Paul's Prayer

Paul’s encouragement to the believers in Colossae

Paul goes on to recognize that the transforming word of the gospel, which had been presented to the Colossians by one of Paul’s disciples, Epaphras, and which they had accepted gladly into their hearts, was in the process of radically reshaping the whole Roman Empire. In these verses Paul builds on the construct of the “grace of God in truth“. The thought that the Gospel is the grace (‘Divine influence’) of truth.

“Of this you have heard before in the word of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing – as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,…”

Colossians 5b – 6

Paul refers here to the gospel as being “the word of truth“. Let’s explore this concept a little deeper, first by defining the terms used:

“gospel” – GREEK ‘euagellion‘ meaning, ‘good news’ or ‘glad tidings’. It is this Greek word that is at the root of the English term “evangelist“, one who propagates and proclaims the gospel.

“word” – GREEK ‘logos‘ meaning, ‘word’, but in a much deeper sense it means ‘the Divine expression’.

‘Logos’ is the same Greek word used in John 1:1 : “In the beginning was the Word (‘Logos’), and the Word (‘Logos’) was with God, and the Word (‘Logos’) was God.” Clearly stated in this passage and in many others in the New Testament, is the fact that Jesus is the ‘Word’ of God, or as the term is defined, the ‘Divine expression‘ of the Godhead.

Two of the keys to the productive study of the Bible (often referred to as “God’s Word”) is firstly, to let the Bible interpret itself. We are not to superimpose our own understanding over the Bible’s own interpretation of a passage of Scripture. Or for that matter the interpretation offered by Bible commentators, or denominational doctrine or dogma, or indeed an interpretation drawn from secular thought or the wisdom of the world.

Secondly, we must always allow the Bible’s usage of a word to define its meaning, rather than relying on the secular Greek or Hebrew understanding of the word’s meaning.

“truth” – GREEK ‘aletheia‘ meaning, ‘conformity to the nature and reality of existence’. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the ‘Word’ of God (“Divine expression”). Just as clearly the Bible teaches that Jesus is the embodiment of the ‘Truth’ of God.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.” [JOHN 14:6a]

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [JOHN 8:31b-32]

“God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in Spirit and truth.” [JOHN 4:24]

So to summarize, we could expand on what Paul was conveying to the Colossians when he wrote, “…the word of truth, the gospel…” to more fully read, “…the good news that Jesus, as the Divine expression of the Godhead, has appeared as a man to lead us into a new reality of eternal life and intimacy with our Father God through His Holy Spirit.” It is this proclamation of the gospel message which was “bearing fruit and increasing” at the time that this letter was written, and still does today.

Some 2,000 years ago a young itinerant preacher from a small rural village in Galilee stood beaten, bruised and bleeding in a dirty, blood stained, tattered robe before the Roman prefect (governor) of Judea in modern day Israel. The interrogation was brief, but ended with one of the most pivotal discourses in the Bible:

“Then Pilate said to Him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. Indeed it is for this purpose that I was born and it is for this purpose that I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.’

Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’”

John 18:37-38

The truth stood right in front of Pontius Pilate. Yes, the Truth was disguised in the cloak of a hardly recognizable, poor, filthy, beaten, bleeding, condemned and uneducated young man.

But what Pilate failed to recognize, was that his natural eyes were deceiving him, for if he had been able to see with supernatural eyes, he would have fallen to His knees in worship.

The One who stood before Him was, in fact, the Son of the living God, heir to the riches of heaven, perfectly pure and cleansed, unbeaten and unbowed, already shedding the blood of the innocent Lamb of sacrifice that would, once and for all, atone for the sin of man and even conquer death itself. The One who personified TRUTH itself stood before Pontius Pilate.

What is the truth that we base our lives upon today. Is it the truth of that which we perceive with our natural senses? Is it the truth of our circumstances, surroundings or situation? Is it the truth of man’s wisdom and advise? Is it the truth of our own life experiences, hurts and failures?

Or is it the Truth of who He is? Is it the Truth of the ‘Logos‘ Word of God – the Divine expression of the Godhead? Is it the unfailing Truth of a life conformed to the reality of the unseen and not the temporal nature of the seen and naturally perceived? Is it a Truth that stands as the bedrock of our existence and our faith?

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *