by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

An Apostolic Leader (1 of 18)
Tony Nester
Colossians 1:1-2

Today we're beginning a verse-by-verse study of the
Letter to the Colossians. We're going to slow down in
our reading of the Scripture so that we can go deeper
into the text in front of us.

Colossians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to
a Christian congregation in the town of Colossae. This
was a church that Paul had neither founded nor
visited. Since Colossae was located close to Ephesus,
a place where Paul had an extended ministry, it's
likely that someone who heard Paul in Ephesus spread
the message of Christ to Colossae. We think we know
who that person was. His name was Epaphras and we'll
be introduced to him when we get to verse 7 in this
first chapter of the Letter. Epaphras appears to have
been the first pastoral leader of the church at

It is to the Letter itself we now turn, beginning with
verse 1.

{1} "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of
God ...
Paul's first words are about what God has done to him.
Or to say it better - what God had made him into.

When we introduce ourselves to people we generally
don't start with what God has accomplished in our
lives. We think that's too forward, or somewhat
embarrassing, or perhaps arrogant.

Paul had no such qualms. He begins his Letter to the
church at Colossae by identifying himself as a man
chosen by God to be an apostle. He speaks boldly about
who he has become. [Iam] Paul, an apostle of Christ
Jesus by the will of God.

The word "apostle" has a simple meaning. It means
"sent on a mission."

By calling himself an "apostle of Christ Jesus by the
will of God" Paul presents himself as a man
representing the Living Christ and sent to do what God
wants done.

There's a reason why Paul begins the letter in this
way. It has to do with the issue of spiritual
authority. The title of "Apostle" and the concept of
"authority" are clo ...

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