A. The Colossians learned the Gospel from EPAPHRAS who apparently founded the church at Colosse.
1. Paul calls him a dear fellow servant and faithful minister of Christ.
a) He was more than just a fellow servant with Paul. In (Philemon 23) Paul says, “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.” NIV
b) When Paul was in prison apparently, Epaphras was there with him ministering to his needs.
c) It is also apparent that Epaphras came to Paul with some questions about how to deal with certain error that has crept into the church. (We'll get into that later).
(1) Apparently, Paul grew to have a close relationship with him. It is also possible that Paul commissioned Epaphras to go to Colosse and begin the work there. As we said in an earlier message Epaphras was the pastor at the church in Colosse.
2. “Epaphras” is a shortening of “Epaphroditus,” referred to in Philippians 2:25 and 4:18 . These could be the same person or different persons since both names were common.
3. Paul had not visited Colosse himself ( cf. Col. 2:1). Epaphras was sent by Paul, but he was a “minister of Christ.”
B. Paul and Epaphras are both ministers of the gospel.
1. God did not commit the gospel to the hands of angels but rather to man.
2. He has chosen man and holds man accountable for sharing His Word.
a) Jesus said in John 15:16a, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your joy should remain.”
C. Col 1:8
1. Not only did Epaphras carry the good news to Colosse, but he also brought back to Paul who was in prison, the good news about their love in the Spirit for Christ.
2. In this verse Paul talks about their love.
a) This is really one of the ways to know if a person is a true Christian. The Bible says in (Romans 5:5) that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.
b) And in (Galatians 5:22) Paul also said that the fruit of the spirit is love.
(1) One of the first fruits that a believer will produce in their lives is LOVE.
A. We've talked about Ephesians being the sister book to Colossians and we have a another similar verse found in both books.
1. Ephesians 1:17-18a says, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;" let's read Colossians 1:9 again.
a) There's also some similarities in this verse from other books that Paul wrote such as Ephesians 1:16, Romans 11:29, Ephesians 1:11, 1st Thessalonians 5:17.
2. In verse 9 Paul said that he does not cease to pray for them.
a) This backs up a teaching in the Word of God that says we are to continuously pray 1 for another. In other words never give up in praying for them.
b) However, there is another teaching that says we should only pray once.
(1) If were truly in faith believing God we only need to pray once for ourselves, but Paul says here that he continues to pray for other people.
(a) When we’re praying for ourselves, we're in agreement with God, but when you're praying for someone else, you might be in agreement with God but the persons will is also involved.
3. In the last ½ of verse 9 Paul says, “to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”
a) This is how we are to pray, that those we are praying for might be filled with KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL. (That God would reveal His will to them.)
b) 2nd he says, “IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING.”
(1) I like how the NIV puts it, “through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
c) The “WISDOM” he’s talking about here is σοφίαsophia, which refers to the wisdom of God.
(1) We’re going to see this word fairly often. Six times in the bool of Colosians, 4 times before we get out of chapter 2.
d) “UNDERSTANDING” found at the end of this verse, literally means “Knowledge and Understanding.”
B. COL 1:10 (Read)
1. 1st of all Paul is saying, “I pray that you will be filled with knowledge in all wisdom and understanding, so that you will be pleasing to the Lord.
2. What are we going to do when we are pleasing to the Lord?
a) V 10b, “Being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
(1) Jesus said in (John 15:8), “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
(2) Jesus also said in (Matt 7:16), “Ye shall know them by their fruit.”
C. V 11 (Read)
1. In this verse he goes on with what is pleasing to the Lord & what we should have in our lives.
a) 1st “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,”
(1) It’s not by might, it’s not by power Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (ZEC 4:6)
2. Let me read the whole verse to you from the NIV, “Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully.”
a) The word “ENDURANCE” in the NIV or “PATIENCE” form the KJV is literally “A STEADFAST ENDURENCE” or “STANDING FIRM WITH PATIENCE.”
b) It is standing firm on the Word of God with patience.
c) Then he says, “WITH JOYFULNESS” or “with joy”
(1) Why, because through faith and patience you’ll inherit the promises of God.
WOLCC Thursday, January 30, 2003 & Thursday, February 06, 2003