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Colossian Galoshes

Colossian Galoshes

Words of Faith 9-17-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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This week we will begin a study in Paul's letter to the Colossians.  JDH

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      Do you remember a time when you first began exploring the Bible, wandering from place to place amid new and unusual names?  Perhaps that time is now.  I remember as a teen curiously reading the messages of the Bible addressed to places like Galatia or Thessalonica.  It felt a little like going to Disney World and wandering about the various "lands" and adventures. 

      I recall in those pristine days of Bible encounter that I would form an impression of a book mostly based on the sound of the name.  Galatians sounded a bit like Dalmatians.  Timothy reminded me of a kid I had played with at school.  Colossians sounded a lot like "galoshes"-- those waterproof overshoes I used to slosh around in when I was a child living outside of Chicago. While Colossians may offer some protection for our walk through muddy terrain, I quickly learned that it was a wonderful letter about the supremacy of Christ.

     Colossians is an interesting letter and one you may relate to powerfully.  It is from the Apostle Paul to believers in a small town about 100 miles east of Ephesus in what is today Turkey.  Paul wrote the letter from prison, most likely in Rome, in around 62 AD.  It has some similarities to Ephesians but also some striking differences. While some of the big themes were the same, there were several very different problems going on in Colosse, and the setting was quite different from Ephesus.

      Colosse was almost the opposite of Ephesus.  Ephesus was a thriving commercial center, but Colosse was a small town.  Once a prominent place, Colosse had been "passed by" in the Roman highway system.  It was a place "former glory" and declining influence.  Ephesus was at the crossroad of trade routes but was Colosse was "off the beaten path.”

       There was a different relationship with Paul as well.  Paul had visited Ephesus, but Colosse is never mentioned on a missionary journey.  The main road didn't go there.  Ephesus had been the site of the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost.  Colosse never experienced any of these things, but they were probably always hearing about it-- "Did you hear about what's happening in Ephesus? People are being healed just by pieces of cloth!  Folks are burning their idols!"  In fact, Colosse was probably evangelized by the overflow of the Ephesus revival during the three years that Paul stayed in Ephesus. 

       In short, Colosse was a gathering of people who probably felt "passed by.”  The highway had passed them by.  Commerce and prosperity had passed them by.  Even the great revival had passed them by.  It's little wonder that heresy began to creep in. 

       A good deal of the letter to the Colossians deals with a heresy.  The word heresy sounds rather harsh, but in Greek, it literally means a "preference toward disunion or a variant thought.” 

       The Colossians had formed a preference for ideas and philosophies that were entirely foreign to Christian teaching.  It may have been that they were vulnerable because they had not had the special visitation Ephesus had experienced.  They may have hungered for heresy because of that human feeling of being "passed by.”  Whatever the case, the prescription was clear to Paul-- a fuller knowledge of the unmatched glory of Christ. 

        The answer to heresy is always the truth.  The solution to the hunger is always the Lord.  The only thing that will fill our deep longing for a false thing is the real thing-- a genuine encounter with the splendor of Christ Jesus.

       That is what we will find here.  We might even call it our Colossian Galoshes.  The truth of Christ will protect us from every "preference toward disunion.”  The unmatched glory of Christ will strengthen us to go through the mud of difficult times.  The splendor of Christ will guide us through disappointment and reassure us that nothing has passed us by as long as we have Him as our focus.

       So, I invite you to put on your Colossian Galoshes with me.  Get ready to strengthen your walk.  Get ready to gain a new focus on the splendor of Christ.  Get ready to grow. 

 

       Father God, thank You for the Word of God.  Thank You for double-edged sword of Your Spirit that can cut away those things that are not beneficial and heal those wounds that have hurt so long.  Use this study to protect my walk.  Use Your Word to mold me and reshape me.  Reveal Your splendor to me.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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