Today Saturday May 01
“Hidden With Christ In God” Colossians 3:1-4 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
For the next several months we will be studying through the book of Colossians. This short book of four chapters only takes about twelve minutes to read. I want to encourage you to read through the entire book as many times as you can over these next weeks.
Now for some historical background to this wonderful book. Colossae was one of three cities located about 100 miles inland from Ephesus. The other two cities were Laodicea and Hierapolis (Colossians 4:13, 16). This area was a meeting point of East and West because an important trade route passed through there.
All kinds of philosophies mingled in this cosmopolitan area, and religious hucksters abounded. There was a large Jewish colony in Colossae, and there was also a constant influx of new ideas and doctrines from the East. It was fertile ground for religious speculations and heresies!
Colossae probably would never have been mentioned in the New Testament had it not been for the church there. The city is never named in the Book of Acts because Paul did not start the Colossian church, nor did he ever visit it. Paul had heard of their faith (Col. 1:4, 9); but he had never seen these believers personally ( Col. 2:1). Here was a church of unknown people, in a small town, receiving an inspired letter from the great Apostle Paul!
How did the Colossian church begin? It was the outgrowth of Paul’s three-year ministry in Ephesus (Acts 19; 20:17-38). So effective was the witness of the church at Ephesus that “all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10). This would include people in Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis.
Paul mostly likely led two of the key leaders of this church to Christ when he was in Ephesus – Epaphras and Philemon. It was Epaphras who visited Paul in prison in Rome and informed him of the needs in his home church.
You never know who you might share the Gospel with that will be greatly used of God to impact their community for Jesus Christ and eternity! So be faithful to share!