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Philippians 4, Colossians 1-2
Paul concludes his letter (see Epistles) to his Yokefellows at Philippi with exhortation and encouragement that applies to all Christians, then and ever since: "4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you" (Philippians 4:8-9 KJV).
"4:1 Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
Paul's letter to the Philippians was delivered by the Epaphroditus on his return journey to Philippi after delivering "the things which were sent from you" (Philippians 4:14 KJV).
"4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul's final greetings, and an amazing inclusion - that even as a prisoner, Paul, through The Holy Spirit (see The Cure For The Carnal Mind) was setting free some of his captors through conversion - "4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household" (Philippians 4:22 KJV).
"4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. 4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.
Colossians Chapter 1
Colosse was a city of Phrygia in Asia Minor (i.e. Turkey) located about 12 miles from Laodicea. The location of the city on a major trade route between western Asia Minor and Mesopotamia made it one of the natural destinations along Paul's missionary journeys (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey).
Paul's epistle to the Colossians was written while he was a prisoner of the Romans during his first imprisonment at Rome, some time around 60 A.D.
"1:1 Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheos our brother, 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father [see The Holy Father] and the Lord Jesus Christ.
"1:16 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" (Colossians 1:16 KJV) is a plain statement of Christ The Creator.
"1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 1:16 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: 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead [listen to the Sermon Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour from our Sermons page]; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 1:20 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." (Colossians 1:15-20 KJV)
Paul never used "apostle" as a rank; he recognized that apostle simply means a servant who has been sent.
"1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled [see What Does Jesus Look Like Now?] 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 1:23 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; 1:24 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: 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 1:27 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: 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." (Colossians 1:21-29 KJV)
Colossians Chapter 2
"2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words" (Colossians 2:4 KJV) was a plead that Paul often had to make with local churches that he helped to found; as soon as Paul would move on, the "wolves" would creep in (see also The Warning About Grievous Wolves).
"2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ." (Colossians 2:1-5 KJV)
Just as Christ delivered the physical Israelites from slavery ("10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV), so too He will deliver His people from slavery to sin (see Deliverance). But as always, until the journey is complete, "2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8 KJV).
"2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
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