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Lesson 1 on Colossians: Christ, the Head of the Local Church

Introduction and Paul’s Prayer – Colossians 1.1-14
(14 questions with answers following)
Click here to go to the Introductory Post (Has links to all lessons)
Click here to go to Lesson 2 on Colossians
Added on  April 28, 2017

Answers at the end, following the questions. Those who disagree with anything please see the note at the end. Reasoned dialogue is encouraged and any Bible or fact based comments, if made in a Christian manner in an attempt to get to the truth will be considered.

This is an open book quiz meant to challenge the Bible believer – the saved person who believes the Word of God rather than the person who tries to fit particular Scriptures into a system of interpretation meant to validate one’s desired view of how things should be by philosophizing, allegorizing, or spiritualizing chosen Scriptures. The literal meaning, taken in its immediate context and within the context of all related Scripture is the basis for these studies. It is presented for the glory of God.

Colossians directs our attention to the head of the body who is Christ. The body itself is secondary. Christ is the theme. He is the center of the circle around which all Christian living revolves. Christ is the fullness of God. The dominating thought is that Christ is all I need; He is everything. He is the primary object, and the thought passes downward to the church as the body of Christ.

Colossians was written to the local church at Colosee (with the principles to be applied by all local churches and believers) to counteract the heresy of Gnosticism, the first heresy in the church. There were many forms of Gnosticism, and in Colossee there were the Essenes. There are three points of identification for this group: (1) They had an exclusive spirit. They felt that they were the people—they had knowledge in the jug and held the stopper in their hands. Thus, they felt that they were super-duper in knowledge and knew more than anyone else, including the Apostles. (2) They held speculative tenets on creation. They taught that God did not create the universe directly, but created a creature who in turn created another creature, until one finally created the physical universe. Christ was considered a creature in this long series of creations.  Paul refutes this in Colossians 1:15-19. (3) They practiced asceticism and unrestrained licentiousness. They got the asceticism from the influence of Greek Stoicism and the unrestrained licentiousness from the influence of Greek Epicureanism. Paul refutes this in Colosians 2.16, 23 and 3.5-9.

See, J. Vernon McGee, Colossians for more on this.

Colossians 1:1-8 [Introduction] “1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: 7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”

Colossians 1.9-14 [Paul’s Prayer] “9 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 10 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Questions:

INTRODUCTION: COLOSSIANS 1.1-8:

  1. Paul

    a. was an apostle of Jesus Christ
    b. was in his position by the will of God
    c. had decided to go to work for the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved
    d. both a and b
  2. ____ made Paul an apostle. He was therefore in the ______ of God when he was an apostle. It is important for a believer to function in a local New Testament church ______ of believers in the _______ way. Our gifts are ___________. Therefore, and we are each going to function ____________. Make the application as to a local church body and the treatment of a brother in the church you are a member of. A sample application is included in the answer below.
  3. Paul is talking to one group of people.

    a. to the saints at Colosee
    b. to the faithful brethren at Colosee
    c. both a and b
    d.  neither a nor b

    Explain your answer.
  4. Those to whom Paul is speaking are “___ ________” and “___ _________.” They had an address in ________ and on the _______.
  5. “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” [Co. 1.2b]. We must know the _______ of God in order to experience the _______ of God.
  6. “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” [ 1.3]. We can go directly to ____ through our ______ _______ _______.
  7. In Colossians 1.4, 5, Paul links the trinity of graces for believers: (1) _______—past, (2) ______—present, and (3) ______—future. Paul lists these three graces in 1 Corinthians 13.13 where he puts ______ first because ______ is then only thing that is to abide. ______ is for the present, but it will make it to eternity. _______ rests upon historical fact—the truth of the Gospel. Too many saints, no matter their God-given role, look down on their fellow believers for one reason or another. If we have disagreements with our brethren, we are to bear with them, ______ for them, to honor them, and to ______. The “hope that is laid up in heaven” is the blessed hope.
  8. Paul, in Colossians 1.6, says that the gospel has come to the Colossians as it has come to “_____ _____ _______.”
  9. Paul, in Colossians 1.7, calls Epaphras our “______ _____________.” Apparently, Epaphras was the leader or the _________ of the church in Colosee.
  10. Paul, in Colossians 1.8, emphasizes the ______ ________. He makes clear that the Colossian believers would not have been able to exhibit this love unless it were by the ______ _________.

    PAUL’S PRAYER: COLOSSIANS 1.9-14:
  11. The first thing (verse 9) Paul prayed was that they might be filled with ____________. The Gnostics, the heretics there at Colosse, boasted that they had a super knowledge. But Paul confines this knowledge to knowledge of the will of _____ “in all ________ and spiritual ____________.”
  12. The second petition (verse 10) is that they might be ___________ to God. His third request is that they might be “___________ in every good ______.” His fourth request is that they be “increasing in the ____________ of God” (growing in the ______ of God).
  13. The fifth request (verse 11) is that they be “____________ with all might, according to his glorious _______, unto all __________ and ________________ with _____________.”
  14. In verses 12, 13, and 14, Paul gives a list of things for which Paul is thankful: (1) for God’s grace which has given us an “_____________ of the saints in light,” (2) that we have been delivered from the “_______ of darkness,” (3) that we have been translated into the ____________ of his dear Son,” and (4) that we have been redeemed “through his _______, even the forgiveness of _____.”

Answers

INTRODUCTION: COLOSSIANS 1.1-8:

  1. Paul: d. both a and b (was an apostle of Jesus Christ and was in his position by the will of God
  2. God made Paul an apostle. He was therefore in the will of God when he was an apostle. It is important for a believer to function in a local New Testament church body of believers in the right way. Our gifts are different. Therefore, and we are each going to function differently. If you have a brother who has a gift, do not belittle or marginalize him because you do not like his style, because you do not like the way he does things, or because you are jealous. If he speaks the truth from the Word of God according to knowledge, love him and give him the freedom and encouragement to exercise his gift.
  3. Paul is talking to one group of people: c. both a and b (to the saints and the faithful brethren at Colosee).

    Explanation: to the saints and the faithful brethren at Colosee, who are the same group of people.
  4. Those to whom Paul is speaking are “in Christ” and “at Colosee.” They had an address in heaven and on the earth.
  5. “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” [Co. 1.2b]. We must know the grace of God in order to experience the peace of God.
  6. “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” [ 1.3]. We can go directly to God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  7. In Colossians 1.4, 5, Paul links the trinity of graces for believers: (1) faith—past, (2) love—present, and (3) hope—future. Paul lists these three graces in 1 Corinthians 13.13 where he puts love first because love is then only thing that is to abide. Love is for the present, but it will make it to eternity. Faith rests upon historical fact—the truth of the Gospel. Too many saints, no matter their God-given role, look down on their fellow believers for one reason or another. If we have disagreements with our brethren, we are to bear with them, pray for them, to honor them, and to love them. The “hope that is laid up in heaven” is the blessed hope.
  8. Paul, in Colossians 1.6, says that the gospel has come to the Colossians as it has come to “all the _________.”
  9. Paul, in Colossians 1.7, calls Epaphras our “dear fellowservant.” Apparently, Epaphras was the leader or the pastor of the church in Colosee.
  10. Paul, in Colossians 1.8, emphasizes the Holy Spirit. He makes clear that the Colossian believers would not have been able to exhibit this love unless it were by the Holy Spirit.

    PAUL’S PRAYER: COLOSSIANS 1.9-14:
  11. The first thing (verse 9) Paul prayed was that they might be filled with knowledge. The Gnostics, the heretics there at Colosse, boasted that they had a super knowledge. But Paul confines this knowledge to knowledge of the will of God “in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
  12. The second petition (verse 10) is that they might be pleasing to God. His third request is that they might be “fruitful in every good work.” His fourth request is that they be “increasing in the knowledge of God” (growing in the Word of God).
  13. The fifth request (verse 11) is that they be “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.”
  14. In verses 12, 13, and 14, Paul gives a list of things for which Paul is thankful: (1) for God’s grace which has given us an “inheritance of the saints in light,” (2) that we have been delivered from the “power of darkness,” (3) that we have been translated into the kingdom of his dear Son,” and (4) that we have been redeemed “through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

Should you disagree with an answer given, please explain why you disagree in the comment section below the article. All reasoned comments will be published, perhaps with reply. The purpose of this website is the Glory of God. God cannot be glorified by shutting out honest disagreement in the search for truth. The author would be interested in your explanation. The comments are required by the website to be approved or disapproved. The author is very busy with many matters and may or may not immediately notice your comment. He will address it as soon as he notices it. He almost always approves comments presented with a godly spirit. He never alters comments. Sometimes, he replies to comments.


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