Colossians 1:1-2 - It's All About Christ!
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father." Colossians 1:1-2
Welcome to our study of the New Testament book of Colossians. Colossians is actually a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the church in the city of Colosse. The city was located in Asia Minor which today would place it in the nation of Turkey.Paul wrote this letter while being imprisoned for his faith in Christ. He addressed the issues that caused division in the church at Colosse and would lead to the demise of the church if he did not respond with Truth. When you read this letter you will discover two important teachings that will impact your life. The first teaching is that Paul directs strategically the focal point of the conversation on Jesus Christ. "It's All About Christ!" is a powerful truth of life. The second teaching is that while this is a letter of antiquity, the eternal message of Jesus Christ is relevant for you specifically. If you follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly and allow Him to influence all the areas of your life then you will find true meaning, fulfillment, and joy.
Paul, the Apostle was introduced in Colossians 1:1. He was arguably the most qualified man in the New Testament to proclaim the message, "It's all about Christ." He wrote not only as an apostle but as one whose life was changed dramatically by Jesus. He was a Jewish Pharisee who rose to a high and influential position in prominent religious circles. However, his focus was on religion rather than on relationship with Almighty God. He tried to gain favor with God through his acts of righteousness and adherence to religious traditions. While he considered himself a leader in the religious world he did not know God personally. It was in his zeal to defend his religious traditions that he felt righteous to pursue, persecute, and kill followers of Jesus Christ. He was self-focused and attempted to gain favor with God by his acts of self-righteousness.
But, God had a plan for His church and for Paul. It was on a journey to the city called Damascus that Jesus knocked down Paul, literally, and revealed His will for Paul's life. Paul was saved miraculously in what we call a "Damascus Road Experience" and it changed his life forever. His life was changed because he realized the emptiness of his self-righteousness. His personal encounter with Jesus Christ changed his focus from self to Jesus. Paul then dedicated the rest of his life to following Christ, to teaching others to follow Jesus, and to defend the Truth of Jesus Christ. A key verse that brings insight to Paul's focus is Galatians 2:20 which states, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." I believe that Paul's life was a living example that "It's All About Christ!" is true.The introduction of Colossians then mentions Timothy. Timothy was being mentored by Paul to be a disciple of Christ as well as a teacher and defender of the faith. While Timothy is mentioned just this one time in the letter he matures into a spiritual leader in the church and authored two books of the New Testament that bear his name.
In the book of Colossians, Paul teaches about the supremacy of Christ, how Christ impacts our lives, and how we should then live daily with Jesus as our focal point. But, he starts by complimenting his readers for their walk with the Lord when he wrote, "To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ in Colosse" in Colossians 1:2.
The believers at Colosse were "holy" which means that they were separated from the world and dedicated to the Lord. They were "faithful" which means that they have forsaken the ways of the old nature and were consistently living daily for the Lord. He calls them "brothers in Christ" which bonds Paul with them as they were members of the family of God. It has been said that "blood is thicker than water" which means that the bonds of family are stronger and run deeper than the bonds of friendship. Paul reminds the readers that they are one in the Lord because of what Christ did for them individually and collectively.
As the man of God, the one who will bring the Word of the Lord to them, Paul then pronounced a blessing upon his readers. "Grace and peace to you from God our Father" reveals that Paul wants God's best for the Colossians in all areas of their lives.The theme "It's All About Christ!" is strong even in Paul's introduction. They owe their lives to the Lord and are brought together as members in God's family because of Jesus Christ.
As we study together the book of Colossians, we will be challenged to assess whether or not we can proclaim boldly "It's All About Christ!" Paul will lead us to consider our view of Christ, to consider our goals and dreams, to consider our philosophy of life, and to consider how our theology impacts our lives daily.
Is the focal point of your life Jesus Christ? If not, then who is? If not, then why not? I'll be open with you. If you are not centering your heart's affection and your mind's attention on Jesus Christ then the foundation of who you are is built on sinking sand. I encourage you to focus on Jesus and make your life all about Christ. When you do, the foundation of who you are and who you hope to be will be built on the Solid Rock. May the Lord bless us as we study and apply His Word. Let's pray.
"Dear Jesus, I give my heart and life to you. Please forgive me of my sins and be the Lord of my life. I want you to be the center of my heart and mind. Thank you for being my friend. I give you control of my life and ask you to take me where you want me to be in you. Amen."
For You to Consider
- Please share your testimony as to how to encountered Jesus Christ as your Savior and how He changed your life.
- Please list four personal examples that show others your life is centered on Jesus Christ.
- How will living the theme, "It's All About Christ!" impact your relationships with your wife, your children, and your co-workers?
- What are the areas in your life that you need to give to Jesus and allow Him to be your focal point?
- What is the Lord saying to you right now in effort to make "It's All About Christ!" a vibrant reality in your life?
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