Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Col. 1-4; Philem. 1


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Colossians Chapter One

  1. The letter opens with a note of thankfulness for the work of Epaphras in establishing the Colossian church (Col. 1:1-6).
    1. Paul had never been to Colossae, but was engaged in a fervent prayer ministry on their behalf (Col. 2:1).
    2. Like Thessalonica, Colossae Bible Church✝︎ was grounded in faith, hope, and love (Col. 1:4-5).
  2. Paul outlines the Christian Way of Life (Col. 1:9-14).  A faithful believer will:
    1. Pray for the ἐπίγνωσις epignōsis #1922 full knowledge of God’s will (v.9).
    2. Walk worthy of the Lord (v.10a).
    3. Please the Father (v.10b).
    4. Bear fruit in every good work (v.10c).
    5. Increase in the knowledge of God (v.10d).
    6. Receive Divine power for endurance (v.11).
    7. Joyously give thanks to the Father for His work in saving us through Christ (vv.12-14).
  3. The eternal glory of Christ is then described (Col. 1:15-20).
    1. The visible image of the invisible God the Father (v.15a).
    2. The firstborn of all creation (v.15b).
      1. The Deity of Christ is (of course) eternal (Jn. 1:1-2), but the humanity of Christ and therefore the hypostatic union of Christ was the first creative act of the Father (Prov. 8:22; Col. 3:15; Rev. 3:14).
      2. The humanity of God the Son was a source for Divine delight prior to the creation of man (Prov. 8:31), and the very cause for man’s creation to be in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27).
    3. The delegated Creator and Sustainer of all things according to the will of the Father (v.16-17; Jn. 1:3; Prov. 8:30; Heb. 1:3).
    4. The Head of the Church (v.18a; Eph. 1:22).
    5. The Firstborn from the Dead (v.18b; 1st Cor. 15:23).
    6. The Fulness of the Father’s plan manifest through Him (v.19).
    7. The Reconciler of all things to the Father (v.20), including the Colossian believers that Paul is writing to (Col. 1:21-23).
  4. The privilege of sacrificial intercessory sufferings is then outlined, as Paul rejoices in the mystery doctrine of the Church (Col. 1:24-29; Eph. 3:3-10; Rom. 16:25-26).

Colossians Chapter Two

  1. Paul prayed for the Colossian and Laodicean believers as those whom he had never personally taught (Col. 2:1-7).
    1. That these local churches would have hearts knit together in love.
    2. That these local churches would understand their grace blessings as the Bride of Christ.
    3. That these local churches would be equipped to handle false teaching.
  2. Paul gets to the chief corrective matter of the epistle when he addresses the false teaching that had crept into the Colossian church (Col. 2:8,16-23).
    1. False teaching is enslaving (Col. 2:8), whereas the Truth sets us free (Jn. 8:32).
    2. Human philosophy & tradition are snares to believers’ proper worship in the local church (Col. 2:8).
    3. False teaching makes issues out of non-issues, as the κόσμος kosmos wisdom of demonic teaching achieves its purpose (Col. 2:16-23; Jas. 3:15).
      1. Dietary issues.
      2. Calendar issues.
      3. Shadow ritual issues.
      4. Asceticism issues.
      5. Crusader issues.
    4. False teaching is the work of fallen angels promoting the worship of angels (Col. 2:18; 1st Tim. 4:1).
  3. Occupation with Christ, and the blessings of His work on our behalf, serve to put all false teaching into the proper perspective of emptiness (Col. 2:9-15).
    1. The cancellation of our certificate of debt, having nailed it to the cross (v.14).
    2. The disarming of our enemies, and His triumph over them by the cross (v.15).
  4. The essence of Church Age liberty is a right distinction between shadows and substance. This happens most readily as the growing Body holds fast to the Head (Col. 2:16-23).

Colossians Chapter Three

  1. Reality must shape our realizations. The reality is that we have been raised up with Christ (Col. 2:12; 3:1; Eph. 2:6). Our realizations must be seeking and thinking heavenly things (Col. 3:1-4).
  2. The heavenly-minded believer conducts his life according to seven principles of our new life in Christ (Col. 3:5-17).
    1. We are to consider ourselves to be dead to sin (v.5; Rom. 8:13).
    2. We are no longer among the sons of disobedience (vv.6-7; Eph. 2:1-3).
    3. We lay aside the old self, and put on the new self (vv.8-11; Eph. 4:22-25).
    4. We are to clothe ourselves with a compassionate & forgiving heart (vv.12-13), and most especially love (v.14).
    5. We are to submit to the peace of Christ, as it rules in our heart (v.15).
    6. We are to learn from the word of Christ, as it dwells richly in our heart (v.16).
    7. We are to dedicate every action in the name of Christ in thankfulness to the Father (v.17).
  3. These principles of zoe life have practical application in bios life relationships as well (Col. 3:18-4:1; Eph. 5:22-6:9).

Colossians Chapter Four

  1. Paul’s final two exhortations focus on the importance of corporate prayer within the assembly (Col. 4:2-4), and the critical importance of maintaining an outreach ministry outside the assembly (Col. 4:5-6).
  2. The Book ends with personal words of encouragement (Col. 4:7-18).
    1. Tychicus was the courier for the Ephesians epistle as well as the Colossian epistle (Col. 4:7; Eph. 6:21).
    2. Onesimus traveled with Tychicus, and carried the epistle to Philemon (Col. 4:9; Philem. 10).
    3. Archippus evidently pastored the Colossian church in Epaphras’ absence (Col. 1:7; 4:17; Philem. 2).


  1. Paul opens the letter with a personal address to three people by name, and to a local assembly in general (Philem. 1-3).
    1. Philemon “kisser” was a believer in Colossae, who hosted the local church there.
    2. Apphia “fruitful” was likely his wife.
    3. Archippus “horse-master” was possibly their son, and certainly the pastor of the Colossian church (cf. Col. 4:17).
  2. Paul begins with a note of thankfulness for Philemon’s love (Philem. 4-7).
    1. Love and faith for Christ motivates love and faith for the saints (v.5).
    2. Faith becomes effective in a fellowship with other believers through a full knowledge (ἐπιγνώσις epignōsis) of the eternal grace blessings every believer possesses (v.6).
  3. Although he has the authority to issue a command, Paul also has the love to issue an appeal (Philem. 8-9).
  4. Paul’s appeal was for the runaway slave, Onesimus (Philem. 10-16).
    1. Onesimus was a slave, separated from Philemon for an unstated reason (vv.15,16).
    2. In the course of his departure, Philemon was financially harmed (v.18).
    3. Onesimus became saved under Paul’s ministry in Rome (v.10).
      1. Onesimus became a minister to Paul (v.13).
      2. Onesimus became his heart-friend (v.12).
    4. Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon, giving him the opportunity to do the right thing under his own positive volition (v.14).
      1. Paul prompted Philemon to consider God’s purpose for Onesimus’ departure (v.15).
      2. Onesimus “useful” was formerly useless, but is being returned useful (v.11).
      3. A slave ran away, but now, a slave and a beloved brother is returning (v.16).
  5. Partner acceptance and vicarious penal substitution are fundamental doctrines pertaining to the plan of God for humanity (Philem. 17–20).
    1. Partner acceptance is grounded in God the Father’s and God the Son’s unity partnership (Prov. 8:30-31; Ps. 2:7; 8:4-6; 89:5-10; Isa. 42:1; Zech. 13:7; Mt. 3:17; Jn. 10:30; 17:21).
    2. Every wrong and every debt owed by the first Adam is charged to the account of the last Adam (Isa. 53:1-12; Jn. 1:29; 2nd Cor. 5:21; 1st Pet. 3:18; 1st Jn. 2:1-2).
  6. The conclusion bears many similarities to Colossians, mentioning many of the same people (Philem. 21-25).

✝︎ Pastor Bob’s nickname for the local church founded in Colossae. They didn’t really call themselves that.