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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Introduction to Colossians - A Template For Every Christian

Title: A Template For Every Christian
Text: Introduction to Colossians

Whenever starting a new book of the Bible, it is always important to study and look up these 4 things: Title, Author, Date, and Purpose. Looking up these things will bring context, insight, historical, and practical depth to the book.

The Book of Colossians was written to the church of Colosse. In the Greek it means "To the Colossians." This was an epistle (which is a letter) written to the Christians in the city of Colosse in Asia Minor, about 100 miles east of Ephesus, and within 10 miles away from Laodicea (v. 1:2)

The Apostle Paul wrote this epistle from prison in Rome. He is the author of this book (v. 1:1). Scholars agree that Paul wrote Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon approximately at the same time to be sent out by one of his disciple's and friend Tychicus to grow and guard the church (v. 4:7, Ephesians 6:21)

The Book of Colossians was written approximately in 60 A.D. Scripture and history tell us Paul was in a Roman prison from 60-62 A.D., so we know that Colossians was written during that time and most likely at the beginning of his imprisonment. This time in history, Christianity was flourishing but was being persecuted to extreme lengths. From physical persecution to doctrinal heresy, the church was being hounded by Satan. This enlightens our attention to the importance of the book of Colossians because we know it was a letter sent to a church that was going through a tough culture of paganism and false Christianity (v. 2:8, 18-19). We are living in these same circumstances today! Praise God for His word, so we can have and show people the Truth.

There are two emphasis that Paul wanted the church of Colosse to know.
1. The Preeminence of Christ over the world.
2. How to live for Christ in the world.

The book can be broken up into 2 sections:
1. Chapters 1&2 - Doctrinal (Teachings of Christ)
2. Chapters 3&4 - Practical (Application in Christ)

Paul's main concern for writing this letter was to MAGNIFY Christ and His truth against all false doctrine and help ground the Colossians in the their faith.

Template For Every Christian.
Paul wrote this epistle in a very simple way that we can all understand and see the nature of Christianity at work. The book of Colossians can be laid out in a template through each chapter for our lives in 4 ways:

A. Submit to Christ.
"That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." (v. 1:10)

B. Stand in Christ.
"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the word and not according to Christ." (v. 2:8)

C. Serve for Christ.
"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (v.3:17)

D. Speak like Christ.
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt,that you may know how you ought to answer each one." (v.4:6)

Wrapping Up.
Whoever submits to, stands in, serve for, speaks like Christ their live will reflect one of a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Colossians gives us a great template of how a believer should live!

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