Epistles of Thomas

November 18, 2008

Colossians 1-4

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 13:37
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The opening of Colossians reminds me that all Christians are “saints.” The TNIV reads “To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ” (1:2). We tend to avoid using the word “saint” as it brings up images of statues and things but saint means holy person and all Christians are saints, not just a select few who perform miracles and are appointed as such by church leaders. In chapter one he includes a great Christological section (vv15-20) which reflects the church’s worship of Christ at that time. I like how the NLT puts this in verse form.

In this letter Paul again opposes legalism but not as vehemently as in some of his other ones. “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence” (2:23). It is this that needs to be put to death (3:5) and this can only happen in Christ. Again Paul includes a list of equality for salvation: “Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all” (3:11; Cf. 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:28). He is not saying that everyone is equal in role (3:22) but that all are saved in the same way through the same power and all live out that salvation in the same way, through the same empowering. In 4:2-3, Paul finally gets around to asking for prayer for himself and although he is in prison his desire is “that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”

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