Thursday, January 5, 2017

Colossians Chapter 1: Introduction

J. Vernon McGee refers to the four Prison Letters as the anatomy of the church because they deal with different aspects of the Christian Faith.[1] Ephesians deals with the body and in Colossians we are directed to the head – Jesus Christ. Philippians concerns with the church walking on Earth, and Philemon demonstrates how Christianity works in a pagan world – it is where the rubber meets the road in a Christian’s life.

In this first part of the letter,[2] Paul seeks to establish the position that Jesus is pre-eminent in all areas. He is writing to deal with what scholars refer to as the Colossian Heresy.[3] It appears that Epaphras (who may have been the founder and leader of the church at Colossae) brought to Paul the issues that were creating discussion and division in the church.[4] It appears that Epaphras led the believers in Colossae to an understanding of the grace of God (Col. 1:7), and also those in Laodicea and Hierapolis also (Col. 4:13).[5]

From the account brought, Paul dictates this letter to the church to instruct them to stop the heresy that was encroaching into the churches in that area. He begins with his standard form of greeting, thanksgiving and prayer before moving into the theological instruction on the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: May I be aware of any heresies that are encroaching upon my life today and in my thoughts. May I read Your Word, Father, with a mind to only glean what is true. Amen.

[1] J. Vernon McGee. Thru the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983). Pg. 334. 
[2] The chapter and verse divisions were a later addition to the Sacred Text to facilitate our reading, study, and teaching of the message. In the original context these divisions were absent. 
[3] This will be further developed as we move through this book. 
[4] Having brought this account, it appears that he stayed with Paul in Rome for a while, thus Paul would write in Philemon 23 – “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you.” 
[5] George Buttrick, ed. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1962).

No comments:

Bible Gateway Scripture

Lookup a word or passage in the Bible
Include this form on your page