Colossians 1:9, “9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”
- In verse 9 the Apostle Paul writes these ambiguous phrases, “For this reason” and “Since the day we heard of it” so as a reader you are thinking to yourself, “What reason? Heard of what?”
- In verse 9, the phrase, “for (this) reason” and “since the day we heard of (it)” is a throw back to the “gospel” in verse 5, so that the Apostle Paul is writing to the Colossians to say, “You got the gospel!”
In verse 9, the men, women, and children of this local church in Colossae are in Christ (1-8), but there is some insecurity in their faith in Christ, because there are false teachers in their community who are teaching that their faith in Jesus is just step 1 on their road to spiritual transformation.
It’s like when someone says to you, “You don’t know about Dave’s Ramsey’s book on personal finances?” It can come across like, “Jesus is a good start, but Dave Ramsey changed my life.”
Colossians 1:1, “1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother.”
- When you study Scripture you always want to draw out the context of what you are reading by identifying the author, and the audience. In verse 1 we see the author is “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ.”
- The Apostle Paul is just a regular guy who has no interest in Jesus, actually opposed to Jesus and Christianity, and he is committing his life to chasing down Christians, throwing them in jail, and putting them to death, BUT in Acts 9 Paul’s life is radically transformed by grace through faith in Jesus, and he spends the rest of his life proclaiming the name of Jesus!
Now, when you study the Scriptures on your own there is a question that is going to pop into your mind, which is, “How can we trust the Scriptures if the Scriptures are written by ordinary people like Paul?”
Proverbs 3:1-10, “1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments. 2 For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.”
- In verses 1-10 we see a pattern of instructions with phrases like, “Do not, do not, do not” and for each one there is a result like verse 1, “We will find long life and peace.” In verse 3, “We will find favor.”
- In verse 5, “Our paths will be straight. In verse 7, “Our bones will find rest,” and, verse 9, “We will have more money than we can imagine” so that verses 1-10 it can kind of read like, “If we read the Scriptures and obey the Scriptures” then life will be great, spouse is beautiful, house is too big, and make a lot of money
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— 2 A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up. 4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
Ecclesiastes 3 is considered a part of wisdom literature. Ecclesiastes is written by Solomon, who is one of the wisest people in the world, because in 1 Kings, in the Old Testament, Solomon was approached by the God of Scripture to make any request and it would be granted. Can you imagine?
Solomon could have asked for money to get helicopters, vacation homes, and have Stevie Wonder sing him a lullaby. Solomon could have asked for the intelligence of Doogie Howzer, and rock out Jeopardy every day! Solomon could have asked for all the power in the world, and do you know what Solomon asked for?
Galatians 6:1, “1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
- In verse 1 the Apostle Paul is writing to a region of churches in Galatia, modern day Turkey, and in verse 1 the Apostle Paul writes, “Brethren, you who are spiritual, (those who are in Christ, the body of Christ, the local church), restore one another in a spirit of gentleness.”
- Do you know what that means? The word, “restore” in the original language, means to “equip by exposing rips and tears in our relationships with one another.”
- It means relationships are going to be messy. I know we don’t want relationships to be messy. We want relationships to be fun, easy, natural, and just happen, but relationships are messy. Relationships aren’t like Saved By The Bell where you see a conflict, some jokes and everything is resolved in twenty minutes. It’s messy.
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2 Corinthians 8:1-2, “Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.”
- The first and second letter to the Corinthians is a real letter to real people from the Apostle Paul, and in verses 1 and 2 the Apostle Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church about the local church in Macedonia (Two churches in modern day Greece).
- The Apostle Paul describes the Macedonian church as a people who are going through a “great ordeal of affliction” vs. 2, and yet they are “overflowing in the wealth of their liberality.”
- The word “liberality” means “generous.” The Macedonian church is a generous church. The word affliction means “trouble and hardship.”
Luke 2:22-24, “22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
- In verses 22-24 Joseph and Mary follow a tradition of bringing the “firstborn male” to the temple as a reminder of the rescue in Exodus when the angel of death passes over every house that is covered by the blood of the lamb.
- In the Old Testament Israel is enslaved in Egypt, the Lord tells Moses to take the blood of the lamb, put it on the doorposts, so that when the angel of death passes over the house, he will pass over every house that is covered by the blood of the lamb.
- And in Luke 2 Joseph and Mary are bringing baby Jesus to the temple to celebrate the rescue of the Passover in Exodus 12, and foreshadowing that Ultimate Rescue that is going to come in Jesus.