Maintain Faith in God and Christ
Highlights From Colossians
FAITH in Jehovah God and Jesus Christ is vital for salvation. But maintaining such faith is a challenge. That was so for Christians in Colossae, a city east of Ephesus in Asia Minor. Why? Because false teachers there wrongly held that salvation depended on circumcision, what one ate, and the keeping of certain observances.
Understandably, then, the apostle Paul was concerned about the spiritual welfare of the Christians of Colossae, and he certainly wanted them to maintain their faith in God and Christ. So toward the end of the apostle’s first imprisonment in Rome (about 60-61 C.E.), he wrote the Colossians a letter designed to counteract wrong views and build up their faith. Let us see how we too can benefit from his loving words.
Appreciate Christ’s Position
Early in his letter, Paul highlighted appreciation for Jesus’ position. (1:1–2:12) He commended the Colossians for their faith in connection with Christ and their love for fellow believers. Paul cited Christ’s preeminence as the One through whom all other things were created, the Head of the congregation, and the firstborn from the dead. Reconciliation with God is effected through Christ, in whom are concealed all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. In view of all of this, Christians should go on walking in union with Christ and let no one carry them off as prey through human philosophy.
Through Christ, God took the Law out of the way. (2:13-23) It was figuratively nailed to the stake on which Jesus died. The Law’s requirements were merely “a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ.” By holding fast to Christ, they would let no man deprive them of the prize of immortal life in the heavens.
Appreciate God and Christ
Paul next urged the Colossians to put on the new personality and submit to the authority of Jesus Christ. (3:1-17) By keeping their minds on the things above, they would be giving spiritual interests priority in life. This required putting away wrong attitudes and speech. How blessed they would be if they clothed themselves with such qualities as compassion, lowliness of mind, and love! The peace of Christ would control in their hearts if they did everything in Jesus’ name, thanking God through him.
Appreciation for Jehovah God and Jesus Christ should also influence a Christian’s relationships with others. (3:18–4:18) Wives, husbands, children, slaves, and masters were to fulfill their duties with fear of God and in recognition of Christ. And how necessary it is to persevere in prayer and walk in wisdom!
Paul’s letter to the Colossians can help us to avoid false teachings that would deprive us of the prize of life. The apostle’s emphasis on recognizing the authority of Jehovah and his Son can have a fine influence on our dealings with others. And rich blessings are assured us if we maintain our faith in God and Christ.
[Box/Picture on page 26]
Letter to Laodicea: “When this letter has been read among you,” wrote Paul to the Colossians, “arrange that it also be read in the congregation of the Laodiceans and that you also read the one from Laodicea.” (Colossians 4:16) Laodicea was a rich city in western Asia Minor, linked by roads with such cities as Philadelphia and Ephesus. Likely, Paul’s work at Ephesus reached as far as Laodicea, though he did not minister there. He sent a letter to the Laodicean Christians, although some scholars believe that it was a duplicate of the one he wrote to the Ephesians. The letter to Laodicea is not found in the Bible, possibly because it did not contain information we need today, or perhaps it repeated points adequately covered in other canonical letters.
Ruins at Laodicea