Anyways, as per normal he came back with a whack of books. Some of which I asked him for, others that he got "just because". One of the one he brought back was called "Let's Study Colossians and Philemon" and I thought, why not? I've been wanting something to study and the Let's Study series tends to be well done.
When I got up this morning I read through the first chapter which was an introduction to the book of Colossians.
I'll be going through the book chapter by chapter.
We start our study with Colossians 1:1-2
2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
My study and questions asked
He is writing to the Christians in Colossae and extends to them a blessing from God the Father. I find it interesting that the focus on on God the Father and not his more common "God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". But I'm not sure if that matters or not.
The book asked these questions
1. As Paul introduces himself in the opening verse of the letter, what do we learn about him personally, especially in terms of his authority to write to the church in this way?
What do we learn about Paul personally from this opening? What about his authority to write?
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother."
Paul very much knew that it was God's choice to call him his own. He was all set to persecute Christians and God called him out of that. He called him to be a follower of him and so Paul dedicated his life to serving God to fervently as he used to persecute Christians. He was devoted to God.
He didn't see himself any better than the disciples who walked with Christ. He knew that being a follower of Christ put him into a new family.. he called Timothy a brother. He often referred to other Christians as brothers. He reminded us often that we are part of the family of God. Family matters, and within families there is no better or lesser.
But none the less, he is an apostle, called by God, and so he can teach the family of believers more of God.
From the chapter I learn the following:
1. An apostle: one of the men formally designated and sent by Christ. Paul was not one of the original 12 but became one of the 12 by his encounter with Christ on the Damascus road.
2. By the will of God: Christ called him and commissioned him. If Christ hadn't done this, Paul's shame at how he originally treated the Christian church would have stopped him from assuming a teaching/leading position. But God called him to more.
3. and Timothy our brother. The church he wrote to had Jewish members in it, and they respect having two or more witnesses, so adding Timothy's name added credibility to his words.
2. In keeping with the accepted style of letter-writing of his day the apostle identifies the people to whom this letter is addressed. What do we learn from the tone content and his form of greeting in this verse? Why, especially, does Paul refer to these believers as being 'in Christ'?
I have to admit, I don't know how to answer the tone content of this question. Paul writes: To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Paul is writing to the church of Colossae, to the believers there. I don't know what more to see here. :) So I'll go to the book for help with this question.
Paul addresses the people he writing to as saints and faithful believers. He isn't harsh with them. He is calling them what he sees them as being. True believers in Christ. They are a people set apart for God. Just as calling them believers in Christ refers to who they are more than where they live.
By doing all this Paul reminds us how we need to address each other. Remembering that FIRST we are fellow believers and that we are family in Christ. It shows the kind of approach we need to have when correcting each other as believers. See who we are in Christ and call people back to what is true and right as believers.
Paul ends his greeting with a bestowing on grace and peace from God the Father. Not some nameless deity, but God our FATHER. This wasn't an empty greeting, this was greeting that reminded people of the favour bestowed on us by God our Father. A reminder of whom our salvation comes from.