Grace Bible Church

Preaching the Living Word through the Written Word












(Col 1:1-2), 03-19-17

Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming

Pastor Daryl Hilbert


I.     APOSTLE PAUL (Col 1:1)

A.    Address of Paul

1. This was the usual and formal address of Paul’s day. This would apply to secular letters as well as Christian.

2. However, Paul’s letters are not only characterized by personal amenities and concerns, but also by great theological content, including encouragement, warnings, and detailed application.

B.    Apostle of Jesus Christ

1. When we think of Paul, a multitude of images come to mind. One of them would be Paul’s former life when he was as an aggressive persecutor of the church (Gal 1:13, 23; Php 3:6; 1Ti 1:13). Another would certainly be Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus (Act 9:3-5; Act 26:14-15).

2. But what made Paul the Paul of Christianity and the Paul of the New Testament was the fact that he was an apostle.

3. What is an apostle? An apostle is an appointed spokesman by and for the Lord Jesus Christ. As a spokesman for the Lord, similar to the OT prophets, an apostle preached and wrote the infallible words of God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2Pe 1:20-21; 2Pe 3:15-16).

4. There were three main qualifications for becoming an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.

a.     An apostle witnessed the resurrected Christ (Act 1:3, 22 cf. Paul - 1Co 9:1; 15:8).

b.     An apostle was commissioned by the resurrected Christ (Act 1:8 cf. Paul - Act 26:16).

c.     An apostle was empowered by the resurrected Christ (Acts 2:43 cf. Paul - Acts 19:11-12; 2Co 12:12).

C.    Agency of God’s Will

1. Paul made it clear that his apostleship was not by the appointment of man, but by the will of God (1Co 1:1; 2Co 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1;2Ti 1:1).

2. True apostleship comes “by” (dia with the genitive can express agency, cf. 1Co 1:9) the agency of God Himself according to His will. This agency is identified in Gal 1:1 as “[not being] through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father.”

3. No individual throughout all of Christendom, was ever permitted to appoint themselves as an apostle. The last apostle, the apostle John, died at the end of the first century.


A.    Biography

1. Paul included in this letter, his key associate, Timothy. Timothy was Paul’s “child in the Lord” (1Co 4:17; 1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 1:2), having begun to disciple Timothy from his second missionary journey on (Act 16:1-3).

2. Out of all of the close relationships Paul had, his relationship with Timothy appears to be the most special (cf. Php 2:19-23).

3. Timothy was with Paul during his imprisonment and he is also mentioned in other prison epistles (Php 1:1; Phm 1:1).

B.    Brother

1. Timothy was identified as “our brother,” a term that indicated that Timothy was a fellow believer in the fellowship of the brethren.

2. There are instances where “brother” refers to literal family siblings (Joh 1:41) or fellow countrymen (Act 3:22). But most references in the NT refer to the fellowship of believers (Rom 8:29; 1Th 1:4; 1Pe 5:12).


A.    Saints

1. Paul now greets his readers with his normal personal description. They were first of all described as “saints.” The Greek word for “saints” is hagioi which comes from the root hagios that means holy, sacred, and dedicated to God.

2. Its fundamental idea is separation, consecration, devotion to the service of Deity, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement. Word Study Dictionary

3. The New Testament concept of a saint is:

a.     They are born again believers (1Co 1:2; Act 9:13; 9:32).

b.     They are of the household of God (Eph 2:19).

c.     They will enter heaven (Eph 1:18).

d.     They will return with the Lord (1Th 3:13).

4. Paul uses the term “saints” four times in this letter.

a.     Saints and faithful in Christ (Col 1:2).

b.     Love for the saints (Col 1:4).

c.     Inheritance of the saints (Col 1:12).

d.     Mystery revealed to the saints (Col 1:26).

5. Saints are not those individuals that the Catholic Church unbiblically canonizes into sainthood.

B.    Steadfast

1. “Faithful” not only implies their saving faith, but also their steadfast growth, life, and ministry.

2. This is another term that assumes the salvation of the Colossians (cf. Act 16:15). There are no references in Scripture referring to faithful unbelievers.

3. The Father (1Co 1:9; 10:13; 2Co 1:18), the Son (Rev 1:5; 19:11), and the Scriptures (Tit 1:9; Rev 21:5) are called faithful. Therefore, it follows that His true children would exhibit the same attribute.

4. The term “faithful” was also applied to ministry and those who were faithful in serving the Lord (1Ti 1 12; Eph 6:21; Col 1:7; 4:7).

C.    Seated in Christ

1. The phrase “in Christ” refers to the believer’s position that is based in Christ’s work, shares in Christ’s spiritual blessings, and is secure in Christ’s safekeeping.

2. The believer’s eternal spiritual position “in Christ”:

a.     Began before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4 cf. 1Pe 1:20).

b.     Is based on Christ’s death and resurrection (Eph 1:20).

c.     Is located in the heavenly places where Christ is (Eph 2:6).

d.     Includes redemption (Eph 1:7), forgiveness (Eph 4:32), spiritual circumcision (Col 2:11), sealing (Eph 1:13; 4:30), good works (Eph 2:10), and all completeness in Christ (Col 2:10).

e.     Consummates with the riches of God’s grace in heaven (Eph 2:7).

D.    Salutation

1. Though “grace and peace” was the germane salutation in every one of Paul’s epistles, it was anything but replete of theological meaning for Paul and his readers.

2. Grace” (charis) came to the believer by God’s unmerited favor in salvation (Col 1:6; Eph 2:8-9) and God’s grace will sanctify the believer in spiritual growth and knowledge (2Pe 3:18; Gal 5:4; Col 4:6).

3. Peace” is a result of God’s grace reconciling the believer into a relationship with Himself (Col 1:20; Rom 5:1). Peace is also a byproduct of God’s grace through the Holy Spirit’s fruit (Php 4:7; Gal 5:22).


A.    Believers in Christ

1. The letter to the Colossians is a letter to believers designed to help believers. This section of God’s Word only benefits those who have come to Christ by faith alone in Christ alone.

2. We all need to make sure that we ourselves are actually “in Christ.”

B.    Faithful Saints

1. After coming to Christ, one of the greatest compliments we could receive, would be to hear that we are the saints and faithful in Gillette.

2. Are we living saintly? Are we faithful to the Lord, His Word, His body (the church), and His work?

C.    God’s will

1. In light of the mystical Gnosticism of Paul’s day, and the mystical Christianity of our day, we need to understand the “will of God.”

2. Though God will not intervene in our lives as He did in Paul’s conversion and calling, He does bring about His will through His sovereign invisible hand called Providence.

3. God’s will is biblical (Rom 12:1-2), it is not mystical (Eph 5:17), its goal is sanctification (1Th 4:3), it involves suffering (1Pe 4:19), and it includes delighting in Christ (Psa 37:4).





Grace Bible Church · 4000 E. Collins Rd ·  PO Box #3762 · Gillette, WY · (307) 686-1516