We are using these studies on Paul’s letter to the Colossians to consider the glory of Jesus, for reasons which will become obvious. This is how we will divide it up:
- Introduction: the glory of Jesus – 1:1-8
- The glory of Jesus declared – 1:9-23
- The glory of Jesus disclosed – 1:24-2:5
- The glory of Jesus defended – 2:5-23
- The glory of Jesus displayed: in our characters – 3:1-17
- The glory of Jesus displayed: in our community – 3:18-4:18
Study 1 – Introduction: the glory of Jesus in the gospel – 1:1-8
1 This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
2 We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.
May God our Father give you grace and peace.
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.
6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.
7 You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. 8 He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.
It is written by an ‘apostle of Christ Jesus’ to people who are now ‘in Christ’ because they had heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and put their faith in him, the Messiah. This message about Jesus has changed their lives and Paul tells them about how it is changing lives all over the world. Paul was totally consumed with the gospel about Jesus Christ. This whole letter is about how amazing Jesus is and how we must never lose sight of that. It also teaches what a difference this should and can make in our lives. Elsewhere Paul calls this message, ‘the gospel of the glory of God in Christ’ (2 Cor. 4:4 NIV). He also wrote that, through the gospel, we get to share in that glory (2 Thess 2:14). That is why we are using these studies in Colossians to consider the glory of Jesus!
To Think About:
- How Christians are always in two locations – in Colosse and in Christ; or in Huddersfield and in Christ (see v.2)
- How much of Paul’s prayer is filled with thanksgiving – how excited he is about the effect of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the lives of people
- What is Paul so thankful about? What can we be thankful about?
- How is the gospel changing the lives of the Colossian Christians? How is it changing our lives and the lives of those around us?
- Are you still excited about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the fruit it is producing all over the world?
- Is there any other encouragement or challenge you take from this passage?
- Determine each day over the next week to thank God for the difference that the gospel is making in your life and the lives of others around you and all over the world
You can find a PDF version of these notes here.