1 An apostle is "one sent" on a mission with a purpose. Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles. Paul adds weight to the authority of the letter by adding that he is an apostle by the will of God. He did not seek the office. If you reject this letter, you are rejecting God's message. Timothy is not an apostle. He is a brother in Christ, son in the faith, and companion of Paul.
2 A saint is one "set apart" for God, to be, as it were, exclusively His. A saint is not a Super-Christian. Faithful brethren alludes to the core of the local church. Every congregation has many saints and some faithful brethren. Grace and peace was: 1. A standard and common greeting. 2. Uniquely applied to Christians. 3. Found in most of Paul's letters.
3 All praise and gratitude belong to God. People are too often quick to criticize but slow to express gratitude. Pray always. (1 Thes. 5:17; Luke 18:1) Be sure that, at all times and in all places, you are in situations where prayer is allowed and appropriate.
4 Faith must be alive and active. Their faith was known because it was visible.
As in 1 Cor. 13:13, here faith, hope and love are united.
5 Hope is desire and expectation. Both must be present to have hope. Desire without expectation is a wish. Expectation without desire is fear.
The "Great Three" in this verse: 1. Faith in Christ. 2. Love to all the saints. 3. Hope laid up in heaven. Laid up means that it is reserved. (1 Peter 1:4)
6 The gospel arrived in Colosse in the same manner as everywhere. As it was brought to you, you must keep spreading the message to others. (2 Tim. 2:2)
When you teach the gospel, it will produce fruit. The fruit of a Christian is - Christians. (John 15) How long should you wait, after obeying the gospel, to begin working in the Kingdom? Answer: Since the day you heard it. The grace of God is the motivation for these Christians. They knew God's grace. I wonder how our lives would change if we understood the depth and breadth of grace in our lives.
7 Literally, Epaphras is a "fellow-slave" with Paul. Most do not like the idea of slavery. In the church, all are slaves. All are either a slave to sin or a slave of God. You choose who will be your Master. (Rom. 6:16-17) Minister is not a title to be worn, but a work to be done. God has only one Son and he was a minister. (Mark 10:45) Why don't parents encourage their sons to be preachers?
8 Paul heard of the growth of the church. Their love in the Spirit describes a fervent spiritual love for Paul.
9 Paul continued to pray for the Christians in Colosse. His prayer was specific. He prayed that they might be filled with: 1. Knowledge of God's will. 2. Wisdom. 3. Spiritual understanding.
10 A "worthy walk" means that they have worked and are qualified to share in the rewards. Paul prayed that they might "earn their pay" if they: 1. Please God. 2. Are fruitful in good works. 3. Continue to increase in knowledge.
11 (The list continues:)
4. Grow stronger in the glorious power of God. 5. Grow in patience. 6. Increase in their ability to endure. 7. Keep on living in abundant joy.
12 (The list continues:)
8. Always remember to express gratitude. 9. Are suited to God's purposes. 10. Remain in the light. (1 John 1:7)
13 God rescued you from the power of darkness. You could not escape on your own. Darkness and evil have power over you only to the extent that you allow such to control you. You can resist Satan. (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9) God has moved you into the Kingdom of light. The Kingdom is the church. (Matt. 16:18-19) It is not a future promise, but a present reality. (Heb. 12:28; Rev. 1:9; Eph. 2:19)
14 Salvation is available only "in Christ." (2 Tim. 2:10) All spiritual blessings are in Christ. (Eph. 1:3) This includes redemption and forgiveness. Redemption is the obtaining of our release. God obtained our eternal deliverance. (Heb. 9:12-13)
15 Jesus is the visible likeness of an invisible God. He existed as essentially one with God. (Phil. 2:6) Jesus is the firstborn. He was not the first to be born, but the possessor of the right of inheritance. Isaac was not Abraham's firstborn. Isaac was the son who received the inheritance of the firstborn, the double portion and the birthright. Esau was Isaac's first son, but Jacob, by deception, obtained the rights of the firstborn. God said, "Israel is my son, even my firstborn." (Ex. 4:22)
16 Christ was involved in every part of the creation of the world. (Gen. 1:26-27; John1:1-4) Jesus created: 1. Heavenly things - Angels were created. (Job 38:7) 2. Earthly things - Plants and animals, rivers and mountains. 3. Invisible things - Life, spirit, soul (non-material). 4. Thrones, dominions, principalities, powers - It is difficult to distinguish each of these words. The message is that Christ is "Lord of All." They were all created for the purpose and use of God. (Rev. 4:11) Your purpose is to seek to please your creator. (1 Chron. 16:29)
17 Jesus pre-existed all things. He is before them in authority. This verse teaches the eternal existence of Christ. (John 1:1-4; Is. 9:6; John 8:52-58) All things have their proper place and are held together by Christ. He created. He also holds and maintains the order of this universe. It is the power of Christ that holds this world together.
18 The head is the source of all ideas and thoughts. The head controls all actions and movements. (Eph. 5:23; Eph. 1:22-23) The church is the body of Christ. (Col. 1:24; Eph. 1:22-23) Bodies do not move, think, act or have thoughts independent of the head. The church is a "thoughtless" body. When members of the church start thinking for themselves, they have rebelled against their head, Christ. Christ is the builder, (Matt. 16:18) the purchaser, (Acts 20:28) head, (Eph. 5:25). In fact, it is the "church of Christ." (Rom. 16:16) Life from nothing began though Christ. Life from the dead began through him. Jesus was not the first to be raised from the dead. He was the first to triumph over death. Others were raised from the dead temporarily. Their death was only postponed. Jesus' death was cancelled! Jesus was the first raised incorruptible. (1 Cor. 15:50-53) Christ is "first in everything." He holds first place. He is supreme in all respects. He is
Lord of the church. He is Lord in the lives of his disciples. He must be Lord - period. He has no rival.
19 God is in control. This is your Father's world. He knows what is best. It was God's will that all the fullness of deity should dwell in Christ. (Col. 2:9) Christ was not 50% human and 50% divine. He was 100% human (tempted in all points as we are) AND 100% divine. In becoming flesh and living on earth, he did not abandon any aspect of his divine nature.
20 You are offered peace by virtue of the cross. Christianity is not a bloodless religion. It can not be done. Without the blood of Christ, there is no remission of sins. (Heb. 9:22) Other passages teach this truth. (Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 5:9; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:9; Rev. 7:14) Jesus changes you from one state to another. (Col. 1:13-14)
21 You were separated, in time past, from Israel, from life with God and from God himself. (Eph. 2:12) You were the enemy of God. Anyone who loves sin is the enemy of God. (James 4:4) God did not hate you. Your life was demonstrating a hatred for God by your sin. Because of the evil things you did and thought, you were the enemy. Sin starts in the mind of man. (James 1:14) The end result is the destruction of the mind through guilt, disease and knowledge that you are apart from God.
22 Jesus died. Not just in some spiritual sense. He died literally, physically and fleshly. Because Jesus died physically, we can be holy. Holy means separated and dedicated to God. Unblameable means without blemish, spotless. Unreprovable is the state of being free from sin. God's purpose is here explained. Christ died, suffering the agony of physical death, so that we could be no longer enemies and strangers but holy, spotless and unaccused. Now it is time to praise the Lord!
23 All of this purpose of God is conditional. To receive the benefits you must keep on living and growing in the faith. "The faith" is to be distinguished from "faith." The faith has reference to the body of truth, the gospel. (Jude 3; 1 Cor. 15:1-4) Faith is trust, confidence and assurance. To be grounded means to have a foundation on which a superstructure (life) can be built. Settled comes from a Greek word meaning "a seat." Your faith must not be set on, but seated in Christ. There is the constant danger of drifting off course. (Heb. 2:1) Don't let anyone or anything lead you astray. Hope is obtained through growth in faith. As your faith increases, your hope will become stronger. All nations have had the opportunity to have the message presented to them. Your task is to make the gospel available to every nation of people. Their responsibility is to obey. "Every creature" must be understood to mean that the gospel message had gone throughout the world. Paul does not refer to his being ordained as a minister. All who have heard and obeyed are commissioned to be ministering servants. Paul said, "This is my job by virtue of the fact that I am a Christian."
24 There is joy in all things. Learn to find the joy in suffering. (James 1:2; 1 Pet. 4:14-16) Part of Christ's suffering remains for you to endure. There is a portion of Christ's suffering which was not endured by Him in person, but is endured in the suffering of Christians in all generations as the work of Christ is carried out. How far behind are you in suffering for Christ? Do you have some catching up to do?
25 By virtue of the stewardship given to Paul he was a minister of the gospel. Fully discharge the office given to you so that God's intent and will is carried out. The word "dispensation" should read "stewardship."
26 A mystery is a hidden thing, a secret, that which is not obvious to the understanding. In Colossians and Ephesians it is used to discuss the admission of the Gentiles to the gospel. (Rom. 16:25-26) In the Gnostic system it was believed that only the initiated ones could know the way of salvation. To the Greeks, a mystery described the secret rites and ceremonies which only those in the sect would know. Paul states that all saints (Christians) can know the mystery. That which was not know in ages and generations past, is now clear as daylight.
27 If God does not make it known, it would remain a mystery. God is about to reveal a wealth of knowledge to us. Drum roll please. "The secret is ..." Here it comes. This is the moment. "The envelope please..." CHRIST IN YOU IS THE HOPE OF GLORY! Christ dwells within the Christian. (Eph. 3:17) Your hope of eternal life, your hope of heaven, your hope of being with God is only valid if Christ is in you. This secret has two aspects to it. 1. The hope you have is only through Christ. If you have hope in this life only, you are miserable. (1 Cor. 15:19) Christ dwells in you. This is a secret the world does not understand. 2. Christ dwells in Gentiles as well as Jews. The mystery "among the Gentiles" is that Christ loves them, died for them and wants to dwell in them.
28 If you understand the mystery, you will naturally preach Christ. He is your hope. He dwells in you. He is the source of your wisdom and knowledge. He died for you. He suffered for you. How could you preach anything else? Who else is there? (John 6:68) It is your duty to warn everyman. (Rom. 15:14) You must counsel, admonish and confront men with their sinful condition. You must teach every man the doctrine of Christ. Your goal is to present every man to the Good Shepherd.
29 Paul was striving, agonizing, putting forth every effort to warn, teach and present every man to Christ.
1 Paul is struggling with false teachers, the Colossian heresy, and with his own imprisonment. Paul is also striving for those converted without his help. How far does your concern extend? For whom are you striving in a great conflict?
2 Paul prays that they might be braced and prepared. Comfort does not mean tranquillized, but braced. (John 14:16) He wants them to be bound together, knit and woven, with the security of knowing the secret. There are three things you must know: 1. The mystery. (1:27) 2. The Father. 3. Christ.
3 Christ is the source for wisdom and knowledge. All of God's treasures (wisdom, knowledge, power) are in Christ. Everything worth knowing and every doctrine worth believing is in Christ.
4 Don't be fooled, deluded or deceived by educated fools, outspoken critics, or false teachers. You must not be fooled by self-deception.
5 Paul is in prison and not able to visit them. Prison bars can not keep his spirit confined. His joy is knowing that his work was not in vain. Paul is glad to know that they are walking orderly (marching in rank). The negative is found in 2 Thes. 3:6.
6 You acknowledge and admit Christ into your live through a transmission from your teacher. At each extension of the Kingdom, people "received the Word."
Jews Acts 2:41
Samaritans Acts 8:11
Gentiles Acts 11:1
Bereans Acts 17:11
You must continue to live in him. You must maintain a certain walk of life and conduct. (Rom 8:1)
7 A building must be on a solid foundation. Your foundation must be in the love of Christ. (Eph. 3:17) Upon this foundation, you must be built up. Your faith must be built layer upon layer. (Acts 20:32)
8 DANGER! Paul waves a large red flag to alert you. The danger is that you might become the spoils of war among false teachers. These false teachers may teach a new philosophy. Men love the pursuit of wisdom. The gospel of Christ makes all human philosophy weak and inadequate. Phillips translation says these people are filled with "intellectualism and high-sounding nonsense." Compared to Christ, human philosophy is a "buck privates" of the lowest rank. To follow the philosophies and traditions of men, is not to follow Christ. You can not follow both. Don't let these teachers carry you away as the spoils of their war against Christ.
9 Christ is complete. Taking up residence and abiding in Christ is the complete expression of God. The totality of Divinity lives embodied in Christ. Christ did not just have the attributes of God, he possessed the nature of God.
10 If you are in Christ, then you are also complete. (1 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17) Christ is head and Lord over all lords. He is higher in rank and authority than the most powerful ruler.
11 The circumcision discussed here is not that of the law of Moses. This circumcision is special and spiritual, not the cutting off of flesh, but the cutting off of sin. You are "by nature" the children of wrath. (Eph. 2:3) The sins of the flesh will be listed in chapter 3:5-9.
12 Baptism is a burial in water. (Rom. 6:4) You die to sin. You are buried because we have died. We are raised to a new life in Christ. When you come out of the watery grave of baptism, you are resurrected in a spiritual resurrection. (Eph. 2:1, 6; Col. 3:1; Rom. 8:11) The word operation is from the Greek word "energia" and demonstrates the energy of God in the power of the resurrection.
13 You have a choice of being dead in your sins (John 8:24) or dying to sin. (Rom. 6:2, 11) Either way you are dead. Life is only possible because God has brought you to life and forgiven your sins.
14 God has wiped out the old law of Moses. He "cancelled the written code." (NIV) Some try to make a distinction between the moral law (Ten Commandments) and the rest of the law (Law of Moses). Such distinctions do not exist. (Amos 8:5, 9-10; Eph. 2:14-16; 2 Cor. 3:7-18; Heb. 8:7-13) When Christ died on the cross; the law died. Christ fulfilled the law by living it without sin. You are free from the bondage of the law. (Rom. 7:1-4)
15 God totally disarmed the law. It has no power in your life. Like the stockades, Jesus made a public spectacle of the law. Jesus leads the victory procession. This is Jesus' glorious and triumphant act.
16 You are not subject to the judgments of others. False teachers can not assume control over you. They can not call you to account or condemn you in your food and drink (daily), feast days (annual), new moons (monthly) or the Sabbath (weekly). Paul includes the ten commandments here. The law - the entire law - was nailed to the cross. There are concepts and principles of the old law which are also found in the new law. They were not "brought over" into the law of Christ. They were re-written and strengthened. Study Matthew 5.
17 All of the feasts and ceremonies of the law were casting a shadow toward Christ. Paul reminds you that the law was a shadow. Christ is real.
18 The word "beguile" means "disqualify you from the race." This word is used of an umpire's decision against a contestant in a game. Do not let anyone judge you unfit to run the race. They do not have the right to rob you of the prize. Those who would judge you have a false humility. They pretend to show humility. They are really just full of air, puffed up. When men set themselves up as judge, when their display of humility is the standard, they become a bellows filled with pride. They are so proud of their humility.
19 When men are filled with pride, they think they are the head. They are not willing to submit to Christ as the head over all things. Their attitude destroys the unity and harmony of the body. They are not in union with Christ, the head. The church suffers by a lack of unity and thus fails to grow.
20 The logic is clear. Since you died to sin (2:13) and were buried in baptism (2:12) and raised to a new life (3:1), why do you let the world write your rules?
21 TOUCH NOT - Do not grab so as to injure. Do not handle in a rough manner as an enemy would do to you. TASTE NOT - Do not wallow in your mouth. Do not savor it on your tongue. HANDLE NOT - Do not even feel of it. When men start writing the rules, they get stricter. What started out as a rule not to handle roughly becomes a command not to enjoy and finally an order not to even get near.
22 All material things will wear out, break down, fall apart or decay. (2 Pet. 3:10-11) The temporary nature of the things forbidden should demonstrate the foolishness of such rules. These commands are of men, not from Christ. If Christ is your head, should you not obey him? The real issue is: Is Christ the authority in your life? (Matt. 15:8-9; Mark 7:6-9) While Paul would include the religious doctrines of the creeds and teachings of human origin, you must not limit your study to religious doctrines. Paul was dealing with how you conduct your life. You must not let the world write the rules for your moral code. The speech, the dress, the values and the moral principles by which you live are to have their origin in your head, Christ. You must not be conformed to this world. (Rom. 12:1-2)
23 Will worship is a form of worship which man arranges for his enjoyment and pleasure. There may be good and logical reasons for some teachings. If it is not from Christ, it is wrong. All the rules of men will not control the physical desires. Your sensual desires and passions will not be restrained by another regulation. The power to overcome these desires is in remembering that you are the body of Christ. Here is a powerful truth in your battle with temptation. May God give you the courage to say, "I can not sin against my God." (Gen. 39:9)
1 In 2:20 Paul reasons that you are dead with Christ. Here he argues that you are raised with him. The word "if" should be understood, not in the sense of doubt, but in the sense of "since" you have been baptized you should change your behavior and direction. You must develop a desire for the things of a superior location. (Matt. 6:33; 1 Pet. 3:11)
2 In 3:1 you are to seek, here you are to set your mind in a new direction. There is no room for divided loyalty in Christ. (Matt. 6:24) Your mind is either on Christ, or it is on the material things of the world,
3 You have already died (in baptism) to sin, to self, to the world, to material things, to the lust of the world. You are no longer in the sphere of the earthly and sensual, but you are with the life of the risen Christ, who is unseen with God. You are not to live your Christian life in secret and seclusion. The value of your life is tucked away in heaven with Christ. Christ is now hidden from sight but will return visibly.
4 Without Christ your life would have no value, meaning or purpose. As Christians, your live IS Christ. He is not to be a part of your life. He is the sum of your existence.
5 You died. You now live in Christ. You can not hold on to the old sins of the old nature. You must not be guilty of holding on to the behavior of the former life.
Fornication is a broad sweeping term to include all manner of sexual behavior which is not proper. (Incest - 1 Cor. 5:1; Homosexuality - Jude 7; Prostitution - 1 Cor. 6:15-17)
Uncleanness has reference to that which would be dirty, naughty. This word is used of physical dirt (Matt. 23:27); moral impurity (Rom. 1:24); impure motives (1 Thes. 2:3). While fornication concerns the act, uncleanness had to do with the mind.
Inordinate affection is the diseased condition out of which lust springs. This word is narrow and more intense. Lust, passion and desire are at the root of many sins.
Evil concupiscence describes one whose heart is set upon evil desires.
Covetousness is greed. Some lust after sexual desires. Others lust after things. Covetousness is more than a desire to obtain what another has. This word deals with the greedy desire to have more. In its verb form it means to gain, to take advantage.
Idolatry is more than worship to a statue. All the items on this list are in the same class. Many tend to find some sins "respectable" and look on others with contempt. If an idol worshipper would not make a good deacon, then neither would a greedy man. Do not punish the adulterer and praise the clever business man.
6 God's holy anger is sure to fall on such behavior. Such people are the children who will not be persuaded. They are obstinate and incompliant. Those who do not know God and those who will not obey are the subjects of God's wrath. (2 Thes. 1:7-9)
7 Remember you used to live this way. This is how you used to walk, talk, think and behave. The two phrases "walked" and "lived" describe their behavior and the style of life they were living. Some sins are momentary. They are an act of wrong-doing. Paul here teaches that there are sins in which one lives. It is not just an act of sin but a state or condition. There are sins that you live, walk, breath, eat and sleep. Fornication and greed are included as such sins. Fornication is not just an act performed. It is a life style. You must change the condition of your life and heart. Without this change, repentance and forgiveness are not possible. (1 Cor. 6:9-11)
8 Sins must be stripped away as you would take off wet clothes. Paul is going to continue the list of sins which must be cast from our lives.
Anger and wrath describe the two types of hostility. The first is the explosive type. It is quick to rise, often with violence, and quick to go away. It boils up and soon subsides. Wrath builds slowly and subsides slowly. Neither type is wrong. (Eph. 4:26-27) How you vent your anger or store it is how it can become sin.
Malice refers to a person who is bad in quality, vicious in character, corrupt, depraved, morally bad. Malice is the opposite of excellence.
Blasphemy includes all forms of defamatory speech. To speak of God or divine things with irreverence is blasphemy.
Filthy communication covers all forms of profanity. There are at least five forms of filthy speech. 1. Taking God's name in vain. 2. Swearing. 3. Cursing. 4. Gutter language. 5. Blasphemy. Filthy words and gutter language must not be part of the Christian's vocabulary.
9 Lying is a sin. (Rev. 21:8) A lie is never an action that you can blame on others. Situation Ethics teaches that you might be permitted to lie under some conditions. God does not agree. The first list was one of life and character. The second list is one of deeds. When you put away the old man you should have put away the old life-style and all the deeds of that life.
10 "Put off" means to strip away. "Put on" means to clothe one's self. You must be clothed with a renewed mind. You must learn to think in new ways. (Phil. 2:5) You are a new creature. (2 Cor. 5:17) You must make, more than minor adjustments but, a complete change for the better. You were created in God's image. (Gen. 1:26-27) When you put on the new man, you are returning to the form which God created.
11 In God's church there is no room for prejudice of any kind. Any action which segments by class, race, social standing or ethnic origin is to be put away. In the Jewish mind, everybody who is not a Jew, is a Greek or Gentile. In the New Testament, a Greek is a non-Jew. Subjection to the old law is not a criteria for distinction in the church. The word "barbarian" means one who does not know the Greek language. It was thought that if one did not know Greek, he was a cave-man type of creature who could only grunt "bar-bar". The only person lower, by worldly standards, were the Scythians. They were more barbarous than the barbarians. They lived in wagons, offered human sacrifices, scalping and sometimes flaying slain enemies, drinking their blood, and using their skulls for drinking cups. Bond or free should not make a difference. Whether you are a bought and paid for slave or if you are free from the bonds of slavery, Christ is everything in everything. Christ is all that matters. He lives in all obedient believers.
12 Because none of the above distinctions are valid, all of us must clothe ourselves with what is right and proper. You are God's chosen ones. God chose to save the obedient. (Eph. 1:4-5)
Compassion goes to the very heart and seat of the emotions. Without compassion it is not possible to be right with God or man. (1 John 3:17-18)
Kindness is that goodness of heart which God seeks in all.
Humbleness is perhaps the most difficult trait to acquire. (Phil. 2:5-8)
Meekness is an internal quality, not an action. (Matt.5:5)
Longsuffering includes enduring and patience. Longsuffering is the quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish. God is longsuffering. (2 Pet. 3:9) Love suffers long and remains kind. (1 Cor. 13:4)
13 Christians must learn to "put up with" each other. You must endure, bear with and hold up those who are weak. Alwaya be ready to forgive. Forgiving is not earned or merited. It is a form of the word for grace. If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven. (Matt. 5:14-15) Even if your complaint is a valid one, don't quarrel. Be ready to forgive as Christ has forgiven you.
14 Paul continues the metaphor of clothing. Put off some things. You must put on some things. And, as an overcoat or outer garment, put on love. In the New Testament, love is the decision to seek what is best for another. Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings. It does not always run with the natural inclinations. Love will bind people together in perfect unity. Perfect means complete, full grown, mature. Love is the overcoat that makes you complete.
15 Three types of peace are needed in your life. 1. Peace with yourself. You must have an understanding of the forgiveness of your sins. You must be right with God. 2. Peace with others. (Rom. 12:18) 3. Peace with God can only come when the other two types are present in your life. The church is the body of Christ. You are called by the gospel (1 Thes. 2:14) to leave the darkness and enter the light of Christ. (Col. 1:13) Paul keeps reminding them to be grateful. You can not be reminded enough. How can one be so ungrateful to a God who is so good? Why does one have trouble counting their blessings? Keep saying it, Paul. All still need reminding.
16 Allow the teaching of Christ to take up permanent residence with you. For too many people, Christ comes for an occasional visit. Has he come to stay? You must teach and encourage others. Teach is the impartation of positive truth. Admonish is the call for warning. To warn others in not just for preachers and elders. All are able to admonish one another. (Rom. 15:14)
Psalms are scriptures which are set to music. Often they were chants.
Hymns are songs of praise addressed to God.
Spiritual songs are songs of a spiritual theme to encourage and teach.
The question of instrumental music has caused much confusion. Is vocal music commanded and instrumental music forbidden? YES!
NOTE 1: This is a specific command. General commands leave the specifics open to judgment and expedient obedience. Noah was commanded to use gopher wood. The fruit of the vine is commanded in the communion. These are specific and leave no room for opinion.
NOTE 2: When a thing is commanded all other things in the same category are excluded. To send a child to the store for a loaf of bread, limits all the other items that be in the same store. If is not necessary to list each item which is not wanted. They are excluded.
NOTE 3: Either one is free to do anything not specifically forbidden or one is limited to what is commanded. Is the Bible the only source of authority? (Heb. 7:12-14)
NOTE 4: God has forbidden any addition to His law. (Rev. 22:18-19) Instrumental music is added to singing. Would it be permissible to have fruit of the vine AND Coke in the communion? NO!
NOTE 5: Not only did God give the command but he explained what purpose was intended by this command. Teach, Admonish, With grace, In your heart (Col. 3:16) To each other, Speaking (Eph. 5:19) Merry (with joy) (James 5:19) With understanding (1 Cor. 14:15) Praise to God (Acts 16:25) The voice can do ALL of the above. The instrument can do NONE of them.
Singing must have its origin in the heart. God is less concerned with sharps and flats than he is that your praise be a genuine expression of your devotion. Every avenue of worship begins in the heart. God is the object of worship. It is not for pleasure, but to praise God that you assemble each week in worship. (Jn. 4:23-24)
17 In every activity of life, in all that you do or say, every deed and action must be by the authority of Christ. Since Christ is our head, all that is done must be under his direction and control. "In the name" does NOT mean "say the name". In prayer and in baptism many have written a rule that the name of Jesus must be pronounced. The direction of all praise and gratitude is toward God. The thanks you offer to men is not wrong. You should also thank God for those people who have aided you. Christ is the avenue of approach to God. You have no right to bypass the mediator. He is on your side. He will take before God the desires of your heart even when, because of emotion, you are not able to express them in words. Christ makes intercession for you. (Rom. 8:26-27, 34)
18 Wives are to be in subjection to their husbands. There are only three restrictions placed upon women because of their sex. 1. Women are not to teach over the man. 2. Women are not to have authority over the man. 3. They are to be in submission to their husbands. These are not rules of a sexist. They are rules of order. The male and female are created with the physical and emotional ability to fit each other. Each is suited for where the other is lacking. Neither is to consider himself / herself as second class in the kingdom of God. (Gal. 3:28) In the home, God has placed the man in authority.
19 Some think it is strange to command love. Remember that love is not an emotion. It is from the will. It is a decision to seek what is best for another. Husbands must decide to seek what is best for the wife. If he does this, the wife will have no problem with submission to him. Husbands are also commanded not to be harsh, bitter, or filled with resentment. As the wife is to submit, so the husband is to treat her with honor (1 Pet. 3:7) and mutual respect (Eph. 5:21) due her. Husbands must not be guilty of "ruling the roost".
20 Children are to be obedient to their parents (plural). Both parents are to be involved in the guiding, teaching and decisions concerning their children. The children are to obey. God has always required obedience. This is what pleases God. Children should be taught to obey their parents, and others in authority, because this is what pleases God.
21 Fathers who are too strict, over correct, harsh and demanding will have children who are bitter. For many fathers, their strength becomes their weakness. When the ability to lead, make decisions and control gets out of hand it leads to bitterness and rebellion. Men are to dominate but not be dominating; in charge but not bossy. The result of a harsh father is a discouraged child. Fathers set the atmosphere in which their wives and children will live. Harsh rebuking will lead to rebellion.
22 In today's world, one struggles with the word "slave". There are three types or classes of slaves. 1. Bond slave. 2. Hired servant. 3. An employee. We abhor slavery in any form. But whether one was a slave or a master who owned slaves was not a factor in their ability to be a Christian. In Christ these distinctions do not exist. (Col. 3:11; Gal. 3:28) Can you imagine a church where slaves and masters worshipped together? Can you picture a slave being one of the elders in the church? On the job, the master (boss) is to be obeyed. If you work for someone you have the responsibility to obey them. Obey them even when they are not looking and watching you. You must work diligently and seek to please God by your labor.
23 You should put your whole heart into your work. Do not be guilty of working at less than your best. It you feel you are underpaid, if working conditions are not the best, if your boss is hard to please - you must do the best job you can. God expects you to perform at your ability. Remember, you are really working for the Lord. How would you react if Christ asked you to do this job?
24 You may receive a paycheck from some company but that is only to tide you over until you get the REAL pay - Heaven. The Christian's retirement benefits are out of this world. Any rewards in this life are just to carry you through until the inheritance is given to you. In your service to others, you are serving Christ. In failing to serve your boss, you dishonor Christ. Many feel trapped in a life cycle of work and sleep. They feel little purpose to life. The ywork to eat and eat to work. Life becomes dull, boring and filled with stress. One often overlooks the fact that Christ is our Master. You are working for Him. How can that become dull?
25 If you have been treated unfairly do not take revenge. God will deal with the wicked. (Rom. 12:19-21) If you punish others - 1. You become as wrong as they are. 2. You are acting in the place of God. this verse is dealing with personal revenge. God deals fairly with both the unfair boss and the lazy employee. God is an impartial judge.
1 Now your attention turns to the one who has the power to decide and is in control. The employer must be fair and just. The employee must give a days work for a days pay. The employer must give a days pay for a days work. In many cases, each is waiting for the other to act first. There is a mutual obligation to be fair and just. The master (boss) must remember that he also has a Master to whom he is responsible.
2 Christians must be devoted to prayer. Be continually steadfast in your prayer life. (Acts 2:42; Acts 6:4; Rom. 12:12; 1 Thes. 5:17) Jesus taught a parable on the importance of always praying. (Luke 18:1) Part of the Christian's armor is the power of prayer. (Eph. 6:18) If you leave this part of your armor at home, you will lack the power to stand throughout the battle. You must have an alert mind. As you pray for opportunities, be alert as God gives them to you. When you pray, it is your duty to remain alert to the ways that God has to answer your request. Don't limit how God can answer your prayer.
3 Paul requests to be included in their prayers. Paul often requested prayer of those to whom he wrote. We need to learn to request prayers of our brethren. Be specific about what you need in those prayers. Paul specifies that their prayer should include the opening of doors of opportunity to preach and spread the gospel and speak about the mystery - Jews and Gentiles are welcome in the kingdom of Christ.
4 Paul also desires prayer that the message might be clear, open, plain, and easy to understand. Some preachers try to be to fancy and cute in teaching the gospel. Your goal is to make it so plain that it can not be misunderstood. (Is. 35:8) Paul sees this as his duty. Pray for opportunities, be alert for them, and use them to do your work. Paul is very specific. He does not say, "Pray for us." He asks that: 1. God would open doors. 2. There would be opportunities to speak. 3. Paul could speak clearly. 4. He could do what he knew was his duty.
5 Your behavior, demeanor and life must be conducted wisely. Let the conduct of your life and the example you set before the world show where true wisdom can be found. The wisdom of the world is not in the same ballpark with the wisdom of God. (Ja. 1:5-6; Ja. 3:13-18) Your example will lead people to come to Christ who are now outside. (Eph. 2:12; Rev. 22:14-15) Behave toward those outside of Christ in such a way that they will want to be Christians. Make the most of every opportunity. Rescue wasted time from loss and misapplication. Buy for your use all the opportunities that you can.
6 Your speech must always be gracious. Speak pleasantly to all people. The message should always be beautiful. Grace is used here to describe the attitude demonstrated in your life because of your relationship with God. If you are a child of God, how could you treat anyone other than in a gracious manner? Your speech must be gracious and acceptable. Not too salty. You need just enough salt to make our speech enjoyable and pleasant. Learn how to respond (answer) to the circumstances of life. Respond in faith. You must deal with the problems of life with graciousness and good taste.
7 Tychicus and Onesimus are the carriers of the letter to Philemon along with the letters to Colosse and Ephesus. Tychicus was with Paul on his third journey. (Acts 20:4) He is also mentioned in Titus 3:12. Paul gives him three titles: 1. Beloved brother. 2. Faithful minister. 3. Fellow servant.
8 Paul is sending them with these letters to tell these churches how Paul is doing and that they might provide strength and comfort.
9 Onesimus is discussed in the letter to Philemon. He was the run-away slave who had since become a Christian. Here is a master (Philemon) and his slave (Onesimus) who are members of the same church. They worship together, sing, pray, study and grow in faith as equals.
10 Aristarchus is a fellow prisoner (in sympathy and support) not as a cell mate. He is sharing in the suffering which Paul is enduring. He was with Paul in the riot at Ephesus. (Acts 19:29)
11 It appears that Jesus was a rather common name at this time. There are several men in the Bible named Jesus. (Matt. 27:16-17; Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Acts 13:6) These men were not attempting to claim any special power or likeness to Jesus Christ.
12 Epaphras is described as a man of prayer. He is laboring, striving (literally - in pain) in prayer for the Colossians.
13 The word zeal would be better translated pain. The churches of Laodicea and Hierapolis, as well as Colosse, are the center of his painful concerns.
14 Luke, the author of the third gospel, a physician, and it would appear, a companion of Demas, send their greetings. They are mentioned together in Philemon 24. The bad mention of Demas (2 Tim. 4:10) must be put in perspective of the mention of him in Colossians and Philemon.
15 The city of Laodicea is included in this letter even though they received a letter of their own. Why? The answer is most likely found in the fact that most of the oldest manuscripts of Ephesians do not contain the name of Ephesus. The Ephesian letter, as we know it, was probably a provincial letter. It was intended to be passed around. Colossians was written at the same time and to the same territory. Paul had to deal with the heresy. This would explain the need for two letters which are so similar. Most churches met in the home of a member. Nymphas is the name of sister. A group of Christians were meeting in her house.
16 All of the epistles of Paul were intended to be copied and exchanged.
17 Archippus is urged to keep up the good work of ministry. He is also mentioned in Philemon 2.
18 Paul ends the letter with his own signature and final word.