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Presentation 02. The Structure of the Book 1v1-2 Introduction 1v3-14Paul’s Prayer 1v15-23The Supremacy of Christ 1v24-2v5Paul’s Labour for the Church.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation 02. The Structure of the Book 1v1-2 Introduction 1v3-14Paul’s Prayer 1v15-23The Supremacy of Christ 1v24-2v5Paul’s Labour for the Church."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The Structure of the Book 1v1-2 Introduction 1v3-14Paul’s Prayer 1v15-23The Supremacy of Christ 1v24-2v5Paul’s Labour for the Church 2v6-7The Danger of Seductive Teaching 2v8-15Know Your Enemy – Part 1 2v16-19Know Your Enemy – Part 2 2v20-23New Teacher’s Bondage 3v1-17Sanctification 3v18-4v1Christian Households 4v2-6Further Instructions 4v7-18Personal Greetings Presentation 02


4 Paul’s Prayer: Introduction Paul was a great intercessor; what he urged on others [4.2] he did not fail to practice himself. As we examine this prayer we discover that Paul was not afraid to make very definite and specific requests! His prayer addresses the Colossians immediate need. He wants to protect them from the bogus offers of spiritual fullness, offered by false teachers, without denying them the experience of the fullness of blessing that was theirs in Christ. Paul recognises the necessity of distinguishing between normal Christian growth and abnormal human additions! Presentation 02

5 Paul does not congratulate his readers on their faith but always thanks God for it. Since we owe our salvation to God alone, then the praise for it is due to him alone. The fruit of this faith is seen in the ‘love’ which they had ‘for all the saints’. A real love for Christ embraces ‘all’ who are his [1Jn.4.7,12]. There is a remarkable repetition of the word ‘all’ in this epistle perhaps because of the exclusivism of the errorists, who were effectively dividing the church into two separate groups, pushing what they would describe as their spiritual inferiors away. There is no room in the church for an intellectual, spiritual or social elite which tears the body of Christ apart. Paul’s Prayer: Thanksgiving Presentation 02

6 There is a tension between saying the Christian ‘has it all’ and to say that Christ’s fullness needs to be worked out in his life. This explains the relationship in the prayer between thanksgiving and petition! 1. We thank God for the fullness that is ours in Christ – a full warehouse! 2. We daily seek the Spirit’s help to outwork that fullness in our lives. Future hope shapes present conduct. What is reserved in heaven for believers has a decisive influence upon their daily behaviour. This prayer develops the themes of knowledge and power. Paul’s Prayer: Thanksgiving Presentation 02

7 False teachers claimed that if converts accepted further initiation at their hands they would discover a deeper knowledge of God. Do you see the fascination of this appeal? When someone’s appetite for God is newly awakened they want to know as much about God as possible. Paul tells us that all who are ‘in Christ’ have already received ‘epignosis’, 'full knowledge'. When Paul prays that they might be filled with it, he is not praying for ‘new’ knowledge, but that they would make the proper use of what is already theirs. Illustration: For many years a child may possess a number of encyclopaedias that gather dust on his bookshelves. But on the day he begins to make use of them then their true value is discovered. Paul’s Prayer: Knowledge Presentation 02

8 How does a ‘full knowledge’ of God express itself? Is it the beatific vision of the mystic? No! It is an intelligent grasp of what the will of God is for daily living. This knowledge equips us to so order our lives that we bring pleasure to God. The Greek in v 10 speaks of the believer ‘walking’ - he is a pilgrim on his way home to heaven. cf Is. 35.8. Many books have been written on the subject of ‘Christian Guidance.’ But these books should not be treated as a substitute for a personal discovery of God’s will and obedience to that discovery. If we are disobedient to what God has revealed we cannot expect him to reveal yet more light from his Word. Paul’s Prayer: Knowledge Presentation 02

9 How do we translate the will of God into everyday living in our complex world? We need ‘spiritual wisdom’ and ‘understanding’. These words are often found together in the O.T. cf 1Chron. 22.12… these are the qualities David wanted God to give to his son Solomon. And interestingly, when God told Solomon he could have anything he asked for - he asked for these very qualities. cf 2Chron. 1.10 Why is wisdom necessary for every Christian? cf v10. The growth in grace and character development which results from it stands in sharp contrast to the barren intellectualism of the false teachers. Paul’s Prayer: Knowledge Presentation 02

10 What kind of conduct does Paul pray for in the lives of the Colossians? 1. Conduct that is worthy of a great Master! Our obedience paints a picture for the unbelieving world. The measure of our obedience determines how intelligible that picture is. e.g. Disunity among Christians is like a child’s scribble and is unworthy of Christ. Paul’s Prayer: Knowledge Presentation 02

11 What kind of conduct does Paul pray for in the lives of the Colossians? 2. Conduct that brings pleasure to God. Some speak about living to please their family or friends. But Christians must study and search out ways of bringing pleasure to God. ‘study to show yourself approved unto God...’ 2Tim 2.15. Jesus’ conduct brought pleasure to the Father [Matt.3.17]. By doing this what happens? cf Col.3.22... we are set free from an unhealthy natural desire to please others, particularly those who seek to exert an influential hold on our lives. Paul’s Prayer: Knowledge Presentation 02

12 What kind of conduct does Paul pray for in the lives of the Colossians? 3. One that bears fruit. Here the emphasis is between right beliefs and right conduct. False teaching is known by its fruits or rather by the lack of them. Cf. Matt.7v16-19. The harvest of wisdom is good works. The ‘special secret knowledge,’ of which the false teachers spoke, invariably leads to conceit. Paul is in favour of ‘fullness’ if that means a life that fully pleases God and is filled with good deeds. Paul’s Prayer: Knowledge Presentation 02

13 Now the power of God is seen in the fruit-bearing effect of the gospel of grace v6. As a tree both bears fruit and grows, so the gospel produces fruit in the conduct of believers [v4] and also spreads by winning new converts. The fact that the gospel has the reproductive power to spread throughout the whole world is due to the fact that God himself is at work in it [1Cor.3.7]. And as a result any attempts by men to contain the spread of the gospel and imprison its influence in the world are frustrated. Paul’s Prayer: Power Presentation 02

14 The ‘love’ of which Paul speaks in v8 is supernatural and has been shed abroad in the believers’ hearts by the Holy Spirit [Rom.5,5]. It is love that most clearly indicates that God indwells our lives [Jn. 13.34-35, 1 Jn. 4.7-8] and as such is the safest index of our spiritual advancement. Paul’s Prayer: Power Presentation 02

15 Paul is concerned that God's glorious power should produce ‘endurance and patience’ v11. Is that not an anti-climax? No! Paul is dealing with Christian living in the real world. The Christian is like a target on the enemy’s firing range. It is here that the Christian needs all God's mighty power to continue to persevere despite suffering, opposition and disappointment. It is through endurance that the servant of God commends himself. 2Cor.6.4... Through patience the Christian learns ‘forbearance and self-restraint’, especially with the people who provoke and test him. Paul’s Prayer: Power Presentation 02

16 Paul now returns to the subject of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the characteristic hallmark of the Spirit-filled life 2.7.... But verses 12-14 also make clear what Paul is not praying for. By mentioning the blessings which the Colossians already possess in Christ he affirms that they need not seek after these gifts which are already theirs! Paul concentrates upon two things which God has done as the result of Christ‘s death for us: 1.He has qualified us. 2.He has delivered us. Paul’s Prayer: Thanksgiving Presentation 02

17 1. He has Qualified us. The Christian has been qualified by Jesus to enjoy the benefits of salvation; including forgiveness and sanctification cf Acts 26.18... For the significance of this qualification see 2.18. The new teachers had disqualified the believers making them feel like second class Christians. They were being taught that their qualification was dependant upon them to joining up with these new teachers. But, because ours is a gospel of grace alone through Christ’s death alone and by faith alone, the unassailable verdict God writes over the believer’s life is "QUALIFIED" Paul’s Prayer: Thanksgiving Presentation 02

18 1. He has Qualified us. But he qualifies us for what? To ‘share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light’v12. The background to the idea of inheritance is taken form the O.T. where each tribe was given, as their inheritance, a portion of the promised land. This territorial possession prefigured the spiritual inheritance of the believer. Christ is our inheritance. The Psalmist grasped the wonder of this in Ps. 16.5-7… Significantly, the priestly tribe of Levi were given no land as their inheritance, and among other things they were intended to learn from this that there was a far greater gift than land. God was their inheritance! Paul’s Prayer: Thanksgiving Presentation 02

19 2. He has Delivered us. Christians are not only qualified but ‘rescued’ v13. The false teachers claimed to possess the secret of deliverance from evil powers. Paul’s answer is found in v13. Without divine deliverance there was no escape but escape is guaranteed to every believer because deliverance had been accomplished by Christ on the cross 2.15. Redemption is more than a forgiveness of sin - wiping the slate clean. It is deliverance from the power of sin and Satan that holds us in bondage. It is inconceivable that God should forgive the past and leave us ill-equipped to cope with the future. Pardon without deliverance would be a mockery. Paul’s Prayer: Thanksgiving

20 Not only is the believer rescued but ‘translated into the kingdom of the Son’ v13. The verb ‘translated’ was used in antiquity to describe the transportation of captives from one land to another. Josephus the Jewish historian uses it to describe how the Assyrian King, Tilgath- Pileser transported captive Israelites back to Assyria. Paul describes the spiritual transfer of God’s people from Satan’s dominion to that of Christ. The false teachers spoke of redemption through a superior knowledge. But Paul makes it clear that it is through the blood of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that God has ransomed his people to himself. Hallelujah! Paul’s Prayer: Thanksgiving Presentation 02

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