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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, January 24, 2020

Colossians 1:19-20 (L 06)




Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                    Published: January 24, 2020

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

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Welcome to HBS.  It’s good to have all of you back again.

I appreciate you and your faithfulness to God’s Word especially these past few months.  Please know my health continues to improve.  

In Colossians 1:14 Paul reminded the Colossians of the enormous price and sacrifice Jesus Christ paid to secure their redemption saying:  In whom we have (not hope for) redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

Paul speaks again of Christ Jesus’ redemptive work in Romans 3:23-26:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness (not ours) for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

We need to get a handle on two terms Paul used before we proceed.  Redemption” means:  the purchase of God's divine favor by the death and sufferings of Christ; the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law by the atonement of Christ (See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 7:23).

The word “atonement” means: agreement; peace; reconciliation, after enmity or controversy (See Romans 5).  Everyone born into this world enters on the wrong side of God.  Due to our sin nature we are anti-God and therefore in the state of enmity.  The only exception is God’s Son who was without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15).

Since the first century people have been trying to get right with God by adding their best intentions and their good deeds to Christ’s perfect sacrifice hoping to please God and be saved.  But the Bible clearly says you can’t earn God’s Grace it’s the “free gift of God” to all who believe (Ephesians 2:8-10).  The Romans passage above supports this truth and declares the propitiation (the sacrifice that fully paid) for our sins is applied through faith (belief in what God has said) inHis shed blood” (alone).  But, what does it mean to have faith in His (divine) blood?  It has been said, if you have “faith in His blood,” you have many things.  First, since the Bible is the source of God’s command to have “faith in His blood,” and you have that faith, then clearly you understand the Bible is true and worthy to be believed even to the saving of your eternal soul, which is no small detail.

Next, you understand His blood is not only unique it is powerful; therefore, God’s Son is extraordinary and not like us.  He entered this world fully God and fully Man which means unlike us He did not possess a sin nature.  It also means you understand that salvation is not a work of your own but only comes through the sacrificial death of God’s Son.  You also acknowledge that sin itself is such a grievous offense against the righteousness of God the Father that only the blood, the very life, of the Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for its price.

Finally, if you have “faith in His blood,” you must have a dispensational understanding of the gospel of grace (whether you’re aware of this or not) since salvation by “faith in His blood, alone, is known only through the writings of Paul.

So, encompassed in these four words, “faith in His blood,” is nearly the entire statement of faith held by every dispensational Bible believing church.  So then, salvation is not of works, but of faith in what God has revealed to man, dispensationaly speaking.  In the Church Age, salvation is realized only through the gospel delivered to us through our Apostle Paul (Romans 16:25-26, 2:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  Add in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and The Virgin Birth (both of which are implied above) and you’ve got the whole package simply by having “faith in his blood.”
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Please open your Bible at Colossians 1:19-20.

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through (what) 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.”

As Paul closes out chapter 1, he gives the Colossians (and us) two valid reasons for Christ Jesus’ preeminence (1:17-18):  1) All the fullness of deity exists in Him.  2) By His death (His shed blood) God “reconciled all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” 

Paul is the only apostle that emphasizes the redemptive power of Christ Jesus’ blood:

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7).

In Ephesians 3:17-19, Paul speaks of the great message he alone proclaimed and prays we might comprehend in order that we may know “the love of Christ Jesus” and be “filled with all the fullness of God:”

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Romans 5:1-11).

The O.T. Believers did not know God the Son as we know Him today.  Truth be told, He wasn’t known at all.  Jesus Christ was there, but only in veiled phrasing and types.  The nation of Israel expected the promised One, i.e., their Messiah (God’s anointed) but they certainly weren’t expecting God’s Son to arrive on scene.  But just because this isn’t spoken of in plain language in the O.T. doesn’t mean the Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, didn’t exist.  We learn through the progressive revelation of Scripture there’s never been a time when He didn’t exist. 

I just thought of a biblical example in support of my statement above that the Israelites didn’t know God had a Son even though the O.T. Scriptures indicated His existence.  Please go to Luke 24:25-27.  This is where the risen Lord on the day of His resurrection appeared and walked along with two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus:  Then he (the risen Lord) said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

You’d think the twelve chosen apostles and His disciples knew His true identity, and His plan and purpose, but you’d be wrong.  Please turn to Luke 16:13-17:

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias (Elijah); and others, Jeremias (Jeremiah), or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”   

The silence that ensued could be felt, I imagine, until the spokesperson for the group, Simon Peter, chimed in with this statement: 

Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (See also Luke 18:28-34).

The Israelites alone had the oracles and ordinances of God but they didn’t see Jesus Christ in them (Romans 3:2).  Paul remarked on this fact 1 Corinthians 2:6-8:

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Had the Romans and the Jewish leaders fully understood Christ’s character, the truth in respect to His incarnation, and seen the wisdom of His plan and His work they would not have put the Son of God to death (Psalm 2:1-3; Acts 3:17).  Therefore, even though Israel didn’t recognize Christ Jesus as God’s Son, and many still do not today, clearly He is the great “I AM” (Jehovah - Yahweh) of the Old Testament.  He’s the One that dealt with the nation of Israel from day one through Moses and the prophets.

By the way, you’d be hard-pressed to find the term “Trinity” in the Bible too, but that doesn’t mean the concept isn’t there (See Genesis 1:1:2; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-7).  The Jews missed this truth as well.  They insisted there is only one true God, that is, Yahweh.

 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: 2 That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.  Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.  Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:” (Deuteronomy 6:1-4).

Then said I, Lo, I come: In the volume of the book it is written of me,” (Psalm 40:7;).

We don’t learn who “Me” is until the Son of Man appeared incarnate (Luke 2:1-21; Philippians 2:7-8).  Nowhere in the four gospels do you find Jesus Christ being recognized as the Son of God.  Instead, you learn Jesus had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58).  From His birth to His death you find Him subjected to humiliation and ridicule by the very people He came to redeem.  The multitudes followed Him for the show and the free lunch.  The Jewish leaders plotted against Him, Martha rebuked Him, Peter denied Him 3 times in succession, and Judas betrayed Him.  Here we learn His deity is veiled by His humanity.  But after his baptism in the River Jordan He spoke of another type of baptism to come; we understand this to be His Cross

But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished” (Luke 12:50).

Thank God we know Him no longer “after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16) for, it’s been said, how could Christ in straitened circumstances mean so much to us as the Lord of glory who lovingly dispenses the riches of His Grace and every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies to all who believe His gospel in this dispensation.     

Even in Christ Jesus’ resurrection His glory was veiled, how else could the eleven have seen Him in the upper room and elsewhere?  Probably the greatest display of His glory, while on earth, took place at the Transfiguration when appearing with Moses and Elias, His face shone like the sun and His clothing was white as light!  Yet, we find Peter seeing this and saying, “Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” (Matthew 17:4).

Compare that episode with the bright light that blinded Saul of Tarsus when the glorified Lord appeared to him on the Damascus RD (Acts 9:3-4, 23:13-16).  Once again, it is Paul, and no one else, who says, “Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know him no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16).  The Jews who believed in Christ Jesus’s name knew Him as Israel’s suffering Savior, however the Body of Christ knows Him as the glorified and risen Lord of glory: 

God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).  

Paul doesn’t speak of Christ Jesus in veiled terminology; he tells it as it is.  For instance, we just learned through Pauline revelation that Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God (1:15), He’s the Creator God (1:16), the Great Sustainer (1:17) and in relation to the Church, the Body of Christ, He is the supreme Head and the Master of death (1:18).

Verse 19.

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;”

What is Paul saying?  I’m glad you asked.  Some people believe Paul’s referring to the Lord’s incarnation, while others think the subject is Christ Jesus’ completed work of reconciliation, and they base that belief on Paul’s declaration in verse 1:20:

And having made peace (past tense) 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” (1:20). 

This Bible teacher believes Paul’s referring to the Lord’s work of reconciliation.  So, it might be better to understand “fullness” as referring to the fullness of God’s plan of reconciliation in Him:  

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).  

In other words, Paul is declaring the fullness of God’s saving grace and provision of salvation resides solely and totally in the saving work of Christ “through the blood of the cross” (1:20).

For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5).

This Pauline teaching is significant because the false teachers in Colosse were saying something totally different.  They insisted Christ’s death (His saving work of the cross) was insufficient for salvation.  The legalistic Jews for instance retained the Mosaic Law (2:14), they imposed circumcision on the gentiles (2:11), and followed strict dietary restraints (2:16).  This program was set forth in the Dispensation of Law in times past, and the nation of Israel was obligated to obey all the LORD’s commands *Leviticus 26:3).  But now, Paul is saying the Cross is enough.  In the Dispensation of God’s Grace, works of the flesh, of any kind, cannot please God.  Faith in what He has said, dispensationaly speaking, does please Him (Hebrews 9:22, 11:6).

Verse 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” (1:20).

Do you see what this verse is saying?  God “made peace” with the world through Christ Jesus’ shed blood and “reconciled all things unto himself;” and this was accomplished while we were yet sinners and enemies of God (Romans 5:7-9).  

In Ephesians 2:12 Paul speaks of the gentiles who in times past were alienated from the covenant promises of Israel, without God, and without hope in this world.  In Ephesians 4:18 we find the Gentiles “alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them.”  In Ephesians 2:17 we read the Lord sent His servants to preach peace to them which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  Those who were afar off were the gentiles who were counted dead in trespasses and sins.  

Furthermore, between the Gentiles and the Jewish nation there had been a middle wall of partition (Ephesians 2:14).  This wall of exclusivity was erected at Mt. Sinai.  It was a wall made up of the law, ordinances, and the Jew’s religion.  The Israelites themselves  were nigh to the LORD.  They were called “the Commonwealth of Israel.” Then in Ephesians 2:15-16, we learn that Jesus Christ, by His death on the cross, broke down the middle wall of partition, the law of commandments in ordinances; that He might reconcile both Jews and Gentiles unto God in one Body by “the blood of His cross.” 

This same truth is found in Colossians 2:13-14 where we read, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us (gentiles), which was contrary to us, and took it (the ordinances) out of the way, nailing it to the cross.”

If we did not have other Scriptures to teach us otherwise, we might believe what many churches are teaching these days, i.e., the risen Christ, immediately after His death, sent the eleven apostles to preach the ministry of reconciliation to the Gentiles; that these eleven apostles knew that the law had been nailed to the cross, and that all religious barriers had been removed and all national preferences and racial distinctions had been eradicated.  But in studying the ministry of the apostles in the first thirteen chapters of Acts, we learn that this is contrary to the facts.  For instance, in Acts 10:28 we have the Apostle Peter saying it was not lawful for him to enter a Gentiles’ home let alone preach the gospel to them, and this was about eight years after Christ’s death on the Cross.  There’s a Bible verse in Acts 11:19 that I dare say most of Christendom is not aware of.  It says the gospel was being preached to “the Jews only.” 

Note Peter’s message in Acts 5:29-32.  There Peter preached to Israel that God had raised Christ from the dead to be Israel’s Prince and Saviour there is no reference to the Gentiles being included in God’s salvation plan at this time.  If we compare Acts 5:29-32 with Ephesians 1:19-23, we find that significant difference I spoke of earlier.  In Acts 5 we learn from Peter that God raised Christ from the dead to be their Prince and a Saviour to give Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins, whereas, in Ephesians 1:19-23, Paul said God raised Christ from the dead to be Head over all things unto the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.

(To be continued).

© Copyright 2011
GJ  Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Colossians 1:15-18 (L 05)




Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                    Published: January 16, 2020

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

***********************************************************************************************
Welcome, one and all, to HBS.

Let’s Review.

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:” (1:12-14)

Colossians 1:9-14 is Paul’s heartfelt prayer on behalf of the relatively new converts in Colosse.  He prayed for their continued spiritual growth, saying be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.  He also prayed for their strength and endurance.  Paul also reminded these Believers that salvation is entirely the work of God, He saved (rescued) them from the power of darkness (Satan’s evil empire), and translated (to remove people from one place to another) them into the kingdom of His dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

I didn’t explain verse 1:13b in the prior lesson so I’ll do that now:

“…and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Some people believe Paul’s advocating the same gospel the Lord Jesus Christ commanded the twelve to preach to Israel, that is, the gospel of the kingdom, but is this true?  No, of course not.   Although some people teach the Church is spiritual Israel, and the members of the Body of Christ will rule and reign with Christ Jesus on earth, Paul is actually saying the Church is under His authority (Colossians 1:18).  The Colossians were redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and partake of the grace of God in this dispensation.  They are no longer under the power of darkness, but have been translated (removed) “and made to sit  in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”

Paul writes about the Believer’s position in Christ in heavenly places in

Ephesians 2:5-7, so let’s look at it:

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

The LORD God promised the nation of Israel a literal kingdom on the earth and a King to lead them.  When the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world, that prophesied kingdom was at hand (Matthew 3:2, 4:17; Mark 1:15).  The Apostle Matthew presented Jesus as Israel’s King (Messiah) in his gospel.  It opens with the declaration “Jesus Christ, the Son of David…” (Matthew 1:1) to emphasize the fact He came from the royal line of king David in accordance with the Davidic Covenant.  John the Baptist had gone forth as the King’s herald, to prepare His way, and the twelve apostles proclaimed His royal rights as they preached “the gospel of the kingdom” to the nation of Israel only (Acts 11:19).  This was all in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (See Isaiah 9:6-7).

Paul never refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as our king, instead, He identifies Him “as our Lord and Savior, our hopethe Head of the Body of Christ:”  This knowledge isn’t found anywhere in the O.T; but you will find it in Paul’s writings:

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:1-2).

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:18-23).

Since Christ Jesus is the Head of the Church, every true Believer ought to know what the Church is and when it began.  The traditional view and the majority of Christendom believe the Church, the Body of Christ, began on Pentecost.  These folks say membership into the Body of Christ is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Since the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred on Pentecost, the Church began at that time.  That sounds reasonable, until you read/study the writings of our Apostle Paul.

I’ve listed three rather obvious obstacles for the traditional view below:

1) God clearly said through our apostle Paul the Church, the Body of Christ, was a “mystery” (secret) that had been kept hidden in the mind of God since before the foundation of the earth (1 Corinthians 2:6-8; Ephesians 3:1-9).  Furthermore this secret was revealed only to Saul/Paul.  This presents a serious problem for the traditional view because Paul made this declaration circa 37 AD long after Pentecost.

2) There is no biblical evidence to support the view that anyone at Pentecost recognized the Church, the Body of Christ, had come into existence.  The biblical evidence will show at Pentecost the twelve knew nothing about the Body of Christ or that God is now saving both the Jew and the Gentile into one body.  Peter only addressed the Jews at Pentecost (Acts 2:14).  Paul, on the other hand, declared the Church to be a living, breathing, organism, (not a man-made structure) in which the Jew and the Gentile are equal in the eyes of God.  This terminology isn’t found in the four gospels or the letters of Peter, James, John, and Jude.  Only Paul writes about the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5, 16:25-27; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 12:12-13, 18, 25-27; Ephesians 1:23, 2:11-22, 16, 3:3:3-9, 4:4, 12, 16, 5:30; Galatians 3:26-28; Colossians 1:18, 24-47, 2:17-19, 3:15).

3) Peter and his contemporaries were looking expectedly for the fulfillment of prophecy, i.e., the kingdom of God on earth, which the LORD God (Jehovah) had revealed to the nation of Israel through the prophets, not the beginning of the new Church Age.  The O.T. does not contain any information about the Body of Christ.  The prophets, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Jesus Christ Himself did not mention at any time that Jew and Gentile would be considered equal, in Christ, in one body.  Instead, we find Peter quoting the prophet Joel on the day of Pentecost.  He expected the  sun to be turned into darkness and the moon into blood” (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:15-21).  Peter was anticipating the Lord’s return to judge Israel’s sin then establish His kingdom.  There is no language that indicates His return is for the purpose of establishing the Church, the Body of Christ, with both Jews and Gentiles to the glory of God the Father!  You find this information only in Paul’s writings - Romans through Philemon.

So then, Paul is saying the Colossians have been removed from Satan’s kingdom of darkness “into the kingdom of his dear son” who is presently in heaven, until God the Father makes His enemies “thine footstool” (Psalm 110:1; Revelation 19:11-16).
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Please open your Bible at Colossians 1:15-18.

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.  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 fulness dwell;”

After Paul prayed that the saints at Colosse might continue to walk in a manner fitting to their new life in Christ Jesus, He immediately addressed the chief concern of this letter, i.e., the exaltation and preeminence of Christ in His person and work.  In addition to enlightening these Believers about their Lord and Savior, Paul indirectly refuted and rebuked the Gnostics and the Jewish traditionalists of His day who were influencing some of the folks in this assembly as to their theories. (Ephesians 4:14-15).

In response to the Gnostics theory (claim) that Jesus Christ was merely a man, Paul revealed Christ Jesus’ relationship first to God the Father, second, to creation, and third, to the Church which is His body.  And remember Paul could give first-hand testimony about these things.  He had at one time considered Jesus Christ a blasphemous fraud. But in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Paul’s clear purpose in opening this chapter is to show that the hope God has placed before all mankind is not based on the guesswork of men or likelihoods, but on the testimony of eyewitnesses many of which were still living when he wrote this letter to the Colossians circa 56-57 AD:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.  After that, he was seen of James (His half-brother); then of all the apostles.  And last of all the was seen of me (Saul of Tarsus) also, as of one born out of due time.” 

Paul said the gospel he received from the risen Lord, is the very same gospel he preached to all, that is, nothing added and nothing taken away from it, and in so doing presents the resurrection of Christ as a historical fact.  He then names several eye-witnesses of Christ’s resurrection; the distraught apostle Peter was the first of these.  Paul then said he too had seen the risen Lord.  We understand this to be while enroute to Damascus to persecute the Jews who believed Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 8:34-37).  There are three accounts of his conversion in the Book of Acts alone, and again and again in his letters he speaks of it and refers to it (see Acts 9, 22:1-21, and 26:1-23).  The conversion of Saul of Tarsus, the chief persecutor of those who believed in Jesus’ name is no small thing.  It is one of the most significant events in the history of the first-century church.  

Christ Jesus’ Relationship to the Father

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” (1:15).

Paul prayed the Colossians “might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding…” and “increasing in the knowledge of God;” (1:9-10), and in 1:15 helps them with this by presenting them with the knowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God.”  But what does that mean? Scripture holds the answer.  The very same word is found in Hebrews 10:1:

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect,”

Here the writer of Hebrews makes a clear distinction between “a shadow” and substance, i.e. “the very image” of things that are.  The law was “a shadow of good things to come,” however “a shadow” is not “the very image” itself.  Clearly said, the image here is “the thing” itself, so this must mean the same thing in Colossians 1:15 because not only is the same word used, but also because we read Jesus Christ is “the image of the invisible God…”  

Paul is referring to two separate Persons of the Godhead, specifically, God the Father and God the Son.   I’ve been on the teaching end of the doctrine of the Trinity for more than twenty-four years, so believe me when I say this is difficult for some people to understand.  However, this is what God has revealed in Scripture about Himself, so since God said it, we’re to believe it.  The doctrine of the Trinity states that in the unity of the Godhead there are three eternal and co-equal Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the same in essence but distinct in their role — three distinct Persons but one Being all capable of expressing thought, will, and emotion.  The shortest Bible verse is John 11:35, “Jesus wept” for instance. 

We find the three distinct Persons of the Godhead present at Jesus’ baptism: 

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).

With Christ Jesus’ relationship to the Father in mind, let’s review the following Bible passages”

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?  he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:” (John 14:8-9).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).

Let’s look at one more; please turn to John 10:29-30:

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  I and my Father are one.”

The Lord Jesus Christ is not speaking about being united with the Father in plan and purpose, although that is true, but in power.  He affirmed He is able to rescue and keep His people from all enemies, and that He had supreme power over all creation and affirmed this of the Father as well.  In this way they “are one.”  The Jews listening to Him understood that He was claiming equality with the LORD God (Jehovah) in regard to supreme authority.  We know the Jews took issue with this because the next verse says, “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him” (10:31).

The conclusion is that God is invisible except in Christ Jesus who is God in bodily form (Philippians 2:6-12; Colossians 2:9).  This is why John 1:18 says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Christ’s Relationship to Creation

“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: (1:15-16).

The very next thing our Apostle Paul shows the Colossians (and us) is, “… (He) is the firstborn of every creature:” (1:15).  The first thing I should probably point out to y’all is the term “firstborn” does not necessarily indicate that one was born first.  It is rather a title, which was usually bestowed upon the one that was born first, but not always.  According to Jewish custom, and others, firstborn meant the first male child that was born.  He assumed the father’s place at death, received the inheritance, and assumed his father’s responsibilities.  But, the firstborn was not necessarily the one born first.  The clearest biblical example of this teaching is Abraham’s descendants Ishmael and Isaac.  According to this account, Ishmael was born first, but Isaac was the firstborn, that is, “the child of promise” (Genesis 21-28).  We find this again with Esau and Jacob.  Esau was the first male child born, but he wasn’t the firstborn.  The same is true of Rueben and Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, and so on. 

So then, the title “the firstborn of (all creation) does not mean Christ Jesus was a created being or the first born.  Instead, it means Christ is the Head of all creation for Paul said, “(He) 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:   

In John 1:3 we read, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Although man is able to “make” things, only God can create.   Paul affirms this in Ephesians 3:9 and implies not only the individuality of God and Son but that they coexist:

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” 

In Revelation the Apostle John again affirms Christ Jesus “created all things:”

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

Paul echoes this statement in Colossians 1:16 in saying, “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: (in keeping with the context Paul is addressing the heresy/philosophy of the Gnostics in Colosse by emphasizing that Christ Jesus is supreme over all things, and this includes any and all angelic beings; see 2:10, 15, and 18 for) all things were created by him, and for him:

So, as I pointed out earlier, Christ Jesus is the firstborn (the Head) of all creation but there’s more.  In verse 1:17, Paul said, “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  Said differently, He is the Head of eternity.  The word “before” has to do with time and we know this because Paul said, “…by him all things consist. The implication being Christ Jesus had to be before them in time in order to hold them together.  So the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of eternity. 

The term “consist” as used here means to hold together or to cling together.   The Lord Jesus Christ preserves all His creation, in other words.  This same truth is found in Hebrews 1:3: “Who being the brightness of (God’s) glory, and the (very substance) of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power.”


In the book of Psalms we read of Christ Jesus’ creative power:

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Psalm 33:6).  

For he spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 39:9).

Think this through.  All things in the heavens, and in the earth were created by the Word, i.e. Christ Jesus, the Great Communicator of the Godhead, spoke all things into existence.  With a Word the visible and the invisible came into being.  That’s power!  But not only that, “by him all things consist.”  Plainly said, if it were not for the Lord Jesus Christ, the universe as we know it would fall apart.  As a child, I used to stare up into the night sky in awe of its vastness.  I thought about why it exists and searched for answers as to why I exist.  You see, even then I knew there was supreme being.  Much later in life I learned it was God the Son:  

The heavens declare the glory of God (the Son); And the firmament sheweth his handywork” (In Psalm 19:1).

Christ Jesus’ Relationship to the Church

And he is the head of the body (of Christ), the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (1:18).

No other apostle but Paul speaks about the Lord Jesus Christ being the Head of the Body of Christ, that is, the Church (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22, 4:12; and Colossians 1:18).  The Body of Christ recognizes Him as the Head of the one body; the One who has preeminence re: all things related to His body. That being said, if any person or church is not under the control of the Head, then they are not in the center of God’s will.  

I alluded to this earlier, but it bears repeating.  The Body of Christ is not a church denomination.  It is not an organization with an earthly, ecclesiastical head.  The Bible recognizes the true Church is called the Body of Christ.  In Ephesians 2:16 Paul said that it is God’s purpose to, “…reconcile both (the Jews and the Gentiles) unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity (the quality of being an enemy) thereby:

In 1 Corinthians 12:13 Paul has this to say about true Believers, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Therefore, I pray y’all understand this has absolutely nothing to do with church rules and regulations or acceptance in one of 500+ Christian church organizations in America today.  The true Church is not visible.  The true Church is organic in nature, made up of true Believers all over the world, in and out of every known denomination, and God the Father recognizes only that Church.  I don’t mean to upset people, but try as you might you’ll not find the terms Adventist, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, etc. in the Bible.  These religious systems are man-made; they are not of God; therefore, He does not recognize them.  He desires that the walls of exclusivity they have erected would come tumbling down, much like the walls of Jericho, and that every true Believer would recognize the basis for our unity, our baptism into Christ by the Holy Spirit, and then experience and enjoy true oneness, i.e., unity:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

There can be no true unity in mere church organizations.  There might be union, of a sort, but not the type of true unity our Apostle Paul writes about.  But thanks be to God the Father as we read about Christ Jesus being baptized into out death on Calvary, and recognize that death was not His – He was sinless; He had no death to die; that was our death.  When you come to terms with this truth and accept His shed blood as payment for all your sin, we become one with Him and He with us at Calvary:

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).

This is not just one way to be baptized into Christ Jesus it is the only way.  The Bible speaks of no other.  Adding to that, this is the only way Believers can be baptized into one another.  There is no true unity apart from Christ Jesus for He is the Head of the one body.  So then, that’s the relationship of Christ Jesus to the one Church, the Body of Christ. 

In Colossians 1:18b Paul also said this about Christ Jesus:

“…(He) is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;

Paul isn’t saying He was the first to be raised from the dead.  He is the first One who arose from the dead by His own power, thereby demonstrating His power and superiority over hell and death:

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18).

In Ephesians 1:20-23, Paul wrote about the mighty power of God:

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:19-23).

Verse 1:18b.

“…that in all things He might have the preeminence.

The Lord Jesus Christ is “the Head.”  He is the Head of creation, the Body of Christ, and He is the Master of death, so “that in all things He might have preeminence.”  Paul used the term “might” here because the possibility exists that some folks might not recognize His preeminence over all things.  This was certainly the case in Colosse and it remains a problem for many people today.  I know people who agree the Holy Trinity exists, but they disagree with their individuality and their individual roles.  Some see Christ Jesus as sitting at the “kid’s table” so to speak, while our Apostle Paul clearly teaches not only do all three exist, they all are equally God.  

Something Daniel Webster, the 19th century statesman and convinced Christian said comes to mind.  A Unitarian minister asked him this question, “Mr. Webster, can you comprehend how Jesus Christ could be both God and Man?"  Mr. Webster replied, “No, sir, I cannot understand it, and I would be ashamed to acknowledge Christ as my Savior if I could understand it.  He could be no greater than myself, and such is my conviction of accountability to God, my sense of sinfulness before Him, and my knowledge of my own incapacity to recover myself, that I feel I need a superhuman Savior.” 

Folks that “superhuman Savior” is the Head of the Body of Christ and all are welcome, if you approach the Cross, where God’s Grace was publicly displayed to all, in faith.    

(To be continued.  Publication date uncertain).

© Copyright 2011
GJ  Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

 















































     




































































Saturday, January 4, 2020

Colossians 1:9-14 (L 04)


Home Bible Study©
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
WWW. 2Tim215.Net

Established November 2008                                    Published: January 4, 2020

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

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Welcome to HBS and Happy New Year!

No change in my condition, therefore, I highly recommend you review the previous lesson to refresh your memory.

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Please open your Bible at Colossians 1:9-14.

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:” 

In verse 1:9 Paul prayed the Colossians “might be filled with the knowledge of his (God’s) will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding… To ensure we’re all on the same page moving forward I’m going to define the terms knowledge, wisdom, and understanding because I do not assume everyone understands what they mean.

Knowledge - a clear and certain perception of that which exists, or of truth and fact.  

Wisdom - the right use or exercise of knowledge. 

Understanding – the ability of the human mind by which it apprehends the real state of things presented to it, or by which it receives or comprehends the ideas which others express and intend to communicate; see Ephesians 1 for an example.

Then in verse 1:10 Paul cited the practical application of this prayer:

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Considering God has given us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14) every Believer ought to desire not only to know God fully, but also know what His will is for this dispensation and live their lives accordingly.  As it stands, the majority of Christendom reads verse 1:9 thinking only in terms of God’s will for them.  So this passage of Scripture is in the same category as Philippians 4:13, i.e., it’s misread, misunderstood, and misused. 

I’ll illustrate:  I know someone who is asking God if they should be a missionary overseas.  Another person wants God’s insight on the person they hope to marry, while another seeks God’s will as to which college to attend.  Although these folks show concern about God’s will for their lives, they are woefully ignorant of God’s will, i.e. what it is God wants done in the Dispensation of Grace and the Believer’s spiritual responsibility in relation to the revelation of the mystery.    

So, when Paul prayed for the Colossians, and would pray the very same prayer for us, “that ye (we) might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” he’s not referring to God’s will for them in a given situation, but to His long hidden purpose and program for His Church, the Body of Christ, and the Believer’s “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1), as Christ Jesus’ ambassador on earth:

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:” (Ephesians 1:9).  

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

It's a given that God is interested in us and every aspect of our lives; He would have us look to Him for guidance.  But in verse 1:9-10 Paul is indirectly speaking about the Colossian’s spiritual growth.  This process begins with “be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.”  Think this through.  If someone is ignorant of the will and purpose of God, what good is it to inquire whether or not they should become a missionary, get married, or attend a specific college?  How will these things positively impact this present evil age (Galatians 1:4) and prosper the cause of Christ?  On the other hand, the one who has an intelligent understanding of God’s will for them in this dispensation and is convinced by it won’t find themselves sitting idle on the sidelines they’ll be found instead on the front lines, fighting “the good fight of the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). 

Plainly said, in order to walk worthy of the Lord, the Colossians (and us) need to be smackdab in the center of God’s will, having come to a knowledge and an understanding of the revelation of the mystery; that great secret revealed to our Apostle Paul, which he refers to as “my gospel” (See Acts 15; Romans 2:16, 16:25-27).

Paul refers to it as “my gospel” because he did not receive it from man; it was revealed to him by the risen, glorified, Lord Jesus Christ and no other (Galatians 1:1).  The twelve were commanded by the Lord to preach the kingdom gospel “to Jews only” (Acts 11:19, 15).   So, with this thought in mind, I pray the following information might help you understand the risen Lord has set aside the gospel of the kingdom for a time (Matthew 24:14; Romans 11; Revelation 14:6) having introduced the good news that salvation is a free gift of God via His grace to all that believe (Romans 4:16).  

According to the Scriptures, before the cross of Christ mankind was divided into two groups: Jews and Gentiles.  The O.T. and N.T. both make clear what brought about this distinction.  It was the covenants the LORD God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their descendants through Moses.  These covenant promises were for the nation of Israel alone.  The Israelites were segregated from the rest of the world by the Mosaic Law and their unique relationship with the Great “I AM” (Exodus 3:14).  

This important distinction is maintained throughout the Bible:

But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey:  I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people” (Leviticus 20:24).   

For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth” (Exodus 33:16).

And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, (i.e. cut from the herd, so to speak) that ye should be mine” (Leviticus 20:26).


And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt? For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, Lord, becamest their God” (1 Chronicles 17:21-22). 

How long is forever?  There’s no end date when the word forever is used.  I mention this because some people teach God has turned His back, so to speak, on the nation of  Israel, but the Bible says different.  Paul makes it known in times past the Gentiles were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel; strangers to the covenant promises, having no hope and were without God…

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).

Therefore, after the cross, a new entity came into existence, i.e. the Church that the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ is building with Paul as his “wise masterbuilder:”

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon.  But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

There are now three divisions of mankind, not two as before, which Paul identified as the Jews, the Gentiles, and the church of God, a.k.a. the Body of Christ: 

“Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:” (1 Corinthians 10:32).

I pray you understand these three groups of people exist side-by-side in the world today and the need to recognize the differences between them because God does.  

Verses 1:10-14.  

“…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:” 

I know we just looked at verse 1:10, but I included it here so we don’t lose track of the context.  Paul’s heartfelt prayer in verse 1:9 was that these Believers might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.  We learned he is not referring to God’s will as it pertains to their personal desires or circumstances but to God’s will as it pertains to “the work of the ministry” of God’s Grace.  Without this knowledge how can these folks truly “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God?”  The short answer is, “They’re not able to.”  I likened this to a football team.  Is it possible for them to run their plays without knowing the coach’s game plan?  Hardly.

I have an illustration for y’all that might help you understand what Paul is saying.  A sailor aboard ship was trying to get a box through a hatchway.  He lifted, pushed, pulled, and strained with no success.  His shipmate saw him struggling with the box so he decided to pitch-in and help.  Together they lifted, pushed, and pulled again and again with no success.  Finally, his shipmate said, “You’ll never get this box in there.”  To which the sailor replied, “In?”  “I’m trying to get it out!”

With that illustration in mind, ask yourself, how can we suitably serve the Lord if we do not have an intelligent understanding of what it is He wants done in the Age of Grace and how it’s to be done?  Again, the short answer is, “We can’t.”  This helps us to understand why many churches are so discombobulated today and why I whole heartedly stress the necessity for the Believer to study their Bible in accordance with God’s command in 2 Timothy 2:15 to practice right division of God’s Word.  This is how one acquires the knowledge of God’s will for today: 

Study to shew thyself approved by God, a workman that needeth not to be  ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”

So, in verse 1:10, Paul expanded his conversation from knowing God’s will to the practical application of it:  

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

There’s a similar Bible passage back in Ephesians 4:1.  This is where Paul encouraged the saints in Ephesus to “walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called” and prayed that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation” about Himself:

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation (the act of disclosing or discovering to others what was before unknown to them; appropriately, the disclosure or communication of truth to men by God himself, or by his authorized agents, the prophets and apostles)in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” (Ephesians 1:17-19).

So then, every Believer is to have knowledge of God’s will as it relates to the gospel of grace and understand where they “fit” into that program.  Does anyone out there sincerely believe this is what’s taking place in the church today?  I can say with all certainty that it is not.  Only a precious few churches practice right division of God’s Word, so the majority of the Christian churches in existence today are not in the center of God’s will.  I have a for instance I’ll share with y’all.  While listening to the radio the other day I heard a church pastor telling his audience they are to be looking expectedly for Jesus Christ’s return to set up His kingdom on the earth; it will be a time of great jubilation, no more pain, sorrow, suffering, etc.  But is this true to God’s Word?  The short answer is, “No.”  This pastor doesn’t acknowledge the future church event known as the Rapture, even though Paul has written about it in the Scriptures (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  At that time, the Lord will return in the “clouds” to snatch away the members of the Body of Christ; both the dead, in Christ, and the living.  When Jesus Christ sets His feet back on this earth, literally, it’s not for the purpose of setting up His kingdom.  He’s bringing the wrath of God with Him “to wage war;” does this sound like a joyful experience to you; one you should be looking expectedly for?  I don’t think so (Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 19:6-11).  So, this gentleman is ignorant of more than a few things; the knowledge of God’s will being one.  He and many others resemble the two sailors I mentioned earlier in my illustration.  They may be working hard, but they are working in opposition to what God wants done in this dispensation, so they’re actually getting nowhere and more’s the pity.  

Verse 1:11.

“…Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness…

Here Paul used three terms for power:  strengthened with all might (with His might), according to His glorious power.
 
The question you ought to be exercising is “Why do the Colossians (and us) need to be strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power?”  Paul doesn’t leave us hanging the answer follows immediately:  “…unto (an obsolete word meaning “to”) all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (1:11b).

The word patience means “The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness.  It may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from Christian submission to the divine will of God.”

Some time ago while attending a Bible study at church I recall the instructor said the words patience and longsuffering are interchangeable because they mean the same thing.  However, that’s not true.  Longsuffering means “Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time, while exercising patience; not easily provoked.” 

I feel the need for a biblical example, so, let’s all turn to Exodus 34:5-7 where Moses wrote about the characteristics of the LORD God (Jehovah) and the manner in which He dealt with the Israelites:

And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.  And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”

I have a N.T. example, so let’s all turn to 2 Peter 3:9: 

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Longsuffering, therefore, means enduring deliberate injuries or provocations over a long period of time, while remaining patient, in love (Corinthians 13:13). 

Joyfulness means “Great gladness; joy,” which is the product of the indwelt Holy Spirit as is longsuffering (Galatians 5:22-23).

What does Paul mean by “strengthened with all might according to His glorious power?”  In short, he’s saying the Colossians need to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power in order to effectively exercise the godly attributes longsuffering and patience in this present evil age, with true joyfulness.   

We find Paul expressing a similar thought in Ephesians 3:13-16:

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”

Skip down to verse 3:20:

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”

Paul’s saying the unlimited power by which God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask in prayer is the same power that works in us.  As God works in us, He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, or could ever conceive, or possibly imagine through us.  

In I Thessalonians 2:13 Paul wrote, “the Word of God…effectually worketh…in you that believe.”  God works in us by His Word, and changes our will and desires as we mature in the faith and apply this knowledge to our lives.  Our minds, attitude, priorities, worldview, and understanding of life are transformed by the Word of God.  When we do this, the blinders come off as we learn to see the world as it is through His eyes and feel with His heart.  As God works in us by the Word of Truth, His “will” becomes ours, and we will seek to do things of “His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).  And “to will and do of God’s good pleasure” is about “Looking not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Philippians 2:4).  Therefore, seeking one another’s highest good, in love, just as Christ Jesus did for all on the cross, is God’s will for every Believer (Philippians 2:5-8).

Verse 1:12.

Paul gives the next reason why he desired the Colossians to be filled with the knowledge of his will it’s so that they might always be:

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (fit) to be partakers of (share in) the inheritance of the saints in light:

As Paul said in Ephesians 1:6b, “ He hath (past tense) made us accepted in the beloved,” that is, Christ Jesus.  Said differently we are now fit for God’s presence because the righteousness of Christ Jesus has been imputed to us.   Unsaved people will argue the point, but if this is how God the Father views all those in the Body of Christ now, there had to be a time when they were unfit for God’s presence.  Please turn to Ephesians 5:8-17:


For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.  But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  See then that ye (do what) walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Paul includes himself when he described the Colossian’s previous state in verse 1:13:

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son:”

The word “darkness” means different things depending on the context.  Here it means “the empire of Satan – the god of this world.”  Paul makes this known in Galatians 4:1-4:

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

And again in Ephesians 6:12:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Here Paul said Satan and his evil hosts are “the rulers of the darkness of this world (age).”  When we Believers try to share God’s Word, rightly divided, with other people we encounter attitudes, minds, and hearts that are bound by darkness.  This is because “the god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not.”  However, this is not a permanent state.  God is Good and He is able to deliver them from the power of darkness and “translate them into the kingdom of his dear son.

The ideal example of this teaching is Saul of Tarsus.  When he met the risen Lord on the Damascus RD “there shined around about him a light from heaven” (Acts 9:3).  After his conversion he became God’s apostle to the gentiles and had much to say about light and “the children of the light.”  When he was blinded by the light from heaven and heard the voice of “the Light of the world” (John 1:1-5) who spoke to him saying, “I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18).

The whole world lieth in Satan” (I John 5:19), so all who walk in darkness are in the power of Satan.  Therefore, all those walking in unbelief are the children of darkness.  The Word of God provides the light of truth (Psalms 119:105; John 14:6).  It tells of God’s Son, His perfect sacrifice for all, and the way the lost are saved, specifically, in this dispensation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 5:15; Hebrews 10:14).

The Bible informs us Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), he deceives the lost not wanting them to hear or understand the light of the gospel.  But the gospel of Jesus Christ transforms all those that believe and also translates them into “the kingdom of his dear Son: 

And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan) the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Verses 1:12-14.

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.

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord” – But now the Colossians (and us) are of the Light having been delivered from the power of darkness (Satan’s slave market).  “…in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” literally, from death to life in Christ Jesus.  A glorious transformation indeed; therefore, “walk as children of the Light!”  

(To be continued.  Publication date uncertain).

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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