Paul wrote this letter to the Christians at Kolossai/Colosse (‘monstrosities’ or ‘massive’), a very old and wealthy city near Laodicea, a much greater city in Asia Minor (modern western Turkey). The letter was written after about 40-50 AD but before 66 AD. We know this because Colosse and its surrounding cities in the Lycos Valley were destroyed by a huge earthquake in that year, or close to it. However, the city continued until the 12th century, when it was overrun by the Turks and brought to nothing. Today, it is a collection of ruins about 3 miles north of modern Honaz/Chonas.
The letter was written to Epaphras, who read it out to the Christians in Colosse and surrounding cities. Colosse itself was famed for its hedonistic worship of Dionysos, the equivalent of Bacchus, a mythical deity who loved wild parties, orgies and effeminate tutors, wine and rich food. He also loved to kill, wound, and inflict people with insanity. Devotees usually preferred caves and mountains for their worship. In Paul’s time, the city was a hive of multi-god worship, hedonism and mental aberrations… not much different from our culture today.
Colosse was also the home of many Jews, some of whom dealt in the main commodity that made the city wealthy – collossinus; a wool, probably coloured purple. A sect existed there, that worshipped the Archangel Michael and other angels, which prompted Paul to write from Rome in the first place.
According to the historian, Tychitus, Paul wrote about 800 letters, so we are privileged to have the few available to us. When Paul wrote to the Colossians, the letter was also meant for the surrounding cities, including Laodicea, etc. these were large congregations that then sent messengers, who read the letter out to Christian groups in lesser cities and villages. It took just thirty years for these cities to degenerate because of their wealth and sinful atmosphere, as Revelation clearly signifies.
When we compile the many references to Colosse together with scripture, we see that Paul had a tough time with the cities of the Lycos Valley. This is because it was a wealthy area, had many gods, and a large Jewish population. The wealth eroded Christian character, as Christians fell back into their old ways.
This is why Christ urges us to ignore the influences of the world around us. It often only takes a glance at what is sinful, to lure us into sin. Like other things in our lives, habit is essential, and godly habit tends to strengthen us against the wickedness around us.
Paul wrote to influence the people in a holy way, not for his own sake. He knew that unless they always kept their eyes on Jesus, they would fail. The same applies to us today. We tend to think that our modern world is filthy, wicked and corrupt, but it is no more so than in the days of Paul! Wickedness does not grow like a continuum, from good to bad; sin is the continual state of us all unless we are saved by grace.
Therefore, every wickedness we see today was available to the ancients also, because human hearts and minds do not change over time – all can be as sinful as everyone else! That is why we need Christ and why we need to constantly seek what is pure.
Verses 1 - 2
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
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.
Paul (and, secondarily, Timothy) wrote to Colosse to encourage the Christians. Paul tells them he was an apostle “by the will of God”. This ‘will’ of God causes much strife amongst people who do not wish God to have total power in their lives (today, mainly Arminians)!
God’s ‘will’ is that which He wants done by us. These wishes are passed to us through His commands and teachings, all of which can be described as ‘doctrine’. (Thus, the whole of scripture is ‘doctrine’ or God’s will, expressed in different ways – as poetry, narrative, history, spiritual commands). ‘Will’ is also God’s choice and desire.
It is wrongly thought that God’s will only applies to Believers. His will applies to all people in all times! This is because He is Lord over the entire creation, though Christ is Saviour only to those who are elected for salvation. Thus, the will of God for Christians is specially formulated, and does not apply to everyone in the world – it cannot, because only the saved can understand God’s will. Everyone else (the unsaved) must obey regardless of understanding. This is a function of predestination.
When Paul says he was an apostle according to the will of God, it means that God chose Paul as an apostle, and determined to bless the elect with his ministry. It would not bless anyone unless they were predestinated to salvation. And, because God determined Paul would bless others, those others should listen carefully to what Paul said, for his words came direct from God. A similar teaching shows that Christians today should also listen to men called by God to office – pastor, teacher, etc. (Watch out for fakes!)
The point about God’s will is that it is what He demands of us, whether or not we agree to it or accept it. Really, it is irrelevant if we agree or accept – it is what God demands that counts. What if we do not do what He commands? Well, He still demands it, and if we refuse or do something else, a number of things can happen, depending on the seriousness of the situation, or on things we are not aware of: God may punish us directly and strongly, very quickly – this can range from minor loss to death; or, He may allow us to continue in our sin, so that we come to realize how foolish it is, and what it is like not to have God’s blessings; or, He may remove His presence from our lives so that we may never again know His direct activity. We should remember that whatever God wills has already been decided in eternity and can never be taken back or changed.
The letter was written to “the saints and faithful brethren”. Saints means ‘holy things’ (people holy and acceptable to God) and ‘faithful’; trusting wholly in God. In no way, then, is this letter written to people unsaved or in false religions. Nor can it apply to people who think they have been saved partly by their own efforts (such as Arminian choice). It only applies to men and women saved by grace alone, who have not contributed in any way to their salvation (because they cannot!).
Those at Colosse who were saved, Paul commends with grace and peace, from the Father and His Son, the Messiah. ‘Grace’, charis, is the loving kindness of the Lord, Who enjoys the obedience of those who are saved. People who are under His grace daily receive desires to be holy, plus joy, gifts, and spiritual benefits. They also receive peace – harmony as a church group and as individuals, a tranquil state of mind and heart, no matter what happens to them in this world.
All of this depends on them being obedient, faithful and saintly. The only thing God gives us that is unconditional, is salvation itself (this requires closer examination). After that, everything is conditional. To suggest that God loves everybody no matter what, is very wrong; unscriptural.
Verses 3 - 8
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
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:
As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Because Paul knows the Source of these blessings, he gives grateful thanks to the Father and His Son, the Christ. The word used is where we get ‘eucharist’ from, eucharisteō. Paul recognized that he owed his very life to God – do WE recognise this? The mere fact that we are breathing should make us grateful to God, every day!
The same gratitude leads Paul and Timothy to pray “always” for the Christians at Colosse. The word ‘always’ does not mean every second of every day. That would be impossible! It means at all relevant times. He also prays for other places he visited or knew about. In between, he wrote letters and preached or taught, slept, ate, etc. One must be logical and use common sense!
Also, prayer (and worship) itself can take many forms. Christians should familiarize themselves with the meanings of words they use! Sadly, most use words, phrases, and do things, that have no basis in scripture. Learn!
Paul wrote because, at that time, the Colossian Christians had great faith in Christ, and showed immense love towards other Christians. Yet, within thirty years, John wrote in the Revelation against them. We are all like this! When saved we have a flurry of love and devotion to God. After a while, we slow down and lose our zeal and savour.
Why is this? Different people have different reasons. But, initial zealousness can often be covered by superficiality – we love the ‘bubbly’ bit at the beginning, because it is all new and exciting, but hang back when it comes to serious study and spiritual examination.
We enjoy our new life and friends, but fail to look earnestly at what our new faith requires. We can liken it to eating fast-foods and drinking fizzy drinks, instead of eating and drinking what is essential! Because there is nothing substantial in our new lives we begin to doubt, or turn back to sin, or just become disinterested. The difficulty with this, is that it also resembles a false salvation, one we claimed but did not have. So, we fall by the wayside and discard the pretence of spiritual life.
Others are eager to learn, but have poor or bad pastors and teachers. Unfortunately, the majority of churches have this kind of ‘leadership’ and anyone who becomes a Christian will fall away or become silent, not seeking after what God wants. It is easy to say they should leave and find somewhere else… but if they have not known any other fellowship, they will not know they should leave!
Others simply fall back into bad habits and ways, slowly stopping prayer, meditation, scripture reading, attendance at meetings, and so on. They return to their former lives if left long enough, and may never again return to a full Christian life. No-one tried to counsel them. No-one bothered to keep a watch on their fellows, as scripture requires.
But, for now, the Colossians were eager to learn and were faithful Christians. They lived a life consistent with scripture and God’s demands. Satan makes it his business to destroy our Christian lives and witness. The more Christians he can get to turn away from God, the greater will be his influence on the world around us. This is how he currently rules in many countries, whose people fall back into disgrace, filth and immorality. It is how he gets them to crush freedoms and religion.
That is why Christians must keep on guard against their own inward desires to sin. We must be vigilant and fight worldly demands to be like Satan’s children. We must always pray and read scripture. Or, we will quickly find our lives sliding downwards.
The Colossians had heard the Gospel and responded to it. They were saved men and women (verse 5) and looked forward to the “hope which is laid up… in heaven”, the hope spoken of in the Gospel. Hope, elpis, is an inward expectation of eternal salvation, and the coming face-to-face in heaven with the One Who saved us.
They heard about it “in the word of the truth of the Gospel”. Do not be deceived – there is only ONE Gospel and only ONE way to God! Salvation is by grace ALONE. We cannot choose it, nor can we contribute towards it. Only the Gospel contains the truth. This truth is real, objective. It is reality. Whatever God says in His word is absolute truth.
I do not care if every scientist or atheist in the world opposes the above statement! God is true, and everyone else is a liar, if they oppose what He says! People say God is dead. They are liars. People say we can be saved by other means. They are liars. People say we can come to God by many routes. They are liars. People say we evolved from monkeys. They are liars. People say morality is only the vestige of a God who does not exist. They are liars.
All who oppose God and His word are doomed to hell. But, first, they must live a life of misery on this earth, and sin, secretly or grossly. Many who are unsaved claim to be happy. They are liars! They pretend, because if they truly faced reality they would have to acknowledge that God exists. So, they keep on pretending, being immoral, and living in evil.
The church at Colosse believed and was active in faith (verse 6). They heard the Gospel and were saved. Though the Gospel is preached to all, only the predestinated few will be saved and bring forth fruit – that is, evidence of being saved. It is a sure proof that a man is saved, when he lives out a holy life. Today, many are saved, but resort to bad teaching or bad doctrines of men. They bring God into disrepute and refuse to learn and obey, preferring their heresies to truth.
The people at Colosse heard the Gospel from Epaphras, who was known as a friend by Paul. He was a “faithful minister of Christ”. The word ‘minister’ in this text is diakonos - deacon. By definition, a minister is a deacon, because he serves the Church. He is also a servant of God and brings about what God demands. Paul called himself a deacon because he served the whole Church.
Today, we usually use ‘minister’ to refer to pastors, but, in reality, every Christian is a minister, or, should be in spirit. We are all here to serve each other! Every Christian is a ‘minister’ for it simply means to do a service for others. Again, there is much need to relearn the meanings of words used in scripture and to apply them properly. Note that the Head of a ‘minister’ is Christ… not himself, or the congregation, or his denomination, or the state… or a pope.
Epaphras took news of the faithfulness of the Colossians to Paul. Can your pastor do the same before God? Indeed, is your pastor faithful himself? Or does he think he runs the local church, teaching as he wishes? We should always delight to find fellow believers, and pray to God that they will remain faithful.
Besides telling Paul about the general Christian state of the Colossians, Epaphras also told him of their “love in the spirit”. No doubt most readers, if asked what ‘love’ this was, will automatically say ‘agapē’. In this instance they would be correct, and it means the Christians had affection for each other and treated each other with kindness and the love found amongst close kin. But, I have thus far identified at least 22 different words for ‘love’, many of which are different from each other, and, I think, I will find many more.
As I have said before, Christians must learn how to use scriptural words properly. Not all love is ‘agapē’! This kind of love is expressed either inwardly or outwardly, by fellow Christians, and is shown because of their unified spiritual state. It can also be shown towards God, or from God to men. There is too much about ‘love’ to discuss here, but just remember that we should never oversimplify scripture.
The love we now speak of, is “in the Spirit”. That is, it arises only from the Holy Spirit in us, as we contemplate each other and God. It is my argument that only Christians can show this love for each other. The love shown by the unsaved, or those who pretend to be saved and are ‘religious’, is not the same, but is only emotional. There is also a ‘love’ that is untrue, and is expressed outwardly because of an ungodly philosophy, such as all the Arminian-style religions (Quakerism, JW, Mormon, Romanism, etc), which might easily pass as ‘agapē’, but is still false. This is because anything not arising from the Holy Spirit is counted as ‘dung’ by God and is not a part of true spiritual experience.
For believers it is far better to admit to lack of love and ask God for it, rather than pretend, as so many do! Do you know what I mean? I suspect that many of you know what I am talking about! Very often a smile or ‘love’ is very superficial in the churches. It usually stops at the front door of the church building, as each individual carries on as normal during the week, not helping their fellow believers, or visiting them, or showing compassion towards them.
Sadly, I have personally found this to be true for the past quarter of a century at least, and it ought not be that way! I know that many of you can readily identify with the same thing. Let us all work to remove this in ourselves and in those who easily pretend.
Verses 9 - 17
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;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Paul tells them that since he heard of their love and Christian walk, he has not ceased from praying for them. He asked God often, that he would teach them what was needful, so that they could understand God’s will.
Paul says that God’s will should be known in wisdom and spiritual understanding. There are countless theologians who think they know God’s word. And they do, but in a superficial way, no matter how deeply they think they have delved! They read scripture and find out as much as possible, intellectually, but most of what they discover and teach is not of God – it is merely intellectual play, using the mind but not the heart and spirit. They cannot use their spirits because they have never been regenerated. This is rather like reading a book, but missing out every other page. You get the gist, but not the real meaning.
Anyone who reads the whole Bible can accumulate factual knowledge of what God says. But, as I know from many years discussing scripture and doctrine with the unsaved and with those who have claimed knowledge but no understanding, even a photographic memory will not give a man wisdom or spiritual understanding.
There are many men who can quote scripture verse by verse from memory. I am not very good at that. However, by comparison, the Lord has given me the ability to recognize what is of God and what is not. This is called discernment. He also gives me the ability to interpret, which is a gift. Those with encyclopaedic knowledge rarely have understanding, nor can they discern and interpret. Thus, they have much knowledge but no spiritual power.
Charismatic types claim to have ‘knowledge’, but what they really mean is that they appear to have an occult idea of the future; the same kind of ability Satan gives to spiritualists. In reality, ‘knowledge’, epignōsis, refers to a very distinct and accurate knowledge of what God says in His word. Such a knowledge is not just the accumulation of words or memorization of texts. The Spirit will empower a Christian with interpretation, so that those words are shown to be alive. The man gifted with this interpretation is shown the ethical, moral and divine meaning of God’s word, that is outside his own human ability.
When a man is thus gifted (and all Christians potentially have this gift) he will grow in spiritual understanding. His intelligence (human ability he is born with, but which can be trained) is acted upon by the Holy Spirit, so that the divine will of God is made plain. Not only will the man understand, but he will be enabled to see the divine connections within scripture, and the doctrinal truths that bind all together. This is genuine theology, and it grows exponentially. This wisdom will allow the Christian to live in godly fashion, as righteous and holy.
Therefore, the more we learn, the greater our stand against wickedness, and the more the blessings from God. ‘Spiritual understanding’ is the end result of this wisdom. Do you recognize yourself in all this? If not, seek God’s face and ask for wisdom and understanding. It is not the job of a pastor to give it to you – you must get it yourself.
The gaining of wisdom and understanding are, in fact, essential for us to walk in God’s will (verse 10). Only when we grow in holiness will we be useful in God’s eyes. As holy people we will think, say and do, what is acceptable to God. Our lives will be ‘worth it’ to Him as we continually do what is good and just. We will also grow spiritually. Therefore, growth in understanding includes experience and action.
The man who is not wise can be known easily – he will always be nonplussed by life’s events and by situations he comes across. He will always need to ask a pastor or some other person with greater knowledge. Such knowledge is available to him also, but he is lax and does not seek out what God wants him to know! It takes persistence! But, before that, it takes the influence of the Holy Spirit, an influence many Christians shun because they fear becoming ‘too serious’! Or, they simply do not want to be holy just yet, hoping they can transfer their affection to God over time!
Most Christians, however, miss out greatly. By not having wisdom and deep understanding, they do not know God’s might or power in their lives. They are weak Christians because of it (verse 11). The ‘might’ in this text is dynamis – much spoken of in many churches but rarely witnessed to operate in their lives! In charismatic ‘churches’ dynamis is claimed and thought to operate, but it is false and occult. In other circles, particularly reformed, Christians preach it, but never show it in their lives. (Obviously, this is a general observation). This is because they fear accepting that God works in power today.
Their unjustified claim (one I used to make until I checked scripture for myself), that the gifts and power finished in the first century, prevents them from growing spiritually, so they accrue much factual knowledge, but never experience the gifts given to them by God, hiding behind their theory-induced anxiety.
Here, Paul extols the virtues of the Colossians, for they knew, had, and experienced, the ‘might’ of God! That includes moral, mental and physical power, such as miracles and gifts. We cannot ignore this fact, for it is there in black and white.
None of this is a might owned by men. It belongs only to God. It is “according to his glorious power”, not our own strength. And because we have this power within, it causes us to know “all patience and longsuffering” endured with “joyfulness”.
Patience is that steady, rock-solid faith that gives us endurance in any kind of trouble and woe; it makes us stand where others fall; it increases our love and devotion to God when things get very rough; it causes us to wait patiently as a furoré rages around us. We do so because God is with us and will prevail.
Many Christians cannot wait even a day to be relieved. They demand immediate action from God, or they sink into fear. This is because they do not allow God’s power access to their souls and only think along an earthly line. The eternal mind is far beyond them. Patience is much needed today, as the world attempts at every turn to destroy us.
We need the patience that leads to longsuffering, the ability to stay firmly locked into God’s grace and mercy, which then leads to joyfulness… that gladness we should all have no matter what our circumstances, because God is great and has saved our souls.
It is a joy that prompts us to declare our thanks to God, because we are now living in the light of Christ, secure and heading for heaven! He saved us from Satan’s grasp, and has torn us away from his evil hooks, so that we are no longer Satan’s pawns and victims. Instead, we have been saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, which allows us to repent and be forgiven (verse 14).
We can trust Christ because He is the very image of God the Father, Who we cannot see, and the first to arise triumphantly from the grave, showing us what will happen with us on the last day.
In verse 16, it is confirmed that Christ created all things for Himself. Everything considered to be a power or dominion was created by Him. Nothing is outside His control and will, whether hidden or on view. All things belong to Christ! Those who now laugh at the very idea of Christ and God, are already condemned by their own wicked thoughts, and will enter hell. Though they scare and taunt Christians now, theirs is a very short rule and they will be beaten-down as with a mighty hammer.
Christ is ‘before’ all things. That is, He is above or beyond them. It also means that He is the person Who came in advance of the Father, Who will judge. And it means He is now visible to all, so that no man may defend himself with the excuse of not knowing. Christ is the Lord and Master. Everything created is His. And at the end of time, He will burn the entire creation, so that only God’s abode remains intact. Then, a new universe will be built, along with a new earth. Nothing can exist unless He first makes it. Nothing exists unless He determines it will exist. Nothing can live unless He first gives it life.
Verses 18 & 19
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
The majority of people who have ever lived, including those who try to rule and ruin mankind for their own ends and hunger for power, are already elected to hell. They will finally know it when Christ returns. More importantly for us who are saved by grace alone, Christ is the Head of the Church, which is another word for His ‘Bride’, which is another term for the whole collection of believers, from the beginning to the end of time. We are all the ‘body’ of Christ, created by Him to serve and honour Him.
Christ is the beginning, the alpha. Before Him was nothing for He has always been! No man on earth may assume headship over the Church. No local bishop may be considered above anyone else. The lowest Christian is the highest; the highest is the lowest, the richest is the poorest, the poorest is the richest. What matters is Christ, not us. Because He first arose, so will we arise. His triumph over death is also our triumph.
In everyday terms, the instant we die we will see Christ return in the skies, though in terms of time, we may have to wait… but will not realize it (unless Paradise is a separate entity, in which case we will wait in a place of amazing beauty and peace).
Christ will and does have preeminence, whether rulers of this world accept it or not. Their feelings and beliefs do not matter one iota! He is Lord of lords, and nothing can change that. Everything is owned and ruled by him! And that includes the ‘fullness’, the Church.
Verses 20 - 23
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
The same Christ bridged the eternal gap between life and death, unsaved and heaven, by His sacrificial death. In doing so He made peace, brought harmony, allowing men and things to again see Him as Sustainer of everything. And men, whose sinful hearts prevented them from entering heaven, were at last given access to His eternal home. Note that everyone was an “enem(y) in (their) minds” before salvation.
This is proof that no man is able to choose Christ of his own volition! We are saved solely by God’s choice, not by any choice we make. No man will willingly be on the side of his enemy! The only people who are saved, are those whom God firstly regenerates. That is, He chooses who will be saved. Man cannot choose.
Christ had to come and die before this could happen. The death of His sinless body made us holy and acceptable to God, without stain through Christ’s holiness. If we remain true to our faith in Christ we will enter heaven. Does this mean we may not enter heaven if we lack faith? No, it does not say that. It is rhetorical – because we are saved we will go to heaven, even if we fail. We cannot “move away from the hope of the Gospel”, because we are chosen by God to be saved. And those who are chosen cannot ever be lost, because God never changes His mind.
Verses 24 - 29
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God;
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
That same Gospel was preached by Paul and others to everyone they came across (verse 23), and it was given to Paul to preach the message to all. As for Paul, he was only too glad to suffer because of the Gospel, not because he enjoyed suffering, but because he knew the Gospel was being preached. Furthermore, Paul is wiling to suffer even more if it means the Gospel is spread by any means, and those in the Church are edified.
I was present in one local church where our pastor claimed from the pulpit that he would willingly die for each one of us… just a few months before he caused us to leave because of his transgressions! After that he ignored and shunned us, and made his ‘officers’ do likewise. Unlike these ‘fair weather friends’ Paul meant what he said!
The difference was, that our (ex) pastor was not called by God to minister to us, but Paul had a dispensation (stewardship) from God to do so. Few modern ministers really love those they teach, because few are chosen to preach in the first place. Those who are chosen by God to preach will devote themselves to those they speak to; they understand the Gospel that was hidden from people until Christ came, and He gave authority to others to preach.
The Gospel was first preached to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles, who came to know the same godly riches. The ‘mystery’ is that Christ, Lord of all and Creator, resides in all who are saved, and so we may all have expectation of heaven. The same Christ is preached by Paul and others, and in the preaching is a warning to submit to God. True Christians will submit, and learn all that is needful for this life, in all holiness and obedience. Those who do not live like this are in danger of imminent punishment, or even death, by God, because we must all aim at perfection.
Paul worked hard to this end, because it is what God led him to do. And the proof was in what Paul did and how he was attacked. God worked mightily in Paul, and so Satan worked hard to crush him! Work hard for the Lord, and be faithful, and Satan will attack you. Do not work hard and he will leave you alone. Test yourself… how do you score?
© December 2008