“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.” Colossians 1:1-2
The beginning of Paul’s letters are extremely important. We can move from them without thinking much, but in fact it’s rich with truth.
Paul knows exactly who he is and who he belongs to. He is an apostle of Christ Jesus. Not only does he know who he belongs to, but he understands the only reason he can call himself an apostle is because it is the WILL of God. This was nothing he could do on His own. Paul addresses himself as someone who knows that his place and positioning is for Jesus Christ alone. It deeply pleased Paul to do the will of God.
John 6:40 tells us that the will of the Father is that everyone who looks at Jesus and believes in Him will have eternal life. God deeply wanted His creation to know his love - it was His pleasure to adopt us into sonship through Jesus (Ephesians 1:5) .His will from the very beginning was to bring his people close. Understanding the will of the Father allowed Paul to go and do the work of the gospel. Paul can’t do what he is doing without knowing the Father’s will and being readily available to do the work.
Paul’s work was to grow the gospel - he was doing just that. He was addressing the Holy people in Colossae and calling them into a high standard of being faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. Not all of them were living to this high standard as the purpose of writing this letter was to counter the “Colossian heresy” that was working against the gospel. However, Paul was not confused on who God was and what the gospel can do in the lives of people. Paul loved the church and was about the church because God loves the church and is about His church. Paul was deeply submitted to the will and work of God. He faithfully prayed for this church and desired nothing, but to bring grace and peace that can only come from God. WE see this grace and peace displayed through the power of His words throughout all Colossians.
If you travel down a few verses you see Paul thanking God for these people and the love they have, he reminds them that the love comes from the hope stored up in heaven. Paul talks about the gospel growing in the whole world – because that is what Paul is about. Paul is about the gospel and so grateful that these very people are also about the gospel. There is nothing like living life with people who want nothing more than to know Jesus and make him known.
Are we imitating the faith of Paul?
I would ask yourself these questions that spring from the very first sentences of Colossians:
Do you understand who you are because of Christ Jesus?
Is the gospel growing around you because of you?
Do you understand the will of the Father?
Are you about bringing the grace and peace of God to the church?
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