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Colossians 1 Commentary

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  COLOSSIAS 1 COMMETARY Written and edited by GLE PEASE PREFACE Preface to the class on THE COLOSSAL CHRIST OF COLOSSIAS.This commentary is based on a class I taught, and this is the way I began the class. I have always found it meaningful to know something about a teacher who is teaching a class. It gives you some insight into their perspective, and why they so foolishly sometimes disagree with your more logical views.When I was born I was quite homely. So much so that when my parents abandoned me in the hospital parking lot they were arrested for litering. When I got a little older my father taught me how to swim at an early age by taking me out in a boat and throwing me over. It was not bad once I got out of the bag. I told my teacher one day I don't think my parents like me. She said nonsense, what makes you say that? I told her that when I got home yesterday, I found they had moved.I made people happy as a kid. I remember one teacher saying it was the happiest day of her life when I graduated from her class.I was in the eighth grade and still thought farm was spelled EIEIO.I thought it was Custer's last stand was where they got the idea for arrow shirts. I thought the Indians got to America first because they had reservations.Many felt I would never get through college, but I showed them. I made it through in just two terms-Truman's and Isenhour's.I had a hard time with girls. I just could not get the hang of dating. I asked one girl if she could like a guy like me. She said sure if he wasn't too much like you.I asked one girl what I would have to give her to get a kiss, and she said chlorophorm. My romantic life could be written on a piece of confetti.I finally met Lavonne, she was different than any other girl I had ever met. She liked me. She said she married me for my brain. Her philosophy has always been its the little things in life that really count. So much for my biography.The real story is I was born, as was my wife, and raised in Sioux Falls, S.D. I went to Bethel College and Seminary for 9 years and have been a Baptist General Conference pastor for 34 years. I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren and 8 greatgrandchildren. I have read hundreds of authors on Colossians and I share quotes from many of them that give insights that I never saw, or could not communicate as well as they have. How much you get out of the class will depend on how much you want to get. How  much you want will be measured in such things as note taking on things you want to remember, and questions you come up with to go deeper or to get practical application of the truth in this part of God's Word. I think Bible Study is fun, and I hope it will be that to you as we dig into this great letter of Paul.I have been a teacher long enough to know that there is always a risk of misunderstanding everytime you open your mouth and say something. So please feel free to interrupt at any time and ask questions and seek for clarification. Communication has not really taken place unless the listener gets the message the speaker intends. It does not always happen that way.Mike Hays has written a paragraph that reveals how dangerous it can be to assume that you are being heard the same way as you mean to be heard. He writes, Clear communication is a key for those who live in such a diverse society like you and me. Some of the corporate giants have found out how important it is to communicate clearly if they are going to continue to make a, profit. When Gerber first started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as here in the USA -- with the picture of the cute baby on the label. Later, when sales were going poorly, they found out that in Africa companies routinely put pictures on the label of what is inside. When Pepsi started marketing its products in China, they translated their slogan, Pepsi Brings You Back To Life pretty literally. The Chinese characters they chose really meant, Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From The Grave. The Chevy ova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries because o Va means It does not go. Coors put it slogan of a few years back, Turn it Loose, into Spanish, where it was read, Suffer from Diarrhea. When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, Fly in Leather, it came out in Spanish as Fly aked. We really need to be careful what we say and how we say it, huh! The point of Bible study is so that we are influenced by the truth we come to understand so that we can be an influence in the world for our Lord. There are many things we cannot do, but all of us can be an influence, and often that is the most important thing that can be done. Let me share some examples that can encourage all of us to be aware that our influence can be a power that makes a difference in some life. Cecil B. DeMille wrote, When I was a nine year old boy, and old preacher came to Echo Lake, ew Jersey to conduct a series of meetings. Young DeMille attended every morning, but one cold rainy morning he was the only one who showed up. He wondered if that man would preach to one small boy. DeMille describes that unusual scene. If he preached under those circumstances I felt that he was aman of God. If he dismissed the service I felt that he would be false. And he did preach, although it was a very short sermon. Then he came down to the alter railing of the church and invited me to come up. He said: My audience no doubt noticed that I did not take the collection at the usual time. I now invite my audience to come up and put the offering the plate. I walked up proudly to that alter, put my nickel in the plate and, as I did so, that old gray-haired preacher put his hand on my head and prayed a prayer in which he lifted my name to God. I shall never forget the feel  of that old preacher's hands on my head. I have en-joyed the greatest honors of life. Here in Hollywood I have met the great of the earth. But I have never had any thrill as great as the feel of that preacher's hands on my head. It was a kind of ordination. That had much to do with my interest in producing Biblical motion pictures. Millions have watched the Biblical movies of Cecil B. DeMille, but nobodyeven knows the name of the old preacher who put his hand on him as a boy, and thus, became a major influence in his life. Because of the impact of influence, that hand that touched the little boy, touched a whole world of people.The same story can be told on the negative side of influence. Vincent Teresa in his book My Life In The Mafia, tells of how his uncle would ask him to shine his shoes, and then give him ten or fifteen bucks. This made a deep impression on him, and he said to himself, I don't know what he does, but what ever it is I want to do it. That was the beginning of his desire to be a gangster. Bach's, the Passion According To St. Matthew is generally acclaimed as the greatest choral work ever written in German. Bach performed it once in his day, and it was put away where it lay unperformed for 100 years. In 1829 Felix Mendelssohn obtained a copy of it and revived it. He unleashed a title wave of enthusiasm for Bach that has never ebbed to this day, and so Mendelssohn had great influence on Bach's fame, but Bach even more on Mendelssohn, for the 20 year old composer was converted to faith in Christ by his exposure to Bach. They lifted each other.Henry Drummond said, There is nothing exaggerated more than the power of our words, and there is nothing we exaggerate less than the effect of our influence. Andrew Robinson, one time chairman of the board of Westinghouse, tells of the strange experiment he saw performed in their lab. A great steel bar eight feet long and weighing 1000 pounds was suspended by a slender chain from the ceiling. Parallel to it was a small cork suspended by a silk thread. The cork was slung into the steel bar, and, of course, had no effect whatever. But after about ten minutes of constant swinging of that cork into the steel bar, a little quiver could be seen, and after two more minutes a visible vibration could be detected. After 25 minutes the steel bar began to swing like a huge pendulum. The experiment proved that even the least likely force, with no visible influence can by persistence have an impact that is visible. The study of influence reveals just how tremendous the trivial can be in its impact.Why was the good Samaritan so caring and compassionate. For all we know, he had been helped by someone who found him in the same condition some years before. Whatever the influence, his act of love for a stranger has influenced all the rest of history. There are Good Samaritan Hospitals, Good Samaritan ursing Homes, and Good Samaritan Ministries of all kinds. The whole world has been lifted by one man's kindness. We do not even know his name, but he was an Atlas of influence, for he lifted the whole world when he lifted that helpless victim. We have no record of what that victim did in gratitude, but he could very well have become a social worker ministering to people who were victims of crime. For all we know, the world is full of people with compassion who have been influenced by this one unknown man. Only the omniscient mind of God could trace the impact of his influence, but  we know it is inexhaustible. What is the point of all this about influence? We need to recognize that influence is the bottom line in Bible Study. Each book of the Bible is designed to have an influence on our lives. If it has no influence, we have not studied it, no matter how much time we have spent reading it and discussing it. God has a purpose for all He has revealed, and that is to influence us to be influencing others. We are always being an influence for good or ill, but the purpose of Bible Study is to make sure weare growing in our influence for good, and for the Kingdom of God-that is, that He might more completely reign in our lives and the lives of those He brings into our sphere of influence. Sarah Bolton wrote,The smallest bark on life's tumultuous ocean Will leave a track behind forever more;The lightest wave of influence, once in motionExtends and widens to the eternal shore. Another poet wrote, My life shall touch a dozen lives Before this day is done,Leave countless marks of good or ill,   Ere sets the evening sun.This, the wish I always wish, The prayer I always pray: Lord, may my life help others' lives   It touches by the way. The following verse by verse commentary is based on the reading of many other studies of Colossians combined with my own insights into the text. ITRODUCTIO:1.Paul wrote this epistle from prison in Rome where he had plenty of time as he awaited his trial. Daille wrote, The imprisonment of St. Paul has done the church more good than the prosperity of the rest of the faithful of that age. This letter was written the same time as the letter to the Ephesians and Philemon, and they all seem to be delivered by the same messengers, Tychicus and Onesimus who was returning to his master, Philemon, who lived in Colosse.J. Vernon McGee writes, The Prison Epistles include Eph.,Phil., Col.,and the very personal Philimon. The year was about A.D. 62. Four messengers left Rome unobserved, but the each carried a very valuable document. Tychicus was carrying the Epistle to the Ephesians over to Ephesus where he was the pastor or the leader
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