Colossians 3-4, 1 Thessalonians 1
Colossians Chapter 3
Like a fish swimming through a polluted river toward an ocean of pure, fresh water, Christian Living is about coming out of and overcoming the carnal ways of the world, while remaining immersed in the carnal world until the destination is reached. All Christians struggle to overcome sin, including Paul e.g.
"7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
7:18 For I know that in me that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin" (Romans 7:14-25 KJV).
A true Christian life is about perfection i.e. being perfected until perfection comes - when Christ comes.
"3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ [see Born Again, How and When?], seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?]. 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God [see Spiritual Conception]. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory [see To Meet The Lord In The Air].
3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection [see Sodomites], evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 3:6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 3:10 And have put on the new man [see How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 1, How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 2, How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 3, How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 4, How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 5, How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 6, How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 7, How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 8, How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 9 and
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 10], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him [see Christ The Creator]: 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
3:12 Put on therefore, as The Elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts [see A Pure Heart], to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord [listen to the sermon The Divorce and Remarriage of Jesus Christ from our Sermons page]. 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
3:22 Servants [see Christianos], obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward [see A Reward For Everyone] of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons." (Colossians 3:1-25 KJV)
Colossians Chapter 4
Regardless of whatever circumstances that they find themselves in this world, everyone is equally subject to God's Judgment, in due time (see No Class Struggles In Christianity and When Will You Be Judged?).
"4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the Mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace [see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge; also Grace Into Licentiousness], seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." (Colossians 4:1-6 KJV)
As Paul often did with his letters to the churches, (see Epistles) he concludes his epistle to the Colossians with personal greetings and instructions (it is highly unlikely that Paul knew that his letters to the churches would one day form much of the New Testament record).
"4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful Minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
4:10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him; 4:11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
4:13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea and them in Hierapolis. 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen." (Colossians 4:7-18 KJV)
1 Thessalonians Chapter 1
Thessalonica was a large city of Macedonia. Although founded by the Greeks (see Ancient Empires - Greece), in the time of the apostle Paul the Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome) had made it into a regional capital. During his missionary journeys (see Paul's First Missionary Journey,
Paul's Second Missionary Journey and
Paul's Third Missionary Journey), Paul preached in Thessalonica and founded a group of believers (see What Is The Church? and Church of God) there.
Paul's first epistle to the Thessalonian church was one of the first, if not the first, of his existing epistles to the churches, most probably written while Paul (see Paul's Ministry) was in Corinth.
"1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheos, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father [see The Holy Father and Godhead] and in the Lord Jesus Christ [see Christ The Creator]: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith [see A Life Of Faith], and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in The Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 1:9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why is it often easier for Christians to sin than for atheists and unbelievers?