“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy our brother. To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ who are at Colosse: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:1-2
“What has happened to me? What change really occurred when I choose Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord?” These questions are not asked very often, but occasionally one will be brave enough to ask when they find themselves in strange places in their thought patterns and responses. We really did have a profoundly transforming interaction in those few seconds that as believers we need to receive. Paul addresses two of them in this small section of Scripture.
Notice that Paul is talking about the “will of God” in His placement as an Apostle. I am reminded of John 1:12,
“Yet to all who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God, to those who believed in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Paul knew that he was God’s man and Apostle by the will of God, not the appointment or will of man. When we become believers, it is essential that we understand we have been “born from above” ( the real meaning of “born again”) by the will of God. Our new birth placement determines everything in our life from this point in time.
Paul then refers to these folk he is writing as “saints” and faithful brothers.” The word “saint” comes from the same word as “holy.” All their related words, (sanctified, sanctification, holiness, etc… all originate from the one Greek word). I know in our “religious world” the word “saint” has a meaning to designate those people of “special” gifts or anointings that make them above others. This is not the New Testament usage at all. If we are born from above, then we are a saint. We are ones who have been made into the image of the Father through the work of the Son. This is the real definition of the word translated “holy.” If you dig a bit deeper than just the one or two-word definition in Strong’s – you will discover the meaning I have given. Paul never calls us “sinners saved by grace.” That is our way of trying to stay very human. It is not Biblical at all. We are people who were sinners, but we have been saved by grace and are now sons and daughters of Almighty God.
Believing this is a step towards beginning to accept the fact that I have been made like He is. Trying to stay as other humans is futile now as the Lord lives inside us. We are now expressions of Him in the earth – not primarily expressions of our natural heritage.
The next word Paul uses to define who these people are is “faithful.” The meaning is what you would suppose: one who is and does according to the investment of others into His life. If one is given a job and is faithful, then they receive the rewards of that position. If on the other hand, a person chooses not to do the assignment of the job, then they will be noted as unfaithful, unable, and not sufficient to the task.
Every thing required in this placement has been accomplished already for us in the person of Jesus Christ, so we are empowered to be and to do – Faithful!
Now as we go through this book together, let’s enjoy the knowledge that what the Lord requires of us has been completed for us and empowered within us. So faithfulness requires only my willingness to flow in Him. Obedience is now our first nature.
These are New Testament truths. I know they are not normally taught, but as we willingly gave ourselves to Him, He has voluntarily given us sufficiency in all.
“We have such trust through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient in ourselves to take credit for anything of ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us able ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
One more verse from later in Colossians:
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” Colossians 1:13 (the literal is “into the kingdom of the Son of His love.)”
What has happened – Oh my, now our nature and our place of residency have been completely changed. We will explore this deeper as we move through the book. Thanks for joining me.
All Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, Modern English version – copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. All rights reserved.