Reasons for PraiseRev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., May 27, 2018
Part of the Colossians series.
This coming Sunday we will open the Word of the Lord once again to Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Our second message from this epistle—one of four New Testament letters known as the ‘prison epistles’ written by Paul while imprisoned in the imperial city of Rome—will come from verses 1-8 of the first chapter.
Last week we discovered that Paul wrote to the believers who were members of the little church, located in the now extinct city of Colossae, in order to warn them against falling prey to the seductive advances of a false teacher. And this teacher was an influential man who had been promoting a twisted message that he claimed was a better gospel than the one preached by Paul and embraced by the Colossian Christians. And yet, what this man was marketing, and some of the members of the church were attracted to, was no gospel at all! So, with pastoral affection and warm concern beating in his heart, Paul penned this inspired letter to them.
Having introduced the Epistle last week, our journey through this letter will start at the beginning. We will be particularly interested in the way Paul describes his Christian friends in Colossae—as “saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae” (v. 2). While this may appear to be common greeting found in many of Paul’s letters, it is anything but ordinary! Every word is full of rich doctrinal truth and practical encouragement!
3We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. (KJV)