Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Colossians Studies|
Chapter: Colossians 1
Passage: Col 1:24-26
A. Find Out:
1. In what did Paul rejoice? v.24a
2. And what did he receive? v.24b
3. Why? v.24c
4. What had Paul become and how? v.25a
5. What did he now present? v.25b
6. How does he describe it? v.26
Paul now speaks about suffering for the Gospel. The suffering was first experienced by Christ himself. It was the rejection by the world, and the world's opposition to him. This is the suffering that the New Testament speaks about. Follow Paul on his journeys in the Acts and you see the same thing, rejection by the Jews wherever he went, opposition and persecution. Thus Paul was now experiencing and sharing in the same things that Christ had suffered.
This wasn't just a spiritual thing, this was something experienced in the flesh, that meant he did literally suffer physically as he was opposed by the enemy. To see a list of these things read 2 Cor 6:4-10 & 11:21 -33. Yet Paul is happy to put up with all these things for the sake of the church, so that the Gospel may go forth and the church be built up and encouraged.
Paul does this because he is aware of his calling by God. Jesus came to him and revealed himself. More than that he revealed the Gospel, the wonder of what God had planned from before the foundation of the world, what had been a mystery to the Jews, and what had now even revealed through Paul's ministry.
Chapter: Colossians 1
Passage: Col 1:27-29
A. Find Out:
1. To whom has God revealed this mystery? v.27a,b
2. What is the mystery revealed? v.27c
3. What was Paul's task? v.28a
4. With what aim? v.28b
5. How does he do that? v.29
Paul has just said the mystery, the Gospel, has been disclosed or revealed to the saints, to the Christians. Now he expands on that.
First of all, to WHOM it has been revealed? The Gentile Christians. This in itself was a major revelation for the Jews who never seemed to have realised that God really meant them to be a light to the nations (the Gentiles).
Second, WHAT had been revealed? That the outcome of the Gospel of Jesus Christ resulted in 'Christ in us'. This was something that all previous seekers through the prophetic words of the Old Testament had really never understood, that the Messiah would eventually come to live in them, yes he himself actually IN them! And because he now lives in us that gives us hope to believe for eternal life. He is our means to heaven and to eternity, a glorious inheritance.
Third, HOW that mystery is now being administered by Paul: he is proclaiming it, challenging his hearers, teaching them, imparting the truth with the end objective of seeing as many people as possible respond and come to God through Christ, thus being made perfect in God's sight through Christ's work.
Fourth, HOW Paul is able to do that: by the strength that God gives him by the power of the Spirit within him.
Chapter: Colossians 2
Passage: Col 2:1-5
A. Find Out:
1. What did Paul say he was doing for all in that area? v.1
2. What two things did he say he wanted to achieve? v.2a
3. With what consequence? v.2b
4. What did he say were in Christ? v.3
5. What did he want to avoid happening to them? v.4
6. What did he say he felt about them? v.5
You may have gathered from the three ‘Think' questions above that we are going to consider this passage in reverse order. First we note the concern Paul had: that the church at Colosse might be led astray by fine sounding philosophical arguments. There were cultic groups around in those days who worked on either mystical knowledge or on philosophical argument to create a following. Paul knows that neither of those things is the answer, simply knowing Christ.
This is why Paul keeps on talking about the “mystery”, for there were “mystery religions” around at that time emphasising “special knowledge” that only came through them. For Paul the mystery is the plan that God had from the foundation of the world but which had only become obvious with the coming of Jesus and the establishing of the church.
So, he says, if you want wisdom and knowledge you need to know Christ, and having received the Gospel and believed, you will go on to know Christ more and more as your hearts are encouraged and you are built together in love. Your heart needs to be touched, not only your mind. This, says Paul, is what I am striving for with all the churches, that as you are built up in love and are encouraged, you will KNOW Christ in your daily experience.
RECAP: "Paul's Work " Colossians 1-2
In this second short group of 3 studies we have seen Paul speak about :
Although a short section (and we make it short to highlight the important section that follows), it has important things in it. In it Paul reveals something of the tough side of his ministry. He suffers opposition for the Gospel and it is sometimes a struggle. It isn't always easy! But he also shares something of the wonder of his ministry. Part of his ministry was to receive from God the understanding of the Gospel and convey the wonder of it, that through Christ we become children of God who have the very presence of Christ within them. This presence is the answer to all the world's pretensions and arguments. Christ alone is the answer!
1. Christians do suffer opposition, like Christ did!
2. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
3. God's goal is now that we are built up and united in love
4. Philosophy is not the answer!
Thank the Lord for these four lessons.
PART 3 : "Accept No Substitutes!"
In this next Part, Paul will examine and reject a number of things that people were saying and doing as means of reaching acceptance by God. An especially important Part.