Thursday, September 02, 2021

2021.09.02 Hopewell @Home ▫ Colossians 1:1–2

Read Colossians 1:1–2

Questions from the Scripture text: Who wrote this book (Colossians 1:1)? What is his title/office? How did he become this? Who is with him? Whose brother is he? To whom is this book addressed—what two things does he call them (Colossians 1:2, cf. Colossians 3:20)? Where are they? What two things does he pronounce upon them in blessing? From Whom?

The opening, like the rest of the letter, is saturated with Christ. Paul identifies himself with reference to Christ, identifies his readers with reference to Christ, and even gives a greeting that is a blessing from Christ. 

First, Paul identifies himself with reference to Christ. He is not writing in his own behalf. He is writing as an apostle. An apostle is more than a representative. When he writes as an apostle, every word is as completely from Christ’s personal authority and relationship to them as if He Himself held the pen. And Paul reminds them that this apostleship was God’s idea and God’s action.

Even when Paul refers to Timothy, there is a reference to Christ. Timothy may be his brother in the ministry, but how is he the Colossian Christians’ brother? By their being in the same family of the same God by union with the only-begotten Son. 

Second, Paul identifies his readers with reference to Christ. They are saints, holy ones. In Christ, they are set-apart and precious to Paul for his Lord’s sake. And they are faithful brethren. In Christ, they are family, and Christ has made them faithful. This letter is of vital importance not only because it is from Christ, but because it is for those precious ones who are Christ’s.

Finally, Paul gives a greeting that is a blessing from Christ. We have no righteousness or strength of our own, so there is nothing we need more than grace. And we are wholly deserving for God to be our enemy, so there is nothing we need more than peace. But this letter’s opening greeting is to pronounce both of these from God. He is not only almighty and therefore able to give grace and peace, but also our Father and eagerly willing to give grace and peace. 

Marvelously, even with grace and peace from God our Father, these are also pronounced from our Lord Jesus Christ. He is not only the One Who became man to save us, but the One Who is very God of very God, so that grace and peace come from Him every bit as much as from the Father.

Are you Christ’s? Then this letter is from your Lord, for you because you are your Lord’s, by the grace of your Lord!

What is your most fundamental identity? What is the ultimate guide for embracing and enjoying it? What is your greatest need for enjoying and fulfilling your identity?

Sample prayer: Our Triune God, we bless Your Name, for You alone are worthy of all worship. How marvelous is Your grace that You have not only created us in Your image but also redeemed us into Your family. Grant that Your Spirit would make us to know You as Father, even as we are conformed to the Son. Forgive us for how easily we become thoughtless of Christ, and write upon our hearts this portion of Your Word, so that we may be ever-mindful of Him, in Whose Name we ask it, AMEN! 

Suggested songs: ARP45A “My Heart Is Greatly Stirred” or TPH374 “All Hail the Power of Jesus’s Name”

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