Colossians 1:1-8 Sent

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

Paul does not lord it over the Colossians by calling himself an apostle.  He is just simply stating the mission of his life.  An apostle is a sent one and Paul has been sent out to make the world a better place.  He is to tell the world that the awaited saviour has come and that grace and peace can be known.

Writers of the time opened their letters with ‘greetings’ but Paul slightly modifies the Greek word to change it to grace.  He also adds ‘peace’ to the mix, which is the usual Jewish greeting.  What would follow in a normal letter of the age would be an appeal to the gods that they rain blessings on the recipient.  Paul uses this convention but adapts it to the Christian faith by writing prayers that are tailored to his audience.  He sincerely wants God’s grace, peace, hope, love and joy to flourish among God’s people in Colossae.  These should be the markers of a Christian community.

Can it be said of us that we are sincere in wishing grace, peace, hope love and joy for others?  Do we see ourselves, like Paul, as those who have been sent to intercede for others?  Are we dedicated to making the world a better place by bringing God’s good news?

I want to have a concern like Paul for God’s people.  I sincerely want my students, my church, and my family to know God’s grace and peace.  These are turbulent times with many changes.  I wish for us all to have a security and an assurance that comes from a relationship with an unchanging and eternal God.

stamp sent bold - http://www.wpclipart.com/signs_symbol/words ...

Prayer

Father, let us see ourselves as those who are sent.  Let us see ourselves as vessels for your grace, peace, love, hope and joy.  May we intercede for your churches in Syria and Sudan that are faithful in the face of much persecution.  May we long for all people to know you.  May your name be glorified.  Amen.

Questions

  1. How does Paul title himself?
  2. What does he pray for the Colossians?
  3. What does Paul’s title mean?
  4. How are you like Paul and yet also different?
  5. What is your prayer for Christ’s church?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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16 Responses to Colossians 1:1-8 Sent

  1. 1. Paul titles himself as “an apostle of Christ” because it is “by the will of the Lord”. It is not because Paul desires it or because he seeks attention from His title, but rather because it is a huge part of the role in which the Lord has placed him.
    2. Paul is always sure to thank the Lord for the believers at Colossae in his prayers for them because of their heavenly hope in Christ.
    3.Through Paul’s title, the Lord gives accreditation to His apostle’s letter and brings glory to Himself. The title gives Paul an authority from God as His particular apostle and spokesperson to His church. The title apostle is more specific in reference to Paul because he was set aside by the resurrected Christ, called by the Spirit to preach the gospel, and could perform miraculous wonders.
    4. Apostle can have the meaning of “one who was sent” which would apply to all believers because a natural outcome of salvation is to be sent. Both Paul and we as believers belong to Christ and are sent out by Christ after we have been redeemed through His blood.
    5. I think my prayer for Christ’s church ought to mirror Paul’s. I ought to thank the Lord for those who are in Christ. The Colossians love “all the saints” and it seems to me that the expansion of the gospel stems from that love. I would pray that this kind of love be stirred up in the church. My prayer would be that those who hear and are exposed to Christ’s Bride for the first time or those who have been engaged as a member of it for decades would recognize the faith of the church in Christ and their love for one another. Those two things propel the gospel into the world.

  2. Michael McCardle says:

    1. As Paul, an apostle by the will of God.
    2. Thanks God for their love towards the saints.
    3. That he is one who has been sent by Christ.
    4. I do not know how I am similar or different to Paul.
    5. My prayer for the Church is that it would not conform to the ways of the world, and that it would unite as one true body that seeks the lost.

  3. Megumi says:

    1.Paul titles himself as “an apostle of God by the will of God”
    2. He prays that the Colossians would experience the grace and peace of God, and thanks God for the faith and love they already have.
    3.Paul’s designation as an “apostle” denotes a level of spiritual authority as an appointed witness to the gospel, but I think that by adding “by the will of God” Paul highlights the extraordinary grace of God that brought this about. God raised him from a violent opponent to the gospel, to one of its first spokesmen.
    4.I am no apostle, like Paul, but I too have been raised to new life by the grace of God.
    5.May the church prove faithful to the great and gracious God she confesses and to whom she owes an eternal debt of gratitude.

  4. Maelynn Reish says:

    1. Paul calls himself an apostle, by the will of God.
    2. He thanks God for their faith.
    3. Paul is a sent one, who has been called to tell the world of the Savior.
    4. I am a child of God and called to bring others to him; however, I am not an apostle.
    5. To be thankful for the good and the growth that is happening in the lives of new believers and unbelievers.

  5. Paul gives himself the title of apostle in his introduction. He does this not to promote himself, but to simply say that God has called him to be an instrument for change in the world. Paul prays that the church would be blessed by God with peace and grace. Paul’s title means he is sent by God to bring the good news to those who don’t know it. I’m like Paul because I, as a Christian, am set apart and called to bring the gospel to others. I’m different from Paul because I’m easily focused on myself and often forget to intercede on behalf of others in my daily life. I pray that the Church would stand firm on their foundation, Jesus Christ, and that the Holy Spirit would provide strength, comfort, and peace to those who are persecuted for His name.

  6. Andrew Moore says:

    1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.
    2. When Paul prayed for the Colossians, he thanked God for them.
    3. Paul’s title of Apostle simply means that he has been sent by God to convey the good news.
    4. I am similar to Paul in that I love to hear good news about my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am different then Paul in that he has endured much greater suffering for the cause of his ministry then I have.
    5. It is my prayer that the church retains or develops a greater passion to minister both to it’s members and also to those who have not heard of Jesus.

  7. Olyn says:

    1. An Apostle of Jesus Christ
    2. grace and peace
    3. that he has been called and sent by God
    4. like Paul, I am called by God. Unlike Paul, I do not face direct persecution for my faith
    5. that they would be unified

  8. Kimberly W. says:

    1. Paul titles himself “an apostle”
    2. Paul thanks God for the Colossians when he prays for them, as well as wanting grace and peace for them.
    3. Paul’s title of apostle means he is sent; specifically in this case sent by God to testify about God.
    4. I am similar to Paul in that I too am a believer in Jesus Christ as my Savior; Paul and I share the same faith. I differ from Paul in the specific calling God has placed on my life.
    5. My prayer for Christ’s church is for unity–the Church too easily separates because of petty issues. I pray too for strength and courage for the Church as she faces a world hostile to the Gospel.

  9. 1. Paul titles himself as an apostle, a sent one.
    2. Paul prays for God’s grace, peace, hope, love and joy to be evident in the lives of those in Colossae.
    3. Paul’s title “apostle” means that he is sent from God to bring Good News.
    4. I am similar to Christ in the fact that I too, am called to go into the world to share the Good News with nonbelievers, but I am different from Paul in the fact that I am not persecuted for sharing my faith.
    5. My prayer for the church is that we would known by our love for each other and that the way we live and conduct our lives would bring glory to God.

  10. Nate Silvieus says:

    1. An apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    2.Grace and peace among them and for continued fruit bearing of the gospel
    3. That he is sent one from our Lord Jesus Christ
    4. I do not have the authority of an apostle, but I am still sent by God to bear fruit for the gospel in little to no persecution unlike Paul who faced severe persecution on almost a daily basis. However, I am still like Paul in that I have fellowship among believers and we both have the duty to pray for them and bless them.
    5. My prayer for the church would be that through all of our different opinions we would all still be pursuing Jesus with all of our being. Therefore despite having differences, we would be unified in our love Jesus, and therefore a love for each other.

  11. Jung Kim says:

    1.How does Paul title himself? Paul the apostle
    2.What does he pray for the Colossians? Paul thanked God for the Colossians for their love and faith for God.
    3.What does Paul’s title mean? Paul’s title means he is one who was sent by God.
    4.How are you like Paul and yet also different? I think both Paul and I are called and sent by God to love the world and share the love of Christ, yet we are different in the ways or places we are called to be. Furthermore, I am called to be an elementary teacher, while he was a tentmaker/missionary.
    5.What is your prayer for Christ’s church? My prayer for Christ’s church is hunger and thirst for Christ. I pray that every one will be unified in the way that they believe and love Christ.

  12. Christina W. says:

    1. Paul calls himself “an apostle of Christ Jesus.”
    2. Paul prayed for grace and peace for the Colossians and he thanked God for them when he prayed for them.
    3. Paul’s title means that he is the was sent by God.
    4. Like Paul, I am called by God to share the message of the savior with the world. I differ from Paul in the audience that I am sharing that message with and in the vocation that I have.
    5. My prayer is that the church would be a unified body that does not conform to this world but is transformed more and more into the image of Christ.

  13. Christa Larsen-Sorterup says:

    1. How does Paul title himself? Paul calls himself the apostle of Jesus, not based on his own desire but by the will of God Himself
    2. What does he pray for the Colossians? Paul prays a blessing of grace and peace over the church in Colossae, a prayer of thanksgiving for their faith and love for the believers and for their production of spiritual fruit
    3. What does Paul’s title mean? Paul’s title of apostle means one who was sent from God
    4. How are you like Paul and yet also different? I am like Paul in many ways including my salvation in Christ and my desire to see the world come to faith in Christ; I am one who has a divine mission to preach the good news of Christ to all. I am different from Paul because I am not an apostle and am not as faithful in my calling as he was.
    5. What is your prayer for Christ’s church? My prayer for Christ’s church is unity in Him, the recognition of their hope in Him, and the desire to bear fruit for His kingdom.

  14. Maria T. says:

    How does Paul title himself? As an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.
    What does he pray for the Colossians? He thanks God for them and prays for grace and peace.
    What does Paul’s title mean? It means that he was sent for the purpose of strengthening the church.
    How are you like Paul and yet also different? I am concerned for the church around the world, but not in such a way that I pray as often or work as hard as Paul did. I also need to be praying for the church with more thankfulness.
    What is your prayer for Christ’s church? Father, thank you for your church. I thank you for sending and equipping us to bless your church, both here and abroad. We praise you for granting grace and peace to your church through your Son, Jesus Christ, and we praise you for giving us your Word. I ask that we would be more concerned with upholding your word of truth and ask that it would bear fruit among us. Thank you for your Son, and it is in His name we pray. Amen.

  15. Emmy R says:

    1. An apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God
    2. Grace and Peace from God
    3. It describes his mission from God
    4. I am called by God to share His love with others, but my passion and dedication are not as strong as Paul’s or as strong as I wish it was.
    5. My prayer is that Christ’s church will be a vessel and an intricate part of His mission.

  16. Molly says:

    1.Paul titles himself as an apostle of Christ.
    2.Paul thanked God for the Colossians for their love and faith in God.
    3.Paul’s title means that he was sent by God.
    4.Paul and I are alike in that we both share a love for the Lord and are both sent by Him for a specific purpose. We are different in how we are called to minister to the Lord’s people.
    5. I often pray for unity amongst believers. I find it such a tragedy that there is division in the church.

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