Paul had not met the people this letter is addressed too (1:2). He had never been to Colosse. He heard about this church through through his friend Epaphras who shared about the church and everything that was going on (1:7-8). Paul wanted to make sure that the members of this church knew that even though he didn’t plant their church, he was praying for their church (1:3, 9). He was praying for their knowledge and fruitfulness of the gospel among them (1:9-10).
Most of Paul’s letters have a purpose behind them. Generally a church is dealing with an issue, or several issues, as in the case of Corinth, and Paul writes a letter to settle a doctrinal question or dispute. We can look through Colossians and see the issue addressed in this letter is the sufficiency of Christ. So the first half of the book is rich with doctrinal content explaining the preeminence of Christ in creation and as the head of the church. Observe the doctrinal richness and clarity in Colossians 1:15-18 and 2:9.
SIDE NOTE: I won’t spend too much time here, but my Thesis Paper for my Bachelor’s Degree was about Christology (the Study of Christ) in Colossians
Before we go much further it is worth highlighting Colossians 1:28, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” The goal of the Christian life is to grow to maturity in Christ. Reading the word of God is helpful, but reading alone doesn’t bring maturity. We must apply his word to our lives, submit our character to Him and allow ourselves to be changed from the inside out. We should look more like Christ today than we did yesterday… to our spouses, to our children, to our bosses and to our workers (3:18-4:1)
When we were little we used to mark our height against different objects in the house to tell that we were growing. Tests were given in school to measure if we were growing in knowledge. But perhaps the most difficult measure was given to my parents as they trusted and tested me with responsibility to see if I was growing in maturity. And so it is with the Christian life. Mature believers recognize that they have a responsibility to help and encourage their younger brothers and sisters in Christ. That’s a good place to pause for meditation today. Am we growing in Christian maturity?
FATHER, Thank you for the honor we have to pray for others and even to pray for those we may have never met. We lift up our sister churches in our area and around the world and ask for knowledge of you and your will to abound. We pray for fruitful ministries filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We thank you for the grace to grow more and more into the image of Christ and ask that we would be found faithful in yielding to you, Holy Spirit, and your word. We pray for maturity. Thank you for the grace of shepherding your flock. IN JESUS NAME, AMEN.
What did you take away from today’s reading? What are your thoughts or questions? Feel free to comment below and enter the discussion.