Spiritual Journey with Jesus is what we will be talking about in today’s RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast We are going to unpack Colossians 1:3-8, but before we do that lets get a little background of the book of Colossians.
Paul did not plant the Church of Colossae, Epaphras did. It’s an extension work of Paul from his time in Ephesus, Paul wrote this book along with Ephesians around the same time from prison in Rome. It’s a small port city in Turkey about 100 miles inlet from Ephesus.
Who is Paul writing to? A small community of Gentile Saints who seem to be drifting in their understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ. In this letter, Paul is addressing this drift by focusing on 2 key essential understandings of who Christ is. First is the person of Jesus of Christ, which includes His character and nature, and second the work of Jesus, which is all about redeeming those who are captive to sin by dying on the cross and paying the price for our freedom.
What is the purpose of Paul writing this letter? To confront the heresy threatening the peace and purity of the Church. There was a combination of Eastern philosophy and Jewish Legalism, with elements of Gnosticism creeping in. Gnostics were supposedly people in the know with an understanding of deep things of God. The problem is they did not teach about the deity of Christ and that He alone is enough.
Let’s Read our first few verses of Colossians 1:3-8 and unpack them.
Vs 3-8 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.[a] He is a faithful minister of Christ on your[b] behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. ESV
Point 1: Statement in Vs 3-4 we see Paul as the great Encourager to other believers. He is grateful for what God is doing in the lives of others. As 1 Cor 12:12-13 says We are all members of one body.
In verse 5b we see Paul start to unpack the stages of a person’s spiritual Journey
Point 2: Vs 5-6 they heard the gospel
Who was the messenger Epaphras?
Key phrases Paul uses: Word of Truth, Message of God’s grace, The whole world
Focus on Jesus and His preeminence and the importance of sharing God's truth.
We don’t want to be more of a prosecuting attorney than a Christian witness, less attack on beating people up, more talk on the goodness of God and the gospel.
Point 3: Vs 7 The were Discipled- Statement: Epaphras did not simply lead them to Christ and abandoned them. He taught them the Word and sought to establish their Faith.
Point 4: Vs8- They became faithful in Christ- Paul said and has made known to us by your love in the Spirit.
When The word of God is planted in the heart, it will produce fruit. Paul said in vs 6 All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit.
Why are people not bearing fruit?
John 13:35 Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”
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