Thursday, January 12, 2017

Colossians 1:6

Paul says that the “word of truth,” the gospel, had come to them. Before the heresy had begun to creep in, they had started well. They had been given a strong foundation of what salvation and sanctification involved. They had not misconceived it, they accurately understood what the truth was. 

Paul has been ministering as well as many others, and the Roman Empire was being filled with the message of the truth about Jesus Christ. He says that “all the world” (Greek kosmo) was being filled with the truth of God. This Greek word carries many connotations. It means the order of things, the Earth, the system of man, mankind, locality. In this present context the word considered carries the impression of the Roman Empire – of which Paul and the Colossian believers were a part.

Paul says that the gospel was proven true because of the fruit and increase that they were witnessing. Now Paul would never teach that just because something appeared to be popular that it was a work of God. Verse 10 balances this thought. The idea of just because many people like it does not mean that it is right. There has been from the beginning (and is very evident today) many who have taught what people want to hear.[1] The size of the audience does not correlate to the truth being taught.

The image of the truth bearing fruit and increasing is in line with the Lord’s teaching on the Sower and the Seed (Luke 8). Good seed sowed on good ground will bring forth a plenteous harvest. Paul will build on this in verse 10 - “fully pleasing to him bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God….” There he stresses accuracy in what is being taught.

He uses the church at Colossae as an example of this truth. Because they were taught the truth, believed it, and lived it they saw the work at Colossae grow and abound. He is preparing them for the corrective instruction he is about to bring. They started in the truth, but in the coming pages he will deal with a heretical controversy that has begun to invade and infect the teaching and belief system of this church.

Prayer: Spirit, may I be fertile soil that this precious Word of God can not only settle in my life, but that it will spring forth and bring forth an abundance of God's grace within my life. May I see the fruit of new believers develop because of Your Word in my life. Amen.

[1] Consider Paul’s admonition to the young preacher Timothy, “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts.” 2 Timothy 4:3.

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