Commentary on Colossians 1:1

  1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, and Timothy our brother

At the very outset of this epistle, we are reminded of the fact that Paul did not receive his apostleship from Peter, James, or John – he received it directly from God the Father. It is God the Father who has elected Paul to this ministry; it is God the Father who has sent Paul on his various missionary trips; and it for the sake of preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that Paul was sent. Note, then, what we learn here: (a.)it is God’s will which determines all things, (b.)this includes Paul’s salvation and (c.)Paul’s ministry after his conversion, (d.)apostleship, therefore, is received by men from God and  not conferred by one man upon another, and (e.)the purpose of Paul’s apostleship was to preach Christ.

Following this, however, Paul calls Timothy his brother. He does not refer to Timothy as an underling, or as one who is beneath him in any other way than this: Paul is an apostle, Timothy is not. Paul, therefore, stands in contrast to the papists and cultists who abuse their self-derived authority and demand the submission of body, soul, and spirit to them as though they stood in the place of Christ. Let us take note of this example of humility on Paul’s behalf and “not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, but with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”[1]

[Col 1:2 Commentary]


[1] Ro 12:3-5

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