I study the Epistle of Paul to Colossians at the moment and in this article I come to share with you some teachings that I have taken for me by the way Apostle Paul greets the recipients of this epistle – Colossians. Here is the text of this greeting:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. (Colossians 1:1–2)(NASB)
Here is what I have learnt from this text:
Present yourself in the light of the calling you have from God
Last month I met a friend of mine and because I didn’t have enough time to tell him what I was doing, when he asked me what I was doing I answered him: “All that I have always been doing”. I supposed that he had known before that I preached the Gospel and I taught people the way of the Lord. After we went away I was sorry that I hadn’t presented myself other way, I had to answer back: “I am a servant of Christ in the Gospel and I teach people the Way of Salvation”. I will do it this way from this day on. Paul presents himself in all epistles in the light of the main calling that he had from God and he says the same thing here:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. (Colossians 1:1)(NASB)
Appreciate the faithfulness of the co-workers
Timothy was the beloved disciple of Paul because he was a man that always proved a complete faithfulness and now, when Paul was imprisoned, Timothy is the one who helps and serves him too. That’s why, Paul presents Timothy firstly. In the end of the epistle, when he sends greetings to all, he will list all those that are with him, or in the same locality where he was at the moment of writing the epistle, nevertheless he presented Timothy in the beginning, honoring him in this way for his special faithfulness and love. And how much Paul’s words mean when he says: “and Timothy our brother”. Do you have a brother that would stay near you if you are imprisoned, as Paul is at the moment of writing this epistle? Are you a faithful brother that can stay near those who are in prison for the Gospel?
Serve the saints when they are in need
Paul was in prison and he could have been waiting to be served and not to think about others’ need. But he is concerned with the trials that believers from Colossae, whom he calls saints pass through. Nowadays, most often people call saints only the heroes af faith in the past. It is true that many of them were saints truly, but it is true as well that whoever believes in Jesus Christ from his heart and enters the covenant with Him by faith, becomes a saint. We become saints not through our efforts, but through sanctification of the Holy Spirit, by washing with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification is not a result of our own efforts, but a manifestation of God’s grace and mercy. Christians from Colossae didn’t lack for problems all of us confront with, but they are called saints by the Apostle and he serves them with all dedication as to some saints. Let of all us acts this way too.
Bring grace and peace to the saints
When I believed in the Lord Jesus and entered the covenant with Him, a period of time passed since I understood the meaning of the word “grace”. An interesting situation, isn’t it? I was experiencing the power of grace, but i didn’t know that it was called that way. Why? Because in many people’s understanding, grace means a special ability to do something, that belongs to man, as it is the grace to sing, grace to dance, and some came to the point to call drunkenness “the grace to drink”. People call grace what belongs to men and what they are proud with. This is not the meaning of the word “grace” that is mentioned in the Bible. The Greek word χα̿Ͽις means favor, but it refers firstly to the favor God made to us to forgive us when we deserved death for the sin we lived and delight in. But grace doesn’t limit to this only, it is a word that contains all that we receive from God as a gift. That’s why Apostle Paul wishes grace to the saints and he also wishes them the peace of God, about which in the Epistle addressed to the saints from the city of Philippi he wrote:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Epistle of Paul to Philippians 4:6–7)(NASB)
The peace of God that Paul wishes to the saints from Colossae is of this kind. It surpasses all human comprehension and it makes us have a joy that no one can trouble. May God help us have such a grace and peace from Him.
Translated by Djugostran Felicia