Stand Your Ground

A Study of Colossians 2:4–7

And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:4-7)

_42341380_police_ap.416jpgNow we come back to the thought that Paul began in 1:23: “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel”.  In the last several studies we looked at the second part of that verse and how Paul expanded the second thought of “whereof I Paul am made a minister”.  Now we look into this “beholding your order”, which really does sound like a military inspector, something like when the platoon is visited by a general, or another high ranking officer.  And this is what Paul longed to see:  a well disciplined troop standing firm against the enemies of the gospel:  those who would move them away from the hope of the gospel, and their completeness in the finished work of redemption and reconciliation found in Christ, and only in Christ.
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The Apostolic Labor of Love

A Study of Colossians 2:1–3

For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:1-3)

613896239-dirt-track-sport-100-metre-sprint-tartan-track-sprintingNow Paul begins to discuss the work that he labored fervently for throughout his ministry.  The one thing that he does let the saints know, is that it is a great conflict “for you”, and for as many as had not seen his face in the flesh.  This term “conflict” is the same word translated “race” in Hebrews 12:1.  The Greek word is ἀγῶνα—agōna, which is related to our English word agony.  It is a daunting task that he is undertaking, but it was an undertaking for the saints, because the Apostle has great love for his Lord, and for those that the Lord calls His own.

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The Synonymous Expressions For “Kingdom”

E.W._BullingerThe following is Appendix 112 from Dr. E.W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible.  While many have sought to keep distance from being associated with Dr. Bullinger over the last century or so, it must be acknowledged that he was an astute and careful student of the Word of God.  He was a lover of God, of Christ, of God’s people, and of the Bible.  He did, in some instances in my understanding, come to erroneous conclusions, but I would urge you to look into why he arrived at the conclusions that he did.  While in the past, most fundamentalists decried Bullingerism and practically used his name as a “curse word”, his work is very valuable to true students of the Word.  I have come to many (not all) of the same conclusions as Dr. Bullinger, independent of what he wrote.  I have also come to some that differ.  We should be careful in all cases to “rightly divide” our teachers, and compare them with Scripture, but we should also acknowledge the value of those on whose shoulders we stand.

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Paul’s Commission, Part 2

A Study of Colossians 1:23–29

…whereof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church: whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily. (Colossians 1:23-29)

So now two studies that I have been working through and sharing are coming to a convergence.  We left off in the apostolic commission series discussing Paul’s commission and the longsuffering of God of which Paul is the pattern (1 Timothy 1:16).  We left off the Colossians study in verse 23 of chapter one where Paul urges the saints to continue in the faith “grounded and settled”, and “not moved away from the hope of the gospel…whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Continue reading “Paul’s Commission, Part 2”

Christ our Reconciliation

A Study of Colossians 1:19–23

For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister… (Colossians 1:19-23)

This wonderful Person that the apostle just spoke of who in ALL THINGS is preeminent now is shown to take upon Himself the reconciliation of His enemies.  Make no mistake, the world that we live in is no friend of God, yet God, Who owes nothing, and in fact is the one that we owe much that we cannot pay, took it upon Himself in the Person of our Lord Jesus to reconcile us to Himself.

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David and the Kingdom

stamBy Pastor Cornelius R. Stam, founder of Berean Bible Society
(This is the fourth of a series of articles that first appeared in 1950 in Truth magazine, published by Milwaukee Bible Institute/Worldwide Grace Testimony, now the Grace Gospel Fellowship. These articles have never before appeared in the Searchlight.) Continue reading “David and the Kingdom”

The Preeminent Christ

A Study of Colossians 1:13–19

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. 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…(Colossians 1:13-19)

Yes, over the past few weeks I have had a lot to say regarding this passage of Scripture.   It is quite likely never enough will be said about the exalted state of our wonderful Lord and Savior. Continue reading “The Preeminent Christ”

Christ the Beginning

Who is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18b)

The beginning of this verse told us of the position that our Lord Jesus Christ has in His ascended, exalted position far above all as the Head of the body.  Now we are going to see Him as the beginning.  As the beginning, it must be remembered what the first half of this verse is about—it is Christ as the Head—the Head of the new creation.  He is also the beginning of this new creation.  Perhaps, I say perhaps, this is the answer to the question of the meaning in Revelation 3:14 where He calls Himself the Beginning of the creation of God.  He could truly be called the beginning of the first creation as well, because of His position as Creator, but here in this verse in Colossians, it is absolutely referring to the new creation, the one new man (Ephesians 2:15), the Body of Christ.

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Christ the Head

And He is the head of the body, the church…(Colossians 1:18a)

Here in our study of the glory of the person of Christ, we see that in His assembly, He is also first.  The assembly which we speak of here is “the church, which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22-23).  To speak in precise terminology, and to speak of things in the way that God’s Word speaks, the important term to use to describe the group that Christ calls His own should not be “church” or “Church”, but σῶμα Χριστοῦ—”Body of Christ”.  When we see this term, we know exactly what group is being spoken of.  If only the term ἐκκλησία is used, it is important to know which ἐκκλησία (usually translated church, see end note) is being addressed.  Often it is a local group or assembly of people.  It is that simple.  It has unfortunately turned into a theological term, and with that, the dogmatic assertions about the “Church” that follow.

But here, we are not talking about the body, but the Head.

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