(From: COLOSSIANS #1 - 1:1-23)
CHRIST'S PRE-EMINENCE CORRECTS ERROR AND STABILIZES THE CHURCH
I. 1:1-23 HONOR TO THE SON FROM THE FATHER
A. 1:1-2 SALUTATIONS
PAUlos, aPOsto-los  ChrisTOU IeSOU diA theLEma-tos TheOU, kai TiMOthe-os ho a-delPHOS,
Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus through God's will, and Timothy the brother,
tois en Ko-losSAIS haGIois kai piSTOIS a-delPHOIS en ChrisTO:
2to the saints at Colossae and faithful brethren in Christ:
CHAris huMIN kai eiREneaPO TheOU paTROS heMON.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
B. 1:3-23 JESUS CHRIST: HIS HIGH ESTATE COUNTERS ALL ERROR
a. 1:3-8 STATE OF COLOSSE COMMENDED
Eu-cha-riSTOUmen  toTheO paTRI tou KuRIou heMON IeSOU ChrisTOU
We thank :God the Father of our :Lord Jesus Christ
PANto-te peRI huMON pro-seuCHOme-noi , aKOUsan-tes ten PIstin huMON en ChrisTOIeSOU,
alway praying for you, 4having heard of your :faith in Christ Jesus,
kai ten aGApen hen Eche-te eis PANtas tous haGIous,
and the love which you have toward all the saints,
diA ten elPIda ten a-po-keiMEnen huMIN en tais ou-raNOIS,
5because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens,
hen pro-eKOUsa-te en toLOgotes a-leTHEIas tou eu-ag-geLIou, tou paRONtos eis huMAS;
of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6which is come unto you;
kaTHOS kai en panTI toKOSmoesTIN kar-po-phoROUme-non kai au-xaNOme-non ,
even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing,
kaTHOS kai en huMIN, aph' hes heMEras eKOUsa-te
as in you also, from the day you heard
kai ePEGnote ten CHArin tou TheOU en a-leTHEIa;
and knew the grace of :God in truth;
kaTHOS eMAthe-te aPO E-paPHRA tou a-ga-peTOU sunDOUlou heMON,
7even as you learned from Epaphras our :beloved fellow-bondman,
HOS es-tin piSTOS huPER huMON diAko-nos tou ChrisTOU,
who is a faithful minister of the Christ on your behalf,
ho kai deLOsas huMIN ten huMON aGApen en PNEUma-ti.
8who also declared to us your :love in Spirit.
b. 1:9-17 EXHORTATION: RISE YET HIGHER INTO THE HIGH CHRIST
DiA TOUto kai heMEIS, aph' hes heMEras eKOUsa-men,
For this cause we also, from the day we heard it,
ou pauOme-tha huPER huMON pro-seuCHOme-noi kai aiTOUme-noi ,
do not cease to pray and ask for you,
HIna ple-roTHEte ten ePIGno-sin tou theLEma-tos auTOU
that you be filled with the knowledge of his :will
en PAsesoPHIa kai suNEsei pneu-ma-tiKE,
in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
pe-ri-paTEsai aXIos tou KuRIou eis PAsan aRESki-an  en panTI ERgoa-gaTHOkar-po-phoROUNtes,
10to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing in every good work bearing fruit,
kai au-xaNOme-noi tee-pigNOsei tou TheOU; en PAseduNAmei du-naMOUme-noi ,
and increasing in :knowledge of :God; 11strengthened with all power,
kaTA to KRAtos tes DOxes auTOU, eis PAsan hu-po-moNEN kai ma-kro-thuMIan meTA chaRAS;
according to the might of his :glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy;
eu-cha-riSTOUNtes topaTRI, tohi-kaNOsan-ti huMAS
12giving thanks to the Father, who fitted you
eis ten meRIda tou KLErou ton haGIon en tophoTI ;
to bepartakersof the inheritance of the saints in :light;
hos eRUsa-to heMAS ek tes e-xouSIas tou SKOtous,
13who delivered us out of the power of :darkness,
kai meTEste-sen eis ten ba-siLEIan tou huiOU tes aGApes auTOU;
and translated usinto the kingdom of the Son of his :love;
en hoEcho-men ten a-poLUtro-sin , ten Aphe-sin ton ha-mar-tiON:
14in whom we have the redemption, the forgiveness of :sins:
HOS es-tin eiKON  tou TheOU tou a-oRAtou , proTOto-kos  PAses KTIse-os ;
15who is the invisible God's image, firstborn of all creation;
HOti en auTO ekTISthe  ta PANta, en tois ou-raNOIS kai ePI tes ges,
16for in him were :all thingscreated, in the heavens and upon the earth,
ta ho-raTA  kai ta aOra-ta ,
the visible and the invisible,
EIte THROnoi  EIte ku-riOte-tes  EIte arCHAI  EIte e-xouSIai ;
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
ta PANta di' auTOU, kai eis auTON, EKtis-tai ;
:all thingshave been created through him, and unto him;
kai auTOS es-tin pro PANton, kai ta PANta en auTOsuNESte-ken .
17and HE is before all, and in him :all thingsconsist.
c. 1:18 CHRIST'S HIGH PRE-EMINENCE IS IN ALL, INCLUDING THE CHURCH
kai auTOS es-tin he ke-phaLE  tou SOma-tos , tes ek-kleSIas :
And HE is the head of the body, the church:
HOS es-tin he arCHE, proTOto-kos ek ton neKRON; HIna GEne-tai en PAsin auTOS proTEUon .
who is the beginning, firstborn from the dead; that in all HE might have pre-eminence.
d. 1:19-20 FATHER'S WILL: RECONCILIATION OF ALL IN CHRIST
HOti en auTO euDOke-sen  pan to PLEro-ma  ka-toiKEsai ;
For the whole fullness was pleased to dwell in him;
kai di' auTOU a-po-ka-talLAxai  ta PANta eis auTON,
20and through him to reconcile :all thingsunto him,
ei-re-no-poiEsas diA tou HAIma-tos tou stauROU auTOU:
having made peace through the blood of his :cross:
di' auTOU, EIte ta ePI tes ges, EIte ta en tois ou-raNOIS.
through him, whether the thingsupon the earth, or those in the heavens.
e. 1:21-23 THE GENTILE PLACE IN CHRIST
kai huMAS, poTE ONtas a-pel-lo-tri-oMEnous  kai echTHROUS 
And you, being alienated before and enemies
te di-aNOIa  en tois ERgois tois po-neROIS, nuNI de a-po-kaTELla-xen 
in :mind in the evil :works, yet now has he reconciled
en to SOma-ti  tes sarKOS  auTOU diA tou thaNAtou,
22in the body of his :flesh through :death,
pa-raSTEsai huMAS haGIous kai aMOmous  kai a-negKLEtous ka-teNOpi-on auTOU;
to present you holy and without blemish and unreprovable before him;
EI ge e-piMEne-te  te PIStei, te-the-me-li-oMEnoi  kai heDRAIoi ,
23if so thatyou continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast,
kai meme-ta-kiNOUme-noi aPO tes elPIdos tou eu-ag-geLIou
and not moved away from the hope of the gospel
hou eKOUsa-te tou ke-ruchTHENtos  en PAse KTIsei  te huPO ton ou-raNON;
which you heard :preached in all creation :under the heaven;
hou e-geNOmen eGO PAULlos diAko-nos .
of which I Paul became minister.
NOTE: This passage from Colossians 1, in my estimation, is one of the most powerful passages in Scripture. The believers from Colosse were tempted to depart from the high standards of the “One New Man” set forth in Paul's letter to the Ephesians. Many consider this to be basic, and the fulcrum to full understanding of the nature of the church from God's perspective, plus the underlying empowerment coming to the church from the Feast of Pentecost. Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter saw Ephesians from this standpoint, and Colossians as the Holy Spirit's corrective through Paul - to bring them back to the moorings of the teaching in Ephesians. Gnosticism was one of the main errors in teaching coming to Colosse to tempt them to depart doctrinally from the standards set in this letter to the church of “Ephesus”. Sadly though, even Ephesus had to be rebuked by Jesus in the book of Revelation, for having departed from their first love.
Paul's letter to Philippi was to bring them back to the standard of Ephesus, because of their departure in the realm of the Spirit. To hold steadily in Christ as Head of the Church - allCity Churches - it is to be able to withstand all types of the enemy's attacks. Christ is Pre-eminent! He deserves to have our “personal, passionate devotion” at all times and in all circumstances. Men like George Muller, H. A. Baker, Rees Howells, Oswald Chamber and Brother Yun of China - set forth for us wonderful examples in this intimate relationship!
From Colossians 1:18-22 we find 10 wonderful actions and essentials in Christ Jesus. As we meditate upon them and memorize this portion, we will find the Holy Spirit lifting us up to the level of the 5 brothers listed above.
And see the level to which Jesus wishes to lift us: so that we are holy, without blemishand unprovablebefore Him. And it is allbased upon “His finished Work” on Calvary. Indeed we should “feed on the merits of Calvary.” This latter phrase was given to me in the Spirit many years ago. I sing it regularly - “I feed on the merits of Calvary - through You - Christ Jesus my Lord!”
Look now at Colossians 1:12-15 and what our Worthy Lord has accomplished for us! - He fittedus to become partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; He deliveredus from the powers of darkness: and God translated usinto the kingdom of the Son of His love; And what do we learn of Jesus as a result of this act of the Father? We have the “redemption” - the forgiveness of sins! No other founder of anyreligion can offer an equality here! And Jesus, the One who accomplished this - is “the invisible God's image” - the “firstborn of all creation.” We are born again sons of God, but by adoption; while Jesusis the Firstbornof all creation. No wonder Satan wanted to destroy Him. But- by contriving His death on Calvary - he made the greatest mistake of his career. For Jesushad no sin, and death could not hold Him! So on the 3rdday God raised Him from the dead. Satan wounded His heel at Calvary, but Jesus crushed Satan's head! Satan's power is decidedly limited from that day on! Read the book of Revelation to see his continual falls, until the Lake of Fire eternally receives him!
As we learn to imbibe these truths, we will find them transforming! As we gaze on Him who died for us, but is now resurrected, ascended and seated at God's right hand on His Throne in heaven - we become transformed from glory to glory, even by the Presence of our Lord! - J.A.W.