Jan. 5, 2021

What Does Colossians 1:1 Mean?

What Does Colossians 1:1 Mean?

Colossians 1:1 (NIV) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother.

If you studied the book of Philippians with us, you might remember that Paul started that letter by identifying himself as a servant.

So, why does he identify himself as an apostle in this letter?

Also, notice that Paul states it is by the "will of God" that he is an apostle. If you just casually read this verse, you would miss a very important point that Paul makes. You definitely don't want to miss this!

Learn this and more in under 3 minutes!

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Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth

Today, we start our verse-by-verse study into the book of Colossians. Yesterday, we took a look behind the scenes as Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Colossae. I encourage you to listen to that if you haven’t already. 

Now, false teachers threatened the very life of the church in Colossae. You had some teachers undermining the superiority of Christ. Other teachers were introducing man-made philosophies to take the place of Christian doctrine. Legalistic teachers were saying that you aren’t truly saved unless you did certain things and followed certain rituals. And also believers were being taught to worship angels because they were on the same level as deity. 

So, Epaphras, the man who planted the church in Colossae about 8 years prior to this letter, comes to Rome to find Paul and ask him questions concerning these false teachings. Paul responds to these concerns with a personal letter to the church. He begins his letter as we read here in Colossians one verse one with "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother." 

So, Paul presents himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Now, the interesting thing is that Paul had never visited this church before. These people only knew about Paul, but they had never met him directly. Because Paul was writing this letter to set the record straight on what is Truth, he must assert his authority from the very beginning of this letter.

An apostle in the original Greek language means “sent one by God.” What’s the difference between a disciple and an apostle? A disciple is a student or follower of Christ. An Apostle is someone sent by God with a message. We are all disciples, but not everyone is an apostle. 

Notice that Paul says he is an apostle by the WILL OF GOD. So, it’s as if Paul is saying, “I have been sent to you from God. I did not choose to do this. Man didn’t choose me to do this. God chose me to do this, so pay attention to what I’m saying here.”

So, your Simple Truth of today: Just like Paul was called by God, God has a will and a purpose for your life. He did not place you here haphazardly. He chose you for this place and time and He designed you with exactly what you need to fulfill His purpose for you.  I promise you that when you complete this study of Colossians with me, you will know your purpose and your identity in Christ. 

So, remember to set yourself a daily alarm to remind you to listen daily in your podcasting app or on your Amazon smart speaker. 

Have a blessed day. I’ll see you tomorrow.