Monday, June 2, 2014

Grace and Peace, Faith and Love

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To God's holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father. We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people." Colossians 1:1-4
- Paul wrote this letter from prison in Rome. His purpose in writing this letter was to refute heretical teachings about Christ that has been causing confusion among Christ's followers in Colossae.
- Paul called himself an apostle of Christ Jesus (by the will of God). It indicates that he's directly commissioned as an apostle by the risen Lord and it conveys the ideas of mission, authorization, and responsibility.
- All Christ's followers are saints/holy. We are declared holy (our position) in the sight of God because of Christ's death for us. And because of the Holy Spirit's work in us, we are continuing to be made holy (sanctified) in our lives.
- "Grace and peace" was Paul's standard salutation. Peace or Shalom was the common greeting of the day. Paul combined peace with grace (undeserved/unmerited favor of God) which is the main underlying principle of the New Testament. Grace and peace come from God. Because of God's grace, we have peace with God and peace within. "Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2)
- Every letter written by Paul (except Galatians) begins with thanks or praise. Here Paul gave thanks to God for the Colossians' faith in Christ and their love for all the saints. God is the Source of these virtues.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing grace and for the peace that surpasses all understanding! I thank You for the Body of Christ, for all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Please protect the persecuted church around the world and help them to stand firm in the faith no matter what. Please help us all to keep growing in faith and love. Please remind us to take our job as ambassadors of Christ seriously since it is Your will for us. Please empower us to faithfully and boldly spread the Gospel and be effective in our ministry of reconciliation. In Jesus's Name, I pray. Amen.

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