Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Let us Pray 7/18/2010
Colossians 1:1-14

This letter was written to the believers at Colosse, a small congregation located about 100 miles east of the town of Ephesus and the Mediterranean sea. Apparently the minister of the congregation had appealed to the Apostle Paul, who was in prison in Rome, of some concerns that he had for some teachings that were coming into the church. A brief outline of this letter reveals the following sections of this letter.

Chapter 1: What God has done for us and in us through Jesus Christ
Chapter 2: Various false teachings are pointed out and refuted. Here are four possible errors that were being addressed through this letter. The first sentence is what may have been the error as the verse following seems to address that type of false teaching.

The Gospel that you believe is not the only way to heaven
ESV Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits1 of the world, and not according to Christ.

The Gospel is not enough.
ESV Colossians 2:11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

There is a deeper Gospel
ESV Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,1 puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

The power of the Gospel is not enough to keep you, rules are needed also.
ESV Colossians 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations-

Chapter 3,4 Practical and everyday living as Christians/How do we then live?

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The letter to the Colossians seems to follow the pattern that Paul wrote in the above quoted letter to Timothy, in that doctrine and teaching are always to be the foundation of our learning. But because we are yet subject to following and believing that which is not true, we often need the rebuke of the Word, we need the word of correction as well as we need the regular and consistent teaching of the Word so that we would continue to abide/continue and grow in His Word. May it be as we go through this short letter that we would allow the Word to have free course in our minds and hearts.

Question: Is our knowledge of who Jesus is the same as the Jesus that the Bible teaches?

Illustration: When we work crossword puzzles, we begin by going through and filling in those words which we know to be true. After doing that we go back and by using the letters of the words that we already put down, we are able to verify that additional words do indeed fit in the space. In the same way, our knowledge of the Jesus of the Bible is gained through building upon the clear Scriptures by searching His Word and waiting upon the Holy Spirit for the wisdom and understanding, being careful not to make assumptions based upon our our thoughts, our understandings, or our traditions, but believing only those things that are true.

Introduction and Greetings.
KJV Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul gives thanks for them and prays for them.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

He tells them that their minister had spoke well of them
7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

He has prayed for them since he heard of their faith, love and hope and tells them that he continues to pray for them, also telling them that which he has been praying for them about.
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you,

A. 9b and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

B. 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

C. 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

D. 12 Giving thanks unto the Father,

Paul now lists four reasons why we are thankful

A. He has qualified us!
12b which hath made us/you meet (qualified, made us fit) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

B. He has rescued us
13a Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,

C. He has moved us from dark to light
13b and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: {his...: Gr. the Son of his love} tou/ ui`ou/ th/j avga,phj auvtou/(

D. He has purchased us
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood,

E. He has given us the forgiveness of sins.
14b even the forgiveness of sins:

We could certainly make the case for this prayer of Apostle Paul's for the Colossians that it could begin at verse 9 and continue through verse 20. In thankfulness for his brothers and sisters in Christ, he prays specifically that they would be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, that they would walk in truth, that they would be strengthened through the power of the Holy Spirit and that they would be thankful for that which they have received as a result of the work of God through His Son Jesus Christ. He then spends the last part of his prayer recounting that which God has done in a more detailed way. He does not do this to remind God of what He has done, but to bring back to our minds of what God has done for us, so that through faith we would have the forgiveness of sins.

When we pray for others or for ourselves, may we consider following this which we have read and meditated upon today. Instead of praying in superficial manner, may we take note of these all important things that Paul modeled for us here today:

He was thankful, he prayed for their spiritual benefit, and reminded them that God has worked in their behalf to bring unto them the forgiveness of sins, and through faith they have the forgiveness of sin. Do we know those who do not yet believe this?

Let us pray this prayer in such a manner. Let us often open our Bible to this prayer and use it as a pattern for our prayers for the purpose of bringing spiritual blessing to others as well as to ourselves.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us today and always!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 18 Jul 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Colossians 7/12/10
Dear Friends in Christ,

As we begin our series in Apostle Paul's letter through the Colossians, we do so with excitement and expectation. The letter was apparently written while he was in prison in Rome, making it possible for him to communicate with them even though he was not able to visit them in person. The minister of the congregation, Epaphras was a fellowservant (Col 1:7) of the Apostle and had apparently informed Paul of some of his concerns in the congregation that he was overseeing. It is our prayer that we would be blessed by spending this time in His Word going through an entire book of the Bible.

As I have read through this book and spent some time examining the structure, here are a few observations:

1. The first two chapters are doctrinal, the second two concern what it means for our lives today.

2. This particular book reveals more than any other book of the Bible of the person and the work of Jesus Christ.

3. He first affirms who they are in Christ through the gospel, reminds them of what Christ has done for them and does not begin to counsel them about the particulars false doctrines that are threatening them until chapter 2, verse 4.

4. He had never seen them in person, but based upon the testimony of their minister, Epaphras, he extended the grace of God to them, prayed for them with a specific and doctrinal prayer, (1:9-20) and then pointed them to the person and work of Jesus Christ. He sets firmly before them the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things as he contrasts what the both the philosphies of the world and the legalists of the church would offer in place of or in addition to Him.

5. There are four prayers that the Apostle prayed for those that he wrote to in the books of Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. They are in Ephesians 1:15-21, Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:3-11, and Colossians 1:9-20. I have heard of some who have printed these prayers out and used them as patterns when they are praying for themselves as well as others.

May the Lord bless our reading, hearing and meditation over this letter to us as Christians, which was written by Apostle Paul under the direction of God the Holy Spirit.

Here is an article that I wrote sometime back and it will give some food for thought regarding our study in Colossians. We must be changed from the inside first before the evidence shows outwardly. That is the theme of the book of Colossians.

"That is precisely how Jesus approaches us through His Word and His Spirit. He knows where we are in our life, for He can see all things that we have experienced to date, there is nothing that He does not know about us, but He loves us deeply because His Father loves us. He knows what sin and death have brought into the world. He sees all the disappointments, the struggles, the sorrows, the broken dreams, the dreams that are in our hearts, the wishes that we have that we are not able to realize and so on. He knows all of this about us, therefore He is constantly working to strengthen the bond of love and thereby increase the union between us and Himself, so that we might move from the pursuit of an Object to the transformation of the subject.

The first thing He tells us is that He loves us just as we are, for we are a person whom He has made in His image. Remember that when God made us, He said that "It was VERY good!" Yes, we have fallen, and therefore sin and death have entered into the world and into our lives, but He has come to fix all of that through the cross and the resurrection. He has overcome the power of sin and death in His resurrection, and has sent us His Holy Spirit to indwell us so that we again are able to know good from evil as well as to have the power to live in the freedom that comes from knowing of Him as well as being transformed by Him. We are forgiven, we love Him and His Word, and we live in the grace of forgiveness which gives us a mindset of service, rather than of being served. In other words, before sin entered into the world, only good prevailed in God's created humanity.

After the fall evil entered in and upon mankind descended the tendency toward self-promotion. Adam and Eve were like God, but the devil seduced them into thinking that somehow by disobeying God's command, they would reach something higher than they were in the garden of Paradise. But what happened? When they fell into sin, they discovered that they were not like God, but rather than being drawn toward God, they fled from Him because of their shame and guilt. They now not only knew good, but now they knew evil, but in that condition they could not know the difference between the two and consequently they ran from God in fear. Since that time, God in Jesus has been pursuing humanity, in order to bring us back to Him. Sin takes from us the ability to see what is blessing for our lives and makes the things of this world, our flesh and the devil appear to be that which will bring us satisfaction and blessing. But it won't and it never will."

May we allow the Word to transform us and mold us into His Body for the glory of God and for His collective and gathering purposes. The evidence of this ongoing transformation will be experienced by us in our hearts through our being able to understand the true nature of God's kingdom in which we serve by love. The better we understand that true peace and satisfaction comes through serving rather than being served, (transformation) the less we will find ourselves focusing on self. In our pursuit of God through Jesus Christ, may we see the proper progression and purpose of the growth:

KJV 1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

May His grace be multiplied to us today.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 12 Jul 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Let us Pray 7/18/2010
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Carol Fischer and her family as they grieve the loss of Bob