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Volume 20 - Page 13 of 195 Index | Zoom | |
Features of a faithful ministry (1: 3-8).
pp. 98 - 103
The association of the name of Timothy with that of the apostle in the opening
salutation of this epistle, and the fact that afterwards Timothy was appointed to take
charge of the neighbouring Church at Ephesus, suggest the possibility that some of the
heresies combated in Colossians have much in common with the "fables and endless
genealogies", and "oppositions of falsely-so-called gnosis" dealt with in Timothy. "The
neglecting of the body" of Col. 2: 23, and the advice, "Be no longer a water-drinker"
of I Tim. 5: 23, will be seen as parts of a whole, connected also with the teaching
of seducing spirits, "forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats"
(I Tim. 4: 3, 4).
The error of "angel worship" spoken of in Col. 2: may be the reason for the definite
stress laid in I Tim. 2: 5 on the statement that: "There is one God, and one Mediator
between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus."
These points of contact we hope to deal with more thoroughly when the part of
Colossians concerned is under review. Meanwhile we pass on to the opening section of
Col. 1:, which occupies verses 3-8, and is largely taken up with the ministry of Epaphras.
B | 1: 3-8.
The faithful ministry of Epaphras.
A | 3-5. What Paul heard from Epaphras.
Your faith, love and hope.
B | 5, 6. | a | "Heard."
b | "Truth." Gospel.
c | Come unto you AS in all the world.
c | Brought forth fruit AS also it doth in you.
a | "Heard."
b | "Truth." Grace.
A | 7, 8. What they had learnt of Epaphras.
What he declared to Paul--"your love".
It is a vexed question, and one perhaps that can never be answered, as to whether Paul
ever personally visited Colosse. There are as many reasons discoverable in the apostle's
writings for asserting that he had visited Colosse, as there are for denying it. While the
apostle very definitely establishes his own apostleship and ministry in this epistle, he is
also at pains to associate with himself and his teaching others, such as Timothy (1: 1),
Epaphras (1: 7; 4: 12), Archippus (4: 17), and others mentioned in chapter 4: In the
ministry of Epaphras we have a glimpse of the way in which the gifts of the ascended
Christ were fitted, "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4: 7-12).