He Has Rescued Us, Ron Ward
BEAR FRUIT AND GROW
Passage: Colossians 1:1~14
Paul wrote this letter from Rome during his first imprisonment there (c. 60 AD) to the Christians of Colosse. Colosse was a city of Asia Minor (Turkey), located between Ephesus and the Aegean Sea. The church there had been pioneered by Epaphras (7). He was converted through Paul in Ephesus. When he visited Paul in Rome, he shared prayer topics for his sheep in Colosse with Paul. So Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Colosse.
Paul exalts Christ and emphasizes his complete sufficiency. This was what the Colossians needed to hear, because some false teachers had visited them and sown seeds of deceptive human philosophy based on pseudo-wisdom. Some of the believers there had become confused. These days, many Christians have been confused by the good-sounding but false teachings of psychology and secular humanism. We, too, need to be reminded of the complete sufficiency of Jesus Christ, and the inadequacy of human philosophy and wisdom. This letter may be divided as follows:
I. Introduction and prayer (1:1-14)
II. Christ is supreme (1:15-23)
III. To this end I labor (1:24-2:7)
IV. Live in Christ and be free (2:8-23)
V. Live holy lives (3:1-4:6)
VI. Final greetings (4:7-18)
1. Greetings and thanksgiving (1-8)
Paul is in prison in Rome, but he encourages the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse. His blessing of grace and peace from God is not superficial--he thanks God because their faith is based on truth. The gospel is the word of truth. Their hope is in the heavenly kingdom, and faith in Jesus and love for the saints spring from that hope. Paul reminds them that they are a part of a world-wide fellowship of believers. The gospel is for all people. The gospel is bearing fruit all over the world.
2. A life pleasing to the Lord (9-14)
Paul prays for them to live lives that please God. It pleases God for his people to bear fruit and grow in the knowledge of God. How can we do this? (i) We must put our hope in heaven; (ii) we must joyfully give thanks in times of trial, and so grow in inner strength, in patience and endurance; (iii) we must remember the basic grace of God who rescued us from the power of darkness, forgave our sins, and brought us into his kingdom of light.
Prayer: Lord, help me to grow and bear fruit, and live a life that pleases you. Renew my vision for the world.
One Word: Grow; bear fruit; please God