul’s letter to the Colossian church, we see that the apostle is thankful for their faith, love, and hope, all of which are grounded in the gospel. Paul takes pains at the outset of his letter to make sure his readers (then and now) have a clear understanding of the biblical gospel. We’ll explore Paul’s points about the centrality of the good news of God’s grace in Christ.
Paul includes a benediction in the salutation of his letter to the Colossians. In his modest little greeting, 'Grace and Peace to you through God our Father,' the apostle packs a number of rich redemptive truths that teach us about God’s work of atonement in Christ.
In addition to informing his Colossian readers that their new identity in Christ makes them saints, the Apostle Paul also informs them that they are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Because faith is so important to the Christian life, and there are a number of popular misunderstandings about the nature of true saving faith, we will look at the character of biblical belief.