(Chapter 1:1-6)
Hope & Love

Fred Coulter—October 16, 1993

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I want to reiterate a little bit more concerning the translation, which you will find in the section: All About This…Translation, but I need to also clarify as to why I have done it. I have done it so that it will be for inspirational study to try and bring out the fullest possible meaning of the Greek.

from booklet: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Colossians, An Inspirational Study, pg 4 All About This… Translation:

The original Greek is so rich in meaning and understanding that the study of the Greek… [by myself] …for over 19 years has left me in a state of awe and reverence at the fantastic meaning God has inspired in each and every word of the New Testament, in the Greek language. It is absolutely true and inspiring, as Paul wrote for us about the word of God in 2-Timothy 3:16, which in the Greek the phrase "pasa graphe theopneustos"—which means ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD-BREATHED or GOD-INSPIRED. [And you can have] an exact literal translation of this [which would] be rendered as: " All Scripture is God-spirited," or inspired by the [ Spirit] power of God's Holy Spirit.

And then the Apostle Peter gave us some understanding concerning the Scriptures and we need to realize this, as he wrote:

2-Peter 1:20: "Knowing this..." In other words, the whole basic approach we have to all of the study of the Bible, to all of the study of the New Testament is this:

Verse 1: "Knowing this first, that any prophecy of the Scripture is not of any private interpretation…" The reason being is that God gives the interpretation right in His Word:

  • …b

ecause prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Therefore it's absolutely true, the Word of God is God-Spirited! [And just like] Jesus said, "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I am speaking to you, THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE" (John 6:63).

Now let's cover something very important concerning the Expanded Amplified Translation. I want to reiterate again that this translation is not meant to be a final, doctrinal translation. Even though the translation is accurate as to the meaning of the Greek in its verb and word usage, and is technically accurate, it is presented in free flowing and a verbose manner to capture, as much as possible, every degree of meaning from the original Greek into the English.

However, please understand that this translation has been produced for the special, inspirational rendition of these three epistles of the Apostle Paul and is not, I reiterate, NOT intended to replace the Word of God as inspired in the Greek text, or the New Testament. So, what I have done—so that you will understand this—I have provided an additional study aid for each one of the readers, which includes the Greek Interlinear of Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians by George Ricker Barry, which contains the same Greek text as used by me for this translation.

Now, let's cover a little about the background to the book of Colossians. It was written to the Christians who were in the city of Colossi.

Introduction to the New Testament, p 216-20:

Colossi was located approximately 100 miles east of Ephesus, in the upper Lycos Valley, in the district of Phrygia in the Roman province of Asia, called Asia Minor, today. It was strategically located on the important highway to the east as the Lycos Valley narrowed down to a pass—ten miles long, two miles wide—through the Cadmus Range to the east. The valley was very fertile and still is to this day. The numerous mineral hot springs and streams were laden with calcareous matter and laid down immense glacier-like streams and cataracts of limestone. Specially noteworthy are the formations at Hierapolis and Colossi.

The neighboring cities mentioned in the epistle are: Laodicea, which is twelve miles west and Hierapolis, six miles north. Laodicea was the thriving, banking center of great wealth for the entire region. It was also the administrative center for taxing purposes for the Roman province of Asia. And there are extensive ruins of Laodicea, which testify to its once great affluence and luxury. Hierapolis, on the other hand, was noted for its mineral hot springs and was thronged with visitors searching for health and pleasure. The three cities were in constant communication and could have been easily visited in one day. The entire area was an active center of the textile industry during Roman times. Phrygia is mentioned as one of the regions represented on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given (Acts 2:10).

The bulk of the population apparently consisted of native Phrygians, people marked by the tendency to mystical illusion and orgiastic excitement, which made Phrygia the home of the frantic worship… [which we would say fanatical worship] …of Dionysius and Cibele…. [And Sibley is just another name for Diana, the goddess of the Ephesians.] …But this Phrygian substratum had long ago received an admixture of Greek. And the Greek language and the Greek manners prevailed and leavened the life and culture.

As we find evidence in the book of Colossians 2:1, Paul writes that he had never seen those in Colossi or Laodicea or Hierapolis, face-to-face. But they were the direct result of Paul's ministry, which was centered at Ephesus for over two years, as we find in Acts 19.

Paul clearly shows that they learned the Gospel and were instructed in Christ by Epaphras, who was "a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf," (Col. 1:7). And it seems that he was known for his ministry in all three cities, (Col. 4:12-13). From the internal evidence of the Epistle to the Colossians, it does not appear that there was any Jewish converts in the congregation. Nor is there any reference….at all to….the circumcision of the flesh…

—as there are in the Epistle to the Ephesians or what Paul mentioned there concerning the true circumcision in Philippians, the third chapter, as well.

…Paul clearly states that he was making known the glory of the "mystery of God, among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27).

In Colossians 2, there are direct references to the convert's previous state as being the uncircumcision in the flesh, (Col. 2:13) vs their current converted state with their circumcision in Christ, which is, when we cover Col. 2, we will see was made without hands—in other words, the spiritual conversion, the spiritual circumcision in Christ.

The major thrust of this epistle is the great conflict, which was being waged against the Church [as a result of the] pagan religious philosophies. Paul makes it clear that the doctrines and teachings of philosophy constituted a tremendous threat to their faith in Christ Jesus. If they followed these teachings of men, with their doctrines and commandments, it would drag them away from Christ, into the worship of fallen angels. [These philosophies taught] that a person could not be complete in their knowledge and understanding of God, through Jesus Christ and God, the Father, alone….a person [would be] required to go through various stages of philosophical enlightenment and the worship of angels before one could understand [God or the Godhead. According to the teachings of the religious philosophies, Jesus Christ was] not sufficient.

And that is why we have in Colossians 2 that you are complete in Christ. I have a whole section in the book showing how we are complete in Christ, as related there in chapter two.

[They claim that a seeker of God] must also accept these cleverly devised teachings and obey the Stoic's traditions. Just as the religious philosophies of today claim, it was taught that a person cannot come to the complete knowledge of the Divine, without the knowledge and practice of the religious illumination…of philosophy…. [which every religion of this world is based upon those philosophies.] …This is the central message of the Epistle to the Colossians. Most theologians, who are wrapped in their own religious philosophies, think that, the epistle to the Colossians does not appear to be of much importance since it was written to a small, insignificant congregation. [So here is what they say]: "With the epistle to the Colossians, the Church practically disappears from Christian history, while the two neighboring churches played quite a prominent role in the early church history. The church at Colossi was of little importance in the greater sphere of the Christian church."

We're going to see that that is absolutely not true, because these words, this epistle, was preserved for us today, as we will see when we start going through it.

But, its teachings are profound and desperately needed today! This small epistle is perhaps the most powerful tool to combat the onslaught of apostasy, which is flooding the world and the churches today, with its New Age philosophies.

You see it everywhere. All the New Age so called philosophies are based upon the old philosophical religions of Satan the devil. Today, in the world, we are facing the amalgamation of all religions into a new Satan inspired united global religion.

I talked to a friend of mine who said that he talked to a Methodist friend of his and they are waiting for a brand new revelation to supersede even the New Testament. So hang on tight, folks, because we don't know exactly what is going to happen to fulfill the prophecy where it says in Rev. 13 that the whole world is going to worship Satan the devil. But it is going to be based on philosophy. They are actually, the same ancient demonically inspired philosophies, which assaulted the little congregation of God at Colossi, over 1,900 years ago.

Now, another thing to consider is that few people realize that the Apostle Paul's teachings against the pagan religious philosophies of men, and by the way, this under-girds almost all professing Christian churches today, especially those who are Sunday-keepers. What he wrote there is actually powerful teachings against what is commonly known as the so-called trinity.

Few people realize… [or] …even understand that the doctrine of the trinity, in its various forms, is founded almost exclusively in pagan philosophy!….

You could say not only almost exclusively, but exclusively in pagan philosophies. You can't find it in the Bible.

Paul's complete denunciation of the religious philosophies of men, which is nothing more than the worship of fallen angels, is also a complete, unilateral rejection of the doctrine of the trinity. The Great trinitarian philosophy, as taught by Plato, is in reality…a refinement of the ancient Babylonian philosophy of the "three in one" and the "one in many" and the "many in one." God inspired the Apostle Paul to write this epistle [against philosophy and religious practices.] As such then…it is also a complete rejection of the pagan religious holidays of Sunday worship, Christmas and Easter. As we will see, contrary to the beliefs of most Christian professing churches, Paul most emphatically upholds the observance of God's weekly Sabbath, annual Holy Days, New Moons, clean and unclean meats, etc.

And you will see this when we especially get into the second chapter of the book of Colossians. This is very important that we thoroughly go through this epistle word-by-word. I also want to clarify, as I do this, one of the reasons why I did the translation. So this ties hand-in-hand with some of the things that we are going to cover.

First of all, we need to understand that in the first century, when the New Testament Church was being raised up, and was growing quite fantastically; one of the centers of religion was Alexandria. Out of Alexandria {note sermon series: Scripturalism vs Judaism} what is commonly called the Catholic religion, which includes Orthodox and all the various kinds. We also have to understand that Protestantism is nothing more than purified Catholicism. They still keep the same days that the Catholics have dictated.

The Catholics taunt the Protestants all the time when the Protestants say, 'Well, we go by the Bible,' Then they taunt them and say, 'Why do you observe Sunday, Christmas and Easter, because we know as Catholics that that was a proclamation given by the pope and has nothing to do with the Scriptures.' The Catholics know that. Most people don't understand that the Catholics know that. But they feel that it's the right of the pope to change it.

However, the point is this: the Catholic Church actually came out of Alexandrian Judaism via Philo and Simon Magus, and then it was married together with Mithraism and the other religions of the East. We're going to see why this is so important for us. This is talking about the two witnesses, but the two witnesses is not the point I want to cover here:

Revelation 11:8 "And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." This is talking about Jerusalem.

I recently talked to a man who said that he took a trip to the 'Holy Land,' so-called; if there is any land that is unholy today, it is Jerusalem, because God says it is like Sodom and Egypt, spiritually. You can think on that, and when you understand about the trinity that's one of the explanations of the trinity is that the Father eternally begets the Son, and the Son eternally begets the Father—that is spiritual sodomy. It says Sodom and Egypt, so we are shown the religious significance of Jerusalem today.
Now, let's understand something very clearly, the philosophy that Paul was writing about, in Col. 2 is the Christianized, Egyptian, Babylonian philosophy, which is the basis and the fundamental foundation for the 'religions' of this world. When God brought the children of Israel out of their slavery, where were they living? They were living in Egypt!

Now we will tie Deut. 17 in with one of the reasons why we need to get in and really study the Word of God and why every minister should do what it says here, pertaining to when the Israelites would set up a king over them. He was to sit down and write a copy of the Law for himself. I feel that that's one of the reasons God wants us to get in and really study the Word of God. This is why I have done these translations and so forth, so that I can have the understanding of it in a greater degree and also be able to convey this to other people.

Deuteronomy 17:14: "When you come to the land, which the LORD your God gives you, and shall possess it and shall live in it and shall say, 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,' you shall surely set a king over you, whom the LORD your God shall choose. You shall set a king over you from among your brethren. You may not set a stranger over you who is not your brother. Only he shall not multiply horses to himself…" (vs 14-16).

That is interesting if you go ahead and transfer that over to the New Testament ministry. Not that they were to be kings, that is obviously not correct, but they were not to multiply wealth to themselves in the New Testament, nor was the king to multiply horses to himself that he would trust in his own armament, that he would trust in his own army, that he would trust in himself and the people rather than God.

"…nor cause the people to return to Egypt…" (v 16). This ties right in with Rev. 11, because we are seeing in the Churches of God today a movement to cause people to return to Egypt by the acceptance of the Egyptianized pagan philosophy of the trinity. That is why God says in Rev. 11 that Jerusalem is called, spiritually, Sodom and Egypt. So, every minister better really take heed! Is he causing the people to go back into Egypt or, as we would say in the New Testament, back into the world?

"…so as to multiply horses because the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again'" (v 16). What I want you to do is compare that to the things in the New Testament that talk about the way we are to live, the way of Christ is called that way.
Egypt and the way of the Egyptian 'religion,' the Egyptian philosophy' was also called that way. The very meaning and the very substance of the first Passover was God's judgment against all the gods of Egypt. The book of Colossians, we're going to see, is very strong; that we are not to go back into the philosophies of men, from which these so-called Christian philosophies originated out of Egypt. We are not to go back that way.

Verse 17: "Nor shall he multiply wives to himself, so that his heart does not turn away. Nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold to himself. And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book from that which is in the custody of the priests the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life…" (vs 17-19)

Now this kind of reading is not just to read, but this kind of reading is to read and study in depth, and he is to do it all the days of his life. This is important for any minister, too, because too many ministers think that they reach a certain level of understanding of God's Word and they know it all. That is not correct! You cannot know it all because the Bible was inspired of God's Spirit and of His Word and from His mind; and if you claim that you know it all then you are claiming you have the mind of God.

Here's the reason why, "…so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them… [and more importantly]: …so that his heart may not be lifted up above his brethren…" (vs 19-20). That is why the book of Colossians is so important because it teaches the minister not to lift himself up above the brethren.

"…and that he does not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel" (v 20).

Let's just apply this spiritually to the New Testament, that you may attain to the Kingdom of God and as the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, that if you give yourself wholly to these things then you will save those that hear you.

Let's read in summary the verse that we quoted in the beginning of this sermon. Let's carry it on a little bit further, into the areas, which affect us today.

2-Timothy 3:15: "And that from a child you have known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 15-17). These are the good works of the ministry to teach, to inspire, to help and all that sort of thing.

2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you, therefore, in the sight of God…" We have a charge, as ministers, given to us that is above and beyond anything else in our life, or any other person in our lives.

"…even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. Preach the Word!…." (vs 1-2). That means the whole Message of God!

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." So, you are preaching the whole message of Jesus Christ. That is what it means: 'Be urgent in season' which shows that they were keeping the Holy Days.

2-Timothy 4:2: "…Be urgent in season and out of season; convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience [longsuffering]… [to encourage and edify] …and doctrine."

Believe me, doctrine is important. The term 'doctrine' merely means teaching. He is talking about the correct teachings in the Bible. We are in this today, and this has happened time and time again, down through the history of the Church.

It was happening in the days of the Apostle Paul when he wrote v 3: "For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine…" Why? Because they get caught up in the world and they do as Deut. 17 said do not do, they go back to Egypt and accept the pagan philosophies.

"…they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings" (v 3). To hear what is so-called 'new truth,' but most of the things that are brought as new truth are old fables and tales, just recycled back into their own modern day version.

Verse 4: "And they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths." Now, isn't that amazing what happens because people do that? They go back into Egypt.

Colossians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse: Grace… [and Divine favor, God's generous gift and blessing] …and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying for you continually" (vs 1-3)—praying and making intercession for you.

Verse 4: "Since hearing of your faith… [that steadfast belief and trust] …in Christ Jesus, and the love… [Godly, Divine love] …that you have toward all the saints; because of the hope… [promise of the resurrection and eternal glory] …that is laid up for you in heaven, which you heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel; which has come to you, even as it also has in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit… [of hope and love] …just as it is among you, from the day that you heard and knew the grace of God in Truth" (vs 4-6). God's gracious blessing, Divine favor and generous gift.

Now, let's go back and let's study each verse and we will go into detail and bring a lot of Scriptures to bear on each verse as we are going along.

Verse 1: "Paul, an apostle… [one who has been dispatched and sent, as commissioned] …by the will of God..." The apostles, who were truly apostles—those chosen and taught by Jesus Christ and appointed by Jesus Christ—have the authority of Jesus Christ. That is an awful lot of authority when you really understand it.

Let's see what Jesus said of His authority. This is very important, lest any of us get lifted up in our own importance and think we are apostles and that we bear the authority of Jesus Christ as the apostles did. I don't think that after the original apostles died, that there were, we could really say that there were truly apostles as the original apostles of the beginning New Testament Church were apostles.

God's Will:

Matthew 28:18: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority [power]…"—Greek: 'exousia.' When Paul was sent with the authority of Jesus Christ, notice the authority that was backing him up.

"'…All authority in heaven and on earth…'" (v 18). When Paul writes the introduction here—that he was sent and dispatched and commissioned as one who bears the authority of Jesus Christ—he is really giving us a tremendous introduction as to the very reason and purpose for his ministry by God's very own will (Eph. 1:5).

God is revealing His will to those whom He is calling. This is really profound for us to understand, because God's whole plan and God's whole will that we be in the Kingdom and Family of God is so all encompassing and fantastic that it is almost beyond our minds to wholly and totally grasp it, but it is contained in the Word of God so that at least in this life that we can understand as much as we can. Even though it is like as the Apostle Paul said, 'Looking through a glass darkly.'

Ephesians 1:5: "Having predestinated us for sonship… [it shouldn't read adoption (KJV] …to Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will." This is something that God has willed!

  • His own will
  • His own desire
  • His own love
  • His own plan
  • His own motivation

and this is what God the Father is doing.

Now, it is kind of like a man said one time: 'Well, when you really understand about the New Testament, then you find out who is in the Truth and who is into playing religion.' I think that's very apropos today because of God the Father's will and His own good pleasure. That is what God wants for us.

"…according to the good pleasure of His own will [and desire], to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son" (vs 5-6).

That is quite a profound statement, because that means that we are accepted in the Beloved One, Who is Jesus Christ, and we are accepted as Jesus Christ Himself. That is why it is only by grace that you can be saved. That is why it is only by grace and God's Spirit that you can understand the Truth and understand His will and understand His purpose, because God is the One Who can do it.

"…wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son; in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (vs 6-7).

I want you to think about the riches of the grace of God.

  • not only is it a calling
  • not only is it having our sins forgiven
  • not only is it being called into the Church of God

but we are called to the glorious inheritance to share with Jesus Christ! When it talks about the 'riches of His glory,' what we need to do, brethren, is think—as much as possible as our little, finite, little brains can think—of the vastness and glory of the universe, because we will be the crowning glory of the riches of His grace.
Verse 8: "Which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself" (vs 8-9).

I want you to think on that for just a minute. Lest you get complacent in your Christian life, in Christian growth, in overcoming and burdened down with problems—which you may have and everyone has a certain amount of those—that the greatest Being in the universe—God the Father—has made known to you the secret of His own personal will for you. You think on that because that is absolutely mind-boggling when you understand it. For those who 'play' church, you can just excuse yourself because you will never grasp it. But for those who are truly called of God, let us understand that God the Father Himself:

  • has called us
  • has opened our minds
  • has given us the knowledge of His Truth
  • has given us the knowledge of His Family
  • has given us the knowledge of the fact that we can be born into the Kingdom of God
  • through the power of the resurrection
  • by the power of God's Holy Spirit, in Jesus Christ

to be the children of God the Father, that is what all of this means.

Verse 9: "Having made known to us the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure… [it is going to be for joy and happiness and abundant living through all eternity] …which He has proposed in Himself."

  • God the Father is actively involved in our lives.
  • God the Father is the One Who calls us.
  • God the Father is the One Who applies the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to us

So, when Paul talks about God's very own will and purposeful desire,' it has great and profound meaning, and this ought to have great and profound meaning to every minister.

Colossians 1:1: "…and Timothy our brother." It is very interesting the way it is written there in the Greek; it is not a brother but the brother; in other words, that close, personal relationship that he and Timothy had.

Verse 2: "To the saints…"—from the Greek word which means Holy ones. Because we have been sanctified by God's Holy Spirit, we have been sanctified by God.
"…and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colossi: Grace…" (v 2). We need to understand about the grace of God, which is so profound and which is so important and which is so meaningful for us. God's grace, which is God's Divine favor, we already spoke of that, by revealing His will, God's generous gift. What is the generous gift that God is giving to us?

Grace of God:

Let's understand about this grace, which is the expression of God's love. After he shows how we were sinners in past time and being led about by every wind of Satan the devil; and we're following our own lusts.

Ephesians 2:4: "But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love…" Greek: 'megalos'—great, marvelous, almost incomprehensible love that God has for us.

"…with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses…" (vs 4-5). That is an interesting expression in the New Testament, because every person who has not been called of God is literally a walking dead person, because they have been concluded and shut up unto sin. We were dead in sins.

"…has made us alive… [spiritually] …together with Christ…" (v 5).

This is why all the commandment-keeping in the world, though it is required, can not replace the grace and sacrifice of God the Father, through Jesus Christ, can not do it! Nothing can replace the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins is poured out upon us by the grace of God through His calling.

"…(For you have been saved by grace.)" (v 5)—and that is referring back to Satan the devil (Eph. 2:2-3). We currently have been saved from Satan the devil. We find in 1-Cor. 15:2 that as long as we are standing in the Gospel we are currently being saved. If we endure to the end—that is of our life or until the time of the resurrection—we shall be saved (Matt. 24). But, at this point, you have been saved by God's grace. Let's understand that it's:

  • by God's Divine intervention
  • His personal calling
  • the personal gift of His Holy Spirit
  • the gift of Jesus Christ
  • the gift of the salvation of God

which saves us by grace!

Verse 6: "And He has raised us up together and has caused us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages that are coming… [that is when we will be literally sitting there] …in the ages that are coming He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God, Not of works, so that no one may boast…. [Why?] …For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto the good works…" [which then are motivated spiritually by God's Holy Spirit] …that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (vs 6-10)—as a living way of life!

God's grace is absolutely marvelous and absolutely fantastic, it is something that is just really marvelous, and wonderful for us to understand, to realize and to contemplate.

There's much more that we could say on grace {note sermon series: Grace of God that goes through it}. There is something very important we need to understand concerning what this grace does in the way of the gift, the giving gift of righteousness that comes from God toward us, which is very important concerning the grace that God has given us.

What I want you to do as we are going through these studies is see how absolutely thoroughly all of the epistles and all of the things in the New Testament agree with each other, because it is inspired by the very mind of God!

Romans 5:1: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace…" We will talk about peace as we find it there in Col. 1, and that means we have ceased hostilities with God.

"…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace…" (vs 1-2). Grace is the umbrella covering that God puts over us. Grace then is the means by which He expresses to us His love:

  • by which He gives us faith
  • by which He gives us His Spirit
  • by which He gives us access to Him where we can cry, 'Abba, Father'
  • by which we then are able to be saved

But "…into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope… [in Col. 1, he talks about the hope of God] …in the hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations, realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance, and endurance brings forth character, and character brings forth hope. And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us" (vs 2-5). This is just a real quick summary the Apostle Paul writes of the whole Christian experience.

Verse 17: "For if by the offense of the one man… [Adam's sin] …death reigned by the one, how much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace…" Meaning that we are going to be able to overcome sin, that God's goodness is going to be so great toward us. I want you to just look around the world and see:

  • all of the death
  • all of the dieing
  • all of the destruction
  • all of the wars
  • all of the famines
  • all of the sickness
  • all of the disease
  • all of the wretchedness of humanity

If you feel overwhelmed in it then you need to understand that the abundance of grace that God gives is greater than all of that. That's why the grace of God is so profound.

"…the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness…" (v 17). That's very profound, because the gift of righteousness is also another gift of God, which is He gives us and imputes to us and makes it possible for us to stand before Him:

  • blameless
  • without blemish
  • without spot
  • without wrinkle

"…by the One Jesus Christ" (v 17). That is the gift of righteousness by grace. That's why we need to have:

  • hope
  • faith
  • inspiration

God Himself has given that to us. That's the whole operation of grace! That's the whole meaning of grace! Therefore, it is most profound that we understand about this grace of God and why it is so important, why it is so good, why it is so righteous and why it is such a tremendous blessing.

Colossians 1:2: "…Grace… [Divine favor; God's generous gift] …and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Peace of God:

Let's talk a little bit concerning the peace of God. This is the kind of peace that we are to have, and this peace can only come with the love of God; because this kind of peace that Jesus is talking about is a spiritual peace of mind. Too many people do not have this peace because they don't understand the grace of God. And they don't understand the love of God.

John 14:27: "'Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you…" says Jesus. That is very profound, and we are going to see what kind of peace that this is. It fits in with the gift of righteousness and right standing with God.

"…not as the world gives…" (v 27). No! The world gives and takes back. There is no peace in the world. How many prophecies are there in the Old Testament when they say 'peace, peace and there is no peace'? Only God is the Author of peace! Human beings with the law of sin and death in them cannot possibly create peace between themselves and God, if it is not through Jesus Christ. This is what He is saying:

"…Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it fear" (v 27). Why?

1-John 4:8: "The one who does not love… [the one who does not have the Spirit and attitude of love] …does not know God because God is love…. [that's what God is; that is magnificent when we understand it] …In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love…" (vs 8-10).

This is something we need to understand in relationship to peace and that is you cannot have the peace of God unless you have the love of God as we find here in 1-John 4.

Verse 9: "In this way the love of God was manifested toward us: that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this act is the love—not that we loved God… [which would be a work on our part, but we cannot boast in any works] …not that we loved God; rather, that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are duty-bound to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. Yet, if we love one another, God dwells in us, and His own love is perfected in us. By this standard we know that we are dwelling in Him, and He is dwelling in us: because of His own Spirit, which He has given to us" (vs 9-13)—the spirit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, temperance, goodness, kindness and meekness; and as the Apostle Paul said, 'Against such there is no law.'

Verse 14: "And we… [the apostles] …have seen for ourselves and bear witness that the Father sent the Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God. And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love, and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him" (vs 14-16). We are talking about the profound Godly love, which God gives to us through His Holy Spirit.

Verse 17: "By this spiritual indwelling, the love of God is perfected within us… [this is what we are talking about with the kind of peace we need to have] …so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in the love of God… [Didn't Jesus say: 'Don't let your heart be troubled; don't be afraid'?] …rather, perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment…." (vs 17-18).

  • when you have torment, you don't have peace
  • when you have torment of mind, you don't have faith
  • when you have torment of mind, you don't have love

"…because fear has torment. And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God" (v 18). Why? Because, he has this fear as a roadblock sitting right there between him and God—that's why. With the peace of God we need to have that taken down.

  • we need to get rid of the hostility of the carnal mind
  • we need to get rid of the fear of our own deceiving

and really come to that perfect love of God and have the peace, which Christ wants us to have.

"…And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God. We love Him because He loved us first" (vs 18-19).

The rest of this chapter all ties in together with our whole approach and our whole attitude toward God, and God's calling, God's love and the peace we need to have. I'll tell you one thing, if you really truly understand that, then you really truly understand that God has given these things to you and God has called you to be in this standing with Him, which is special, particular, great and marvelous beyond anything we could think of or ask. Then we can have the peace of mind. Then we won't have to worry about anything that is going to take us from Christ, because it won't. May this be in the Church of God; may we correct this problem that is so prevalent in the Church of God.

Verse 20: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar…." We have had far too much of that, brother against brother, minister against minister within the Church of God. This was a problem back then that John was writing about.

"…If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God Whom he has not seen?" (v 20).

Through the grace of God, the peace of God, the faith and the love that comes, we can come to this understanding and we can put away our hatred toward other brethren in the Church and the problems and difficulties that are there. That's why Jesus said in Matt. 18 if anyone has a problem with anyone, you go to him and work it out, get it taken care of. That is all part of the love of God.

Verse 21: "And this is the commandment that we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother."

We are going to find out some more about this peace of God as compared to the carnality of our human mind; compared to the difficulties and problems we have in overcoming sin. Let's understand that this is very important for us to realize; because this is all part of the grace of God that bring us peace with God.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

Too many times we go around and spiritually flagellate ourselves in sort of a guilt trip beating of mental whips upon ourselves because we're not perfect. Well, God knows we are not perfect. That is why He's given grace—not that we should sin, as the Apostle Paul said. No, we are not going to go out and sin that grace may abound but so that we realize we have this tremendous standing before God because of God the Father's own purposeful design for us.

Verse 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death…. [the clutches of human nature in death] …For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (vs 1-3).

So therefore, brethren, we need not fear. God knows that even though you are trying to the very utmost of your being that you are going to sin. Therefore, you go to God, through His grace, and He will continually blot out those sins because Christ is the propitiation or the continual atoning of our sins.

Verse 4: "In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us…" Why? Because it is in our heart and it is in our mind. 'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,' says the Lord, 'I will write My laws into their hearts and into their minds, I will inscribe them.'

"…who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit: For those who walk according to the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but those who walk according to the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit" (vs 4-5). That is what we are doing brethren, we are minding the things of the Spirit of God, because:

  • God's Spirit is in us
  • He is leading us in it
  • we desire His Truth
  • we desire His love
  • we desire His faith
  • we desire the hope

that He has held out for us of the resurrection and to be a very son or daughter of God.

Verse 6: "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace… [Why? Because we are no longer an enemy of God!] …because the carnal mind is enmity against God…" (vs 6-7)—an enemy of God! Remember Christ died for us while we were still the enemies of God and in our cases before we were ever born.

"…for it is not subject to the Law of God; neither indeed can it be. But those who are in the flesh cannot please God…. [this applies to us]: …However, you are not in the flesh…" (vs 7-8)—because God is looking at you through Christ, God is looking at you because you have His Spirit.

"…but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you" (vs 8-11).

This is the whole reason, the whole purpose for the grace of God, the peace of God! When the Apostle Paul says, 'Peace from God, the Father' this is what he is talking about; this is what he means. You are no longer at war with God. Jesus says, 'My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives it unto you, I give unto you, and let not your hearts be afraid, neither be troubled.' Then let the Spirit of God and the love of God fill your heart and mind.

Verse 14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." That's what it all means when we have the peace of God.

Colossians 1:2: "…and peace… [harmony and tranquility; a tranquil mind, you are no longer at war with God] …be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." That is very profound and very important for us to understand and realize.

Verse 3: "We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying for you continually."

This is one of the things that any minister needs to do for those people that he is in contact with, praying for them, not only for their healing but for:

  • God's Spirit
  • God's love
  • God's faith
  • God's intervention

to help them in everything that they are doing. We also need to know that we are to be praying for each other and in this way, too, all the brethren for the ministers and the ministers for the brethren.

Verse 4: "Since hearing of your faith… [that steadfast belief and trust] …in Christ Jesus, and the love… [that Godly, Divine love] …that you have toward all the saints." Again, we come right back full circle to the faith.

Faith of God:

Let's see why this is so important for us today, because Jesus made a very profound statement here:

Luke 18:8: "I tell you that He will execute vengeance for them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, shall He find the true faith on the earth?" Or, as it is in the Greek: the faith, on the earth? In other words, not only just the whole set of beliefs, which are in the Bible, but the faith and the trust in God. Yes, He will find it in those that are really those of God.

What kind of faith are we talking about? Let's find out the kind of faith that God is talking about here; that Christ is talking about. The kind of faith that we need to really exercise and it's not something that you whip up by the carnal psychology of mentally making yourself believe something. No! This is faith that comes from God!

Gal. 2:20 is a very important verse for us to understand because this all ties in with the love, the faith, the peace and the hope of God.

Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ… [through baptism (Rom. 6)] …yet, I live… [Paul says he is still living in the flesh] …Indeed, it is no longer I…" In other words, he is not living to himself, for himself, and that is important for us to realize.

"…but Christ lives in me. For the life that I am now living in the flesh, I live by faith—that very faith of the Son of God… [the Son of God's own faith in him supplies the belief, the energy and the hope by Christ] …Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (v 20). Now, that is the kind of faith that it is talking about.

Let's see also concerning the faith, which comes from Jesus Christ; Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints… [or the endurance] …here are the ones who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."—which means Jesus' very own faith! So, when Paul is talking about that he heard the report of their faith (Col. 1), he was not commending them because of their carnal belief in God, he was commending them because of the Spirit of God that was in them, which then gave this report of faith.

Colossians 1:4: "Since hearing of your faith in Christ Jesus…" Let's understand just one other thing concerning that kind of steadfast faith and belief and trust. It is a spiritual gift, which comes from God! In Heb. 11, it says that 'faith is the substance'—which comes from the Greek 'hypostasis': a spiritual substance that comes from God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, right into your very heart and mind and being.

Verse 4: "since hearing of your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love… [we covered quite a bit of that in 1-John 4; that Godly, Divine love] …that you have toward all the saints."

Love of God:

We need to put in here several Scriptures: Mark 12:29[transcriber's correction]: "Then Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is, 'Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the Lord, the Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (vs 29-31). And the third one is an extension of these two together

John 13:35: "By this shall everyone know that you are My disciples—if you have love one another." That is all tied in there with the term of love, which is Godly love that comes from God. This is something that only God can give you. And then if you do, you express it toward all the saints.

I'll tell you one thing that we have seen and we have experienced in our little group, our little church, which is this: When we are doing precisely what I just said with these three commandments of loving God, loving our neighbor and loving each other, we have a wonderful fellowship with each other. We have a minimum of problems because we are not going around seeking to solve things in a carnal way. But we are seeking to—through the love of God, through the faith that God has given us—to really love each other.

Hope of God:

Colossians 1:5: "On account of the hope…" There are three things that are important: faith, hope and love and love is the greatest of these.

This is the kind of hope that it is talking about of the resurrection and the whole plan of God. You see how all of these things tie together?

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is…. [here is our hope]: …And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure" (vs 1-3). In other words, this hope is to motivate you:

  • to draw closer to God
  • to be filled with God's Spirit
  • to be filled with God's love
  • to have every one of your sins removed, forgiven, blotted out, through the love and forgiveness of God

And it is the hope of the resurrection unto which we are called.

Colossians 1:5: "Because of the hope… [the promise of the resurrection and eternal glory] …that is laid up for you in heaven…" You don't have it now, but Christ is going to bring it with Him when He returns.

1-Peter 1 is very important for us to understand, concerning the hope, because, as a matter of fact, the whole Epistle of 1-Peter is dedicated to hope!

1-Peter 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us… [when Christ comes, He is going to bring His reward with Him] …reserved in heaven for us, Who are being safeguarded by the power of God through faith, for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time" (vs 3-5). That's important for us to know and understand and realize.

Here is what this hope is to do for us, to inspire us and lead us; the Apostle Paul writes, Philippians 3:11: "If by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead; Not as though I have already received, or have already been perfected; but I am striving…" (vs 11-12).

That is what we need to do, brethren, follow after, never give up, never let down and if you do let down, let Christ pick you up, through the strength and power of God's Holy Spirit, let Him pick you up and lead you on.

"…so that I may also lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself as having attained; but this one thing I do…" (vs 12-13). This is how you can do it:

  • with hope
  • with love
  • with the Truth of God

"…—forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to the things that are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (vs 13-14)—which is the resurrection, to rule and reign with Christ.

Verse 20: "But for us, the commonwealth of God exists in the heavens… [coming from God, where the hope comes from] …from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ… [this is the hope] …Who will transform our vile bodies, that they may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the inner working of His own power, whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself" (vs 20-21).

When Paul is bringing these introductory remarks in each epistle, there is a great, great, great amount of spiritual meaning and understanding that He is conveying to us.

Colossians 1:5, where we saw that "…the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel." The announcement and message of the Divinely revealed Truth of the glad tidings of the Gospel." So, you see how:

  • we have faith
  • we have peace
  • we have hope
  • we have Truth
  • we have love

Verse 6: "Which has come to you… [by the power of God's Holy Spirit] …even as it also has in all the world..."

Now, we have a very interesting statement there in Matthew 24:14[transcriber's correction]: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come." I don't think we have arrived, yet, to that point, brethren. We have to trust in God, how He is going to do this; not by:

  • our devices
  • our means
  • our predilections
  • our thoughts

on what we think may have been done in preaching the Gospel to the world. The events in the world are constantly changing, so that we don't know the hour, we don't know the day. We can understand the times and seasons in which we are living, but nevertheless, we don't know what it means to have the Gospel preached in the whole world as a witness to all nations and then the end shall come. Many people have tried to have the end come according to their own time schedule.

Colossians 1:6, as a result: "…and is bringing forth fruit… [spiritual fruit of hope and love] …just as it is among you, from the day that you heard and knew the grace of God in Truth." God's gracious blessing, Divine favor and generous gift revealed Truth. That tells us an awful lot:

  • concerning God's way
  • concerning God's Truth
  • concerning God's love

and when we come to it next time, we'll go back and review just a few of these verses and see then how all of this ties in together. This whole book of Colossians is really a fantastic and tremendous book for us. It really is one of the most important books that we can possibly study in this modern end-time just before the return of Jesus Christ.

  • All Scriptures from The Holy Bible. in its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scripture references:

  • 2 Peter 1:20
  • John 6:63
  • Revelation 11:8
  • Deuteronomy 17:14-20
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • 2 Timothy 4:1
  • John 1:1
  • 2 Timothy 4:2-4
  • Colossians 1:1-6
  • Matthew 28:18
  • Ephesians 1:5-9
  • Colossians 1:1-2
  • Ephesians 2:4-10
  • Romans 5:1-5, 17
  • Colossians 1:2
  • John 14:27
  • 1 John 4:8-21
  • Romans 8:1-11, 14
  • Colossians 1:2-4
  • Luke 18:8
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Revelation 14:12
  • Colossians 1:4
  • Mark 12:29-31
  • John 13:35
  • Colossians 1:5
  • 1 John 3:1-3
  • Colossians 1:5
  • 1 Peter 1:3-5
  • Philippians 3:11-14, 20-21
  • Colossians 1:5-6
  • Matthew 24:14
  • Colossians 1:6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Colossians 2:13; 1
  • Acts 19
  • Revelation 13
  • John 1:2-3
  • Ephesians 2:2-3
  • 1 Corinthians 15:2
  • Matthew 18
  • Romans 6
  • Hebrews 11

Also referenced:

Booklet: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Colossians, An Inspirational Study; A New Expanded-Amplified Translation by Fred R. Coulter

  • Introduction to the New Testament

Sermon Series:

  • Scripturalism vs Judaism

Grace of God

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 3/20/09
Reformatted/Corrected: December/2016

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