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Monday, November 2, 2015

The Gospel According to Paul # 31

In His Letter to the Colossians

As we come to this Letter to the Colossians, by way of laying a foundation we will read some verses from the matchless first chapter.

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks unto the Father, Who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; Who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love; in Whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation; for in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in 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 was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fullness dwell; and through Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, having made peace through the blood of His Cross; through Him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens" (Colossians 1:9-20).

Now, that forms quite a good foundation for speaking about the gospel, and do note that that is the gospel. All that is what Paul calls the "good news". It is the thing that Paul preached - "the gospel which I preach". In this letter, that word occurs not so many times as in other letters, but with a peculiar point. It occurs in this first chapter, verse five: "...because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, whereof ye heard before in the Word of the truth of the gospel"; and then in verse twenty-one: "...if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was" - and here is the same word in the verb form "preached in all creation under heaven" - "which was gospelled", "good newsed", in all creation under heaven."

Good Tidings In An Emergency Situation 

Now, if anything is to be good news, or good tidings, if it is to have a really keen edge to it, there must be a situation for which it brings relief, assurance, comfort or gratification. If it does not matter, then it is not good news.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 32)

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