Week 1, Day 4 of The Fullness of God in Jesus Christ: A Study of Colossians

Day 4:  Epaphras and Other Beloved Servants

“As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ,”  Colossians 1:7, KJV.
If you are writing out the Book of Colossians, you should take a moment to write verse 7.  

Before we begin, read Colossians 1:6-7. Although we ended with verse 6 in Day 3, there is a point in the last portion of verse 6 that I want to address.  The last half of verse six states the following:  “understood the grace of God in truth.”

In context, Paul had just been speaking of the gospel and how it had spread all over Asia Minor.  The grace of God is a part of the gospel.  Grace is God’s unmerited favor.  Unmerited meaning that we did nothing to earn or deserve that.  

Another aspect of this grace that we might want to think about is the fact that we would not be saved had the Holy Spirit not drawn us.  There are many portions of the Bible in which I do not have complete understanding, but scripture is clear that we did not seek God out ourselves.  The truth is He sought us for salvation.

Look up the following verses and write them in your own words.

John 6:44 ____________________________________________

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Romans 3:11 ________________________________________

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Ephesians 2: 8-9 _____________________________________

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From time to time, we must remind ourselves that we did nothing to merit God’s favor.  He loved us before we loved Him.  I do not know about you, but thinking about God’s grace in this manner makes me even more thankful for my salvation.  I was running toward hell at break-neck speed, but He saved me. Hallelujah!

Please take what I say into proper perspective. I still had to accept Jesus as my Savior, but He drew me.  We have to be drawn by the Holy Spirit before we can truly accept Him.  Let me assure you that if someone is inquiring about salvation, it is pretty obvious that God is drawing this person. 

I also want to touch on the point of the grace of God in truth.  John 17:17 states that we are sanctified by the Word because the Word is truth.  John 14:6 reminds us that Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life.  Jesus is also called the Word in John 1:1.  It is important to know that  God’s grace was given to us through Jesus Christ.  The truth about grace is that our sins are covered when we repent and ask God to forgive us.  This counts even after salvation.  However, the grace of God is not a license to live purposely sinful lives.  Romans 6 is very clear about grace and license. 

Now, we are moving on to discuss Epaphras.  Just who was this man whom Paul referred to as a faithful servant?  According to scripture and Bible history, we can glean that Epaphras was the founder of the Colossian church.  He was a close friend of Paul, and he is mentioned in Philemon 23.  Epaphras is a shortened version of Epaphroditus.  His name literally means “charming” and handsome”.  Of course, I have no idea if he truly matched up to the meaning of his name, however, I do know Paul had confidence in him.

Paul refers to Epaphras as “faithful”.  The Greek word for “faithful”  which is pistus means trustworthy and one that can be relied upon. These are the type of people we must be in order to be effective in the callings God has placed on us.

Take a moment and think about someone you know who is faithful to the work of the Lord.  He or she does not have to be someone to whom you are close, but you can still notice faithfulness.  Write this person’s name below as well as what you see in this person’s life that lets you know he or she is faithful to the Lord.

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The following scriptures mention the word “faithful”.  What do each of these say?

Matthew 25:21 ________________________________________

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1 Timothy 1:12 ________________________________________

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Ephesians 1:1 _________________________________________

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If we are remembered for anything in this life, let it be that we were faithful to the Lord  Jesus Christ.  That is a true legacy to leave to our descendants and others who know us.

Before closing, let me ask you one final question.  Who is referred to as “faithful” that is more worthy of the adjective than anyone?  If you are not sure, here are a few places you might find the answer:  Revelation 19:11, Psalm 92:2, and Psalm 36:5.  No one is more faithful than our Lord!

Paul appreciated the faithfulness of the godly people in his life.  We should appreciate the faithfulness of others, and, most of all, the faithfulness of Jesus.  Write a prayer of thankfulness below for our faithful God and other faithful people in your life.

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(If you are memorizing Colossians, you might want to add verse 7 if you are comfortable with 1-6).

 

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