So many blessings that only God could count them
Paul states his position before God that he is an Apostle of Jesus Christ but only by the will of God. If we have a position in the kingdom of God it better be sanctioned by the Triune Godhead. Paul does not forget Timothy his brother in Christ. They had a very close relationship with each other and their bond has always been very positive in a warm way unlike Mark who Paul seemed to have some fundamental problems with as a person. If we have a special bond with a Christian please do not take it for granted. Tell that brother or sister that you appreciate him or her.
Paul acknowledges to the Christians and all the faithful brethren of Christ in Colosse and he gives the most gracious response by saying ... "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." They were obedient to God so he blessed them which is just one more addition to the warmness of God if we desire to follow His Son Jesus Christ.
Paul felt so good about this fellowship that he actually gave thanks to God because he was so encouraged and he made sure he prayed for them always so we should engage in the same thing. If a person comes to my mind I will try and pray for them; however, I am so busy that the outcome is not always ideal if you know what I mean. I also want to point out that Paul speaks a little more simple to Colosse as opposed to the Philippians because he had direct contact with the latter but Epaphras had far more hands on ministry with the Colossians.
An example of what I just said is ... "Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus"... this is evidence that Paul had to go by reliable hearsay from good sources but I believe he really got excited when love was so present in this fellowship to all Christians. We really need to follow this same great example of the Colosse fellowship.
Paul was so optimistic at their spiritual progress that he talked about their hope laid up for them in heaven which we all as Christians should have; however, if we do not have this hopeful truth in our life more than likely some kind of sin/sins is present in our journey and we need to deal with our transgressions.
Paul reminds them that they were incredibly blessed to be presented with the gospel of Jesus Christ to begin with but also adds that this very world was receiving the saving message of the Son of God. Paul explains that they were very fruitful for God but it was because they heard the correct message from the very beginning and they kept abiding in Jesus Christ with both inward and outward obedience to God.
Paul then acknowledges their pastor Eparphras who he referred to as a fellowservant. A minister is the boss of the church but first and foremost this person of God is a servant. This pastor was able to give a good report to Paul that the Colosse church had love in their spirit. We need to check our spirit everyday and make sure we have the love of God in our spirit. Let me quote Colossians 1:1-8 so you can read the original text and perhaps refer back to this passage in the Bible.
(1) " Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, (2) To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying for you, (4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, (5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; (6) Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: (7) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; (8) Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit." Colossians 1:1-8.
Paul refers to himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God not only because it was true but because I believe he desired to do his best. I joke around with myself because the hardest part of my job is getting to work because I know it will be a difficult time all day long. I say, "Go to work" and this other part of me says no but I always talk myself into going because I know I have to make a living and put food on the table.
When I arrive at work I just fall into character and I really want to do a good job. We may grumble a little when Jesus asks us to do something very difficult. Christians are not supposed to do this but we are human with doubts and insecurities. Every time I stepped out in faith I desired to do an extra great job because my heart was in the right place with the whole Triune Godhead. I am sure the Apostle Paul wrestled with all these emotions but when our spirit is right with God things will fall into place and divine truths will begin to unfold as we step out in obedience to Him.
Paul and Timothy worked together and he even saw him as a son but here he calls him brother. I only have one non relative that calls me son and not only do we have a friendship but she has seen me in several visions which most of the time gave me encouragement. There was only one time that the Lord allowed her to see me in a horrible light at one of my worst moments. Well at the very least it made me think and that is when I personally do my best in a serious state of thought. I do not believe everything is as simple as most people in my life come across but that is just the way I am as a person.
Paul calls the Christians in Colosse saints and the faithful brethren in Christ. The most favorite expression that Paul enjoyed using so many times was, "In Christ." This should give us a clue that as believers in Jesus Christ we are to be focusing on being, "In Christ." What better way to live but if we sense that we are drifting away from this our God is gracious enough to bring us back into proper fellowship with His Son because He sees our heart. God understands we live in a world that has virtually nothing to do with His Son Jesus Christ. It is His pleasure and delight to bring us back into an abiding relationship with His Son which by the way was the Apostle John's most favorite biblical expression (abide in Jesus Christ). Two different sayings but they both mean the same thing.
As I already explained Paul says to the church at Colosse that they are brothers and saints. It was Paul's way of saying I want you to be good to Christians (brothers/sisters) and faithful to God (saints). Faithfulness and character go hand in hand with our Christian life. Since our journey as believers in Jesus Christ down here on earth is a test of character we might as well be faithful in obedience to God. Paul also wishes them grace and peace which is the full favour of God and all the blessings that come with this wonderful gift.
Paul gives thanks to them because he had a high appreciation for them but also understood that all good comes to us through God. He said in essence you have faith in Jesus Christ, love for the brethren and then Paul tells the Colossians their hope is laid up for them in heaven. Notice how simple this is --- faith in Jesus Christ, love for the brethren and hope laid up for you in heaven. Faith, hope and love are the three graces in our Christian life. The more we fix our hope of reward in heaven the more we will be free of our earthly treasure which can be bondage if we do not see this as a gift from God.
Paul talks about the word of truth of the gospel which is the grace of God in truth through His Son Jesus Christ. Verse six simply says if we have the Son of God in our hearts we should tell other people. Why keep it to yourself unless you are living like the devil which will bring more harm than good?
The moral is we should be living right and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world because most of the time they don't even know they are perishing and on their way to the horrible place. Most people think everything is right with themselves and God but they do not even know Jesus Christ. They have been blinded. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord then now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of God into your life. I certainly hope you just made that all important eternal decision.
Paul calls Epaphras who was the teacher at the church of Colosse a faithful minister and a fellow - servant. They were co- laborers in the work of the Lord especially since they were engaged in the same service for Jesus Christ. The minister or the members at the church of Colosse did not have a problem with the spirit of love. This is given to us by the Holy Spirit if we are willing to receive this wonderful gift of God.
God Bless you,