HOPE: Notes on Colossians part 4
A key word in Colossians is HOPE:
- Hope in Colossians refers to that which is stored up for the believer in heaven (Col 1:5), as well as at Christ’s future appearing (Col 3:4).
- Hope in Colossians refers to a confident assurance of a future, given by God (Col 1:12). It is normal Christian experience.
- Hope in Colossians arises from an experience of the indwelling Christ, so it cannot disappoint us (Romans 5:5). Col 1:27 is quintessential ‘Colossians’!
- Hope in Colossians guards against all attempts – doomed to disappointment – to claim possession is this life of that which belongs to the age to come.
- Hope in Colossians, as in 1 John 3:3, never suggests spiritual passivity (Quietism). In every strand of the letter Paul calls for growth to maturity – it is what his ministry in the Church was all about (Col 1:28-29).
- Hope in Colossians is an indispensible constituent of a full gospel proclamation (Col 1:23). Our great Salvation lies in the future at Christ’s coming (Col 3:4), although wonderfully anticipated by ‘Christ in you’ (note 3). Read Col 1:12-13 again.
- Hope in Colossians has to do with future rewards, of which Paul is unashamed to speak (Col 3:24).
Notes on Colossians part 3
A word of Truth
A word of grace
A word of Life
The catholicity of the gospel (6:23) is a token of its divine origins and power (Bruce)
This stands in stark contrast to the heretical teaching with its appeal to a select group of initiates.(O’Brien)
Their Faith in Christ (4)
Their Love for all the brotherhood (4)
Their Hope of glory (5)
3. That in Epaphras, a native of Colosse, they have been given a wholly trustworthy evangelist and teacher (7)
Reliable in his report to them of Paul’s gospel.
Reliable in his report to Paul of the Spirit’s work among them.
Note on Colossians part 2
Here's one way of dividing the text that I shall follow:
Initial greeting (1:1,2)
- Word of Endorsement (1:3-14)
- Word of Exposition (1:15-23)
- Word of Explanation (1:24-2:5)
- Word of Exhortation (2:6-23)
- Word of Expectation (3:1-4:6)
Final greetings (4:7-18)
2011/12 Proclamation Trust Resource Guide now available online
Our 2011/12 resource guide is now available online. Hard copies are only sent to UK residents due to the prohibitive costs of mailing it abroad. So, if you are interested in our work or want to read more about what is going on in 2011/12, please do click on the brochure for a flash version. Not only does it contain news about our ministry, conferences and training, but there are also some useful articles and resources.
Notes on Colossians part 1
[Editor's note: starting today we have a two week set of posts from the pen of Dick Lucas based on work he prepared for a conference in Scotland. Enjoy this rare treat!]
My overall title is The Colossian Error: Confronting Elitism in Today's Church
- Researching the ‘Colossian Heresy’ has occupied scholars for over a century, with little, if any result. Most likely it was a futile exercise.
- In a famous essay (1973) Dr Morna Hooker ‘demolished’ the notion of false teachers in the Colossian Christian community. But her view does not really account for the language of 2:8-23 (Oxford Bible Commentary).
- Heresy, that is teaching contrary to Christian orthodoxy, probably opened up a false trail. In this study, the trouble makers will be presumed orthodox in the fundamentals, but influenced strongly by the currents of thought around them (of course). Such would include Jewish and pagan pressures, as well as that incipient gnosticism that remains with us to this day. Comparable pressures today can be hedonistic, therapeutic, utopian, conformist etc.
- Moule writes of a Colossian ‘Error’, sufficiently serious for Paul ‘to describe adherents as detached from Christ’ (2:19). Similarly, he speaks of the Colossian ‘Mistake’, that ‘completeness’ was not to be found in Christ alone ‘but must be sought by additional religious rights and beliefs’. Paul’s medicine for both ‘Error’ and ‘Mistake’ was not denunciation, but solid instruction of the great Christology (1:15-23). In Colossians, positive teaching comes first.
- The position taken here is that all we can know of what was going on in Colosse is to be found in the text of the letter itself; and this not by the ‘warning passage’ alone (2:8-23), but by the part each and every section plays in what is a coherent, integrated and carefully structured presentation.
John RW Stott (1921-2011)
We at the Proclamation Trust gladly pay our tribute today to John Stott as both friend and example. Soon after WWII it was he, as the new Rector of All Souls, who set an unsurpassed standard of expository preaching that has had a profound effect on successive generations of pastor-teachers worldwide. This – so we who were privileged to hear him in early days were persuaded – was how it should be done! Unashamed submission to the authority of Scripture, manifest integrity in handling the text, brilliant clarity, irresistable logic – all this combined with the attraction of a man of God evidently concerned for you and your welfare – in this world and the next; no wonder this ministry drew such crowds of enrapt and willing listeners.
It seems that we live in a day when famous names are all too easily forgotten, even of those gifted people to whom is owed much of what we now enjoy. At the Proclamation Trust, it is our desire to acknowledge our debt to this man and his ministry. Of course, John Stott was a leader responsible for a host of outstanding initiatives. But, at this moment, we recall a preacher and teacher to whom words were given in rich abundance to point the way to an understanding of the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. It's a great legacy. Let's preserve it and share it.
Keller: cancer and resurrection
In this short excerpt, Keller explains how having cancer was like a death and resurrection moment.
Keller: dealing with criticism
Here's one of the snippets we'll post from my interview with Tim Keller at this year's EMA. This one has some helpful things about dealing with criticism.
John Stott with Christ, better by far
We've just heard that John Stott died peacefully today. More information here.
10 things to do before you die?
Apparently cycling through the Rotherhithe Tunnel is one of the "ten things to do before you die" – or, possibly, one of the ten things that will bring this moment forward. It is one of London's 42 river crossings, but one of the scariest – a 1½ mile tunnel under the Thames designed for horse and carriage (small bore, narrow lanes – cyclists and pedestrians allowed).
I cycled it last night as I was in the area and it was the only way to get across the River where I was without taking a ferry (cost £5). There are two ways to do it. You can cycle on the pedestrian pavement. It is 4 foot wide. There aren't many pedestrians (according to Transport for London only 34 use it each day!). You do have cars hurtling by you, but at least you have a lane to yourself. However, strictly speaking, that's illegal.
You should cycle on the road holding the traffic up (although it's only a 20mph limit, so you should only hold traffic up right at the top of the climb). That's legal and that's what I did.
Cycling websites tell me I was mad to follow the rules. It would actually be safer/easier/funner if I took the pavement. And part of me thought that safer/easier/funner certainly had appeal. But I decided to keep to the rule book. And I lived to tell the tale. It was OK!
it got me thinking about law. All believers are under the royal law of Christ. As our spirits wrestle with the mighty Spirit of God, the truth is that doing things our way is often, we think, safer/easier/funner. But ultimately Christ's law is for our good. Even when we don't see it. Keeping off the pavement was actually a very safe option. No one can overtake you in the tunnel. You can set the pace. You're actually safest on the road.
Christ's way is ultimately for our good and even though my spirit tries to persuade me otherwise, I must do what the Spirit (capital S) wants me to do.