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Lessons from the Book of

By Ken Raggio

Blessings And Prayers Always For You

To the saints and faithful brethren in Colosse, Paul greeted them with a prayer and a blessing. In every epistle, and apparently in everyday conversation, it was Paul's habit to greet his fellow brethren with a blessing, a prayer, and a word of encouragement. We would do well to abandon our trite, trivial, unimportant conversations, and speak more spiritually to one another.

Colossians 1:2-3 - "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you."

The Hope Which Is Laid Up For You In Heaven

Paul often spoke of going to Heaven. Today, multitudes doubt the existence of Heaven, but cannot disprove the resurrection or ascension of Christ. Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: ...I go to prepare a place for you. ...I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-2. Heaven is real. I am going there.

Colossians 1:3,5 - "We give thanks to God... For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel."

Epaphras And The Saints At Colosse (The Colossians)

There is no evidence that Paul ever preached in Colosse, 14 miles from Laodicea, and 100 miles from Ephesus. Most of them never saw Paul. They learned the Gospel from Epaphras, their minister. Paul wrote to the Colossians and Laodiceans to establish them doctrinally and warn them against false teachers.

Colossians 1:4-7 - "We heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, ...whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; ...As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit."

Pray For Knowledge, Understanding, Fruitfulness, Strength

"Prosperity" preachers relentlessly claim material blessings, health and wealth. But Paul's prayers for the Colossians were otherwise: "[1] That ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; [2] That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; [3] Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness."

Colossians 1:12 - "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints."

Delivered And Translated From Darkness To Light

Imagine, if you can, that you never heard of the Kingdom of God. Imagine how dark your world would be if you had never heard of Jesus. But hearing about Him is not enough. You must be born into His Kingdom of Light - born of water and of Spirit. Thank God that you heard the Gospel.

Colossians 1:12-13 - "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."

The Image Of The Invisible God

It is a rare person indeed who truly understands that God - all of God - was manifest in the body of Jesus Christ. God is an invisible, indivisible, bodiless Holy Spirit who inhabits infinite trillions of miles of space. It is all beyond our comprehension. Yet that Spirit robed Himself in flesh, stepped into time, suffered the hatred of His own creation, and tasted death in the human body of Jesus Christ - Emmanuel - God with us.

Colossians 1:14 - "In whom we have redemption through his blood, ...Who is the image of the invisible God, ...For by him were all things created."

All Things Were Created By Him And For Him

Have you ever planned a major project? Imagine God, the infinite invisible Spirit, before ANYTHING was created. His FIRST plan was to have a body for Himself. But He must have a PLACE to put His body. That is why He created the universe.

Colossians 1:16-18 - "By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: ...and by him all things consist. ...that in all things he might have the preeminence."

All The Fullness Of God Was In The Son

The Father, who is the eternal Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost), conceived the Son in Mary's womb. The Father PLANNED the Son. The Son did not pre-exist His own birth. God IN Christ is eternal. The Son was conceived in Nazareth, and born in Bethlehem.

Colossians 1:17 - "He is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell."

The Body Of Christ - Christ In You

This is not a mere allegory or metaphor. The Spirit-filled church is the actual embodiment of the eternal Spirit of Jesus Christ. "The Spirit of truth; ...dwelleth with you, and shall be in you," John 14:17. The Holy Ghost baptism fulfills that prophecy. His word speaks, His power works, His presence manifests - all through His body, the Church. The church manifests spiritual gifts, spiritual fruit, signs, wonders, miracles, healings, and so much more, BECAUSE Jesus lives in and oversees it. Without Him, we could do nothing!

Colossians 1:18 - "...He is the head of the body, the church."

Jesus Came To Reconcile All Things To God

The infinite God only sired one Son, and He was human. He was not a duplicate deity, but a man in whom God fully incarnated Himself. "It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; him to reconcile all things unto himself; ...whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." Have YOU been reconciled?

Colossians 1:21-22 - "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight."

Christ In You, The Hope Of Glory

Not only Paul, but virtually every preacher of the Gospel has suffered untold trials and afflictions for the building of the Church. Each is made a minister "according to the dispensation of God fulfil the word of God; Even the MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints." What mystery? Christ in YOU. The Holy Ghost sent at Pentecost!

Colossians 1:27 - "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

He Will Present You Holy IF You Continue In The Faith

Yes, Jesus reconciled us to God - but not everyone! Only those who are born again of the water and the Spirit, in Jesus' name. Furthermore, we must CONTINUE IN THE FAITH! Backsliders will lose their inheritance.

Colossians 1:23,28-29 - "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, ...Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."

Unto All Riches And Treasures Of Wisdom And Knowledge

The Apostle wanted the Colossians to know how great a struggle he had faced for both them and the Laodiceans for his desire for them to have a true revelation of Christ. There are many men who toy with religion and beguile innocent seekers with enticing, but shallow and deceptive teachings. The Gospel is far too rich to be satisfied with a superficial treatment of it. Seek Him diligently!

Colossians 2:2 - "...unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, ...In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

The Minister Engages Great Conflicts For You

Few people realize the great conflicts that a preacher engages in for the winning of their souls. "I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh." You cannot know the hours the man of God spends in travailing prayer and spiritual warfare for you. Acknowledge God's grace in your behalf, and be thankful.

Colossians 2:6-7 - "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."

Recombinant Christianity

Genetic scientists discovered how to alter the genes of living organisms to create new species. The helix-spiral DNA molecules are spliced and recombined with segments from different DNA. The result is a hybrid species not occurring in nature, and is often sterile. A similar thing happens when carnally-minded men attempt to fuse worldly ideas with the everlasting word of God. Tragically, this aberration has no eternal life in it.

Colossians 2:8 - "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."


Human cultural programming occurs in clusters called memes. Songs, poems, lectures can contain memes - clusters of cultural information. Whether by a hillbilly song, an eastern mantra, a college football fight song -- hybrid cultures result when memes from one culture combine with memes from another. Freakish hybrid species are the result. TV, radio, the Internet, media, all corrupt our righteous souls with carnal perversions. Beware of heresies, compromises, worldliness! RESIST!

Colossians 2:8 - "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

Jesus Christ - The Fulness Of The Godhead Bodily

Now if God is three persons, and the fulness of God is in Christ, then there must be three persons in Christ. But that is not the case. The Lord our God is One Lord. There is One Lord, One Spirit, in the man Christ. It is God in Him. The fulness of God is in Christ. God is head of all, and His incarnation-embodiment makes Christ head over all.

Colossians 2:9-10 - "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."

New Testament Circumcision: Put Off Sins Of The Flesh

Old Testament circumcision involved the cutting away of the flesh. New Testament circumcision is essentially the same, but in a spiritual sense. When does spiritual circumcision take place? When you are "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." In baptism, "ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh."

Colossians 2:13 - "You, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him."

Nailing The Handwriting Of Ordinances To The Cross

The Cross of Jesus Christ was the pivotal event between the Old Testament and the New. Even the thief on the cross died under Old Testament jurisdiction. But after Jesus died, the wearisome, impotent ceremonial ordinances were blotted out (not the moral laws of God). No longer written on tablets, God said He would write His laws on the tables of our hearts, and give us grace to abide by them.

Colossians 2:14 - "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross."

A Shadow Of Things To Come

So many of the Old Testament practices were symbolic of things to come in the New Testament. Dietary laws were a shadow of the holy, sanctified life, crucifying the flesh, and walking in the Spirit (Romans 8:13). Respecting new moons and Sabbaths were a shadow of the great REST that God would give to everyone who received the Holy Ghost (Isaiah 28:11-12).

Colossians 2:16-17 - "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come."

Vainly Puffed-Up Fleshly Minds

You may occasionally see a "super-spiritual" person who always seems to be able to communicate with angels, or is particularly proud of their humility, or whose ascetic lifestyle is a show of "will-worship." We must not emphasize practices not found in the Bible, or MAN-made rules not supported by the scriptures. Do not be beguiled. Search the scriptures and follow its directions.

Colossians 2:18 - "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind."

Man-Made Ordinances Need Not Be Kept

People often condemn legitimate Bible doctrines as legalism. But true legalism is based on "ordinances [and] ...commandments and doctrines of MEN," (Colossians 2:22). A scriptural teaching is NOT legalism. The legalist Pharisees made rules based on the Talmud (oral traditions) and not the Torah (the canonized Bible). A true legalist demands compliance with rules that are contrary to the Bible. Teaching scriptural holiness and separation from the world is not legalism.

Colossians 2:22 - "Why ...are you subject to ordinances. (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?"

Seek Those Things Which Are Above

The New Birth is patterned after Jesus' own rebirth. Jesus was reborn after He died and was buried. He rose from the dead. We are also reborn by dying (repentance, death to self), being buried (baptized by immersion), and raising from the dead (being filled with the Holy Ghost). But like any child, being born is only the beginning. Every born-again believer must daily seek to know God and His perfect will.

Colossians 3:1-2 - "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, ...Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

You Shall Appear With Christ In His Glory

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." If you want to appear with Christ in His glory, you must quit your affections for things on earth. You cannot simultaneously desire things of the world, and Heaven. Old carnal, worldly ways must be mortified (killed).

Colossians 3:5-6,8-9 - "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. ...put off the old man with his deeds."

Put Off All Blasphemy And Filthy Communications

You will be judged for everything you say. God is not only the All-Seeing Eye, He is the All-Hearing Ear. He monitors every conversation, and keeps a record. Regardless of how much profanity, obscenity, and blasphemy you hear on television, at school, or in the work-place, you simply must bridle your tongue. "As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation," 1 Peter 1:15. Keep your mouth pure.

Colossians 3:8-9 - "Put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another."

'Born Again' Means An Entirely New Creature

BORN AGAIN is not just a figure of speech, nor is it a mere metaphor. Jesus said that we must be BORN of water and of the Spirit, or we will never see the kingdom of heaven. Paul taught that by the new birth, we become new CREATURES in Jesus. A truly new, eternal spiritual person is born in us. Abandon the pursuits of your old mortal man, and devote the rest of your days to nurturing your new immortal man.

Colossians 3:9-10 - " have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man"

No Ethnic, Racial, Cultural, Or Gender Differences In Christ

When we get to heaven, there will be no more class warfare. No more racial strife. No cultural differences. Not even male or female. Because every true Christian is born of the Holy Ghost, we all have identical "spiritual DNA." We are all sons of God. Won't we have a time when we get over yonder?

Colossians 3:10-11 - "Put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Elect People Of God Should Wear Their Virtues

I suspect that Paul might have listed dozens of virtues that called and chosen people of God should adorn themselves with. But he emphasized these: Show mercies and kindness. Show humbleness and meekness. Manifest longsuffering, forbearance and forgiveness. Demonstrate thankfulness. We should be able to surmise that he meant for us to be virtuous in every way. Above all, our love (the bond of perfectness) for one another should show.

Colossians 3:12 - "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, [all these things] ...And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."

Let The Word Of Christ Dwell In You Richly

The world at large simply does not comprehend the infinite supernatural power of God's word. Better than simply hearing the word, is DOING the word (James 1:22). Put the word of Christ on your lips, in your praises, in your conversations, in your songs and poetry, and incorporate it into every teaching opportunity you can find. "Richly" means "copiously, abundantly."

Colossians 3:16 - "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

Do Everything In The Name Of Jesus

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe," Proverbs 18:10. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved," Acts 4:12. Pray in Jesus' name. Preach in Jesus' name. Baptize in Jesus' name. Receive the Holy Ghost in Jesus' name. Heal the sick in Jesus' name. Cast out devils in Jesus' name. Do EVERYTHING in Jesus' name.

Colossians 3:17 - "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus."

Husbands, Wives, Children, And Servants

Repeatedly, (1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5, and here), Paul taught expressly that husbands should love their wives, and that wives should submit to their husbands. Children must obey their parents. Fathers should not provoke their children to wrath. Servants, including employees, should obey their masters (employers), as unto the LORD. ALL our relationships must demonstrate that we are personally submitted to the will of God. Do you practice love, honor and respect for everyone in your life?

Colossians 3:18-22 - "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, ...Husbands, love your wives, ...Children, obey your parents... Servants, obey ...your masters."

An Inheritance, Or Punishment

You were created by God, and for His pleasure. If you give your life to Him in faithful obedience, He will reward you infinitely beyond anything you can imagine. However, if you squander your days, in effect, robbing your life from God, you will receive punishment for your wrongdoing.

Colossians 3:23-25 - "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done."

Masters And Servants

There is much disparity between Biblical teachings about slavery and the historical experiences of slavery. Although the Bible never explicitly condemned slavery, it very clearly called for the fair and equitable treatment of slaves. Many scores of scriptures direct masters and slaves into kind, brotherly, compassionate relationships. Although history records many horror stories, it would not have been so if men had obeyed the scriptures. Ultimately, it was Christians who profoundly affected the abolition of slavery.

Colossians 4:1 - "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven."

Pray That God Would Open To Us A Door Of Utterance

You cannot pray too much (unless you are praying vainly in unbelief). Jesus taught that "men ought always to pray, and not to faint," (Luke 18:1). Any time you cannot think of something or someone to pray for, pray for godspeed for those who are in the ministry.

Colossians 4:2-4 - "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak."

Let Your Speech Be Seasoned With Salt

Nobody can measure the power of words, either to help or to harm. The universe was created by the words of God, then Satan, with evil words, brought death and destruction to God's paradise. Every single word you ever speak will linger forever in the ether. Be careful to season every word with salt. As salt was used to cure foods, to destroy harmful organisms, your words should be seasoned - tempered to keep them pure.

Colossians 4:6 - "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

Seek Acceptable Words, How To Answer Every Man

"The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth," Ecclesiastes 12:10. It is humanly impossible to know how to answer all the many problems of life. Unless we obtain the eternal wisdom of Almighty God, we turn to human wisdom, which is practically no wisdom at all. We must deliberately suppress our foolish speech, guard our tongues, and turn to God for the right answers.

Colossians 4:6 - "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

Laboring Fervently For You In Prayers

In his closing to the Colossians, Paul relayed a greeting from one of their own brethren who worked with him. Of all the things Paul might have said about Epaphras, he recognized his "laboring fervently for you in prayers." Only God knows what enormous influence prayer warriors have. No other ministry is more potent or needful than that of fervent intercessors. Pray fervently for your Church!

Colossians 4:12 - "Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."

Fellow Workers, Fellow Prisoners, Fellow Servants

After the death of a daughter, English poet John Donne said, "No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." Humanity is inextricably interwoven - especially in the Church. In bidding farewell to the Colossians, Paul gratefully acknowledged his fellows; Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Marcus, Barnabas, Jesus Justus, Epaphras, Luke, Demas, brethren in Laodicea, Nymphas, and Archippus. No man is an island.

Colossians 4:18 - "The salutation by the hand of me Paul. ...Grace be with you. Amen."

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