The Complete Church (Colossians 4:16-18)

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As we complete our study of this wonderful letter we should perhaps begin by re-emphasising the fact that the overall theme is the believer’ completeness in Christ. Because the Lord Jesus Christ is supreme over all (1:15-20) He is Sufficient to save all—completely (see Hebrews 7:25).

This claim was being challenged by some spurious teachers in the Lycus Valley, and so Paul wrote to this particular church (at the behest of Epaphras) regarding the danger of unbiblical and thus unworthy views of Christ. He wanted them to be well-grounded in the truth that they were complete in the Christ who is completely sufficient and completely satisfying because He is completely supreme (see 1:15-20).

But not only did Paul want this for this particular local church, he also wanted this for the sister churches in Heiropolis and Laodicea. The letter was written to a particular local church, but Paul had a global vision. He wanted all believers everywhere to find their complete satisfaction in Christ. He wanted all churches to be complete. And so in these closing words Paul completes his letter with a threefold exhortation:

  1. First, to the church at Colossae to help complete the church in Laodicea;
  2. Second, to a pastor at Colossae to complete his work of completing others; and
  3. Third, and by an exhortation and an example intended to encourage them towards such completion.

May the Lord use this message in the life of our local churches as a means of grace towards our striving towards a more experiential grasp of what it means to be complete in Christ. But further, may it be used to spur us on to help others to enjoy this completion as well.

So, what is needed for a church to live out its privilege of being complete in Christ? There are at least four things that such a local church must have.

A Complete Message

For a church to grow in her appreciation of and practical application of what it means to be complete in Christ she must have all of God’s Word. “When this epistle is read among you,” exhorts Paul, “see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea” (v. 16).

Many reading this are perhaps familiar with the name Jim Jones. Jones was the founder and leader of the People’s Temple cult. The People’s Temple was purportedly a Christian religious group. On 18 November 1978, 900 Temple Members, under Jones’ instruction, committed suicide in Jonestown, Guyana by drinking Flavor Aid laced with cyanide. When the location was later searched by authorities, it was revealed that not a single Bible was to be found. Jones was able to lead a multitude astray because they were not instructed in God’s Word. The complete church must have access to and be instructed in God’s Word.

The Complete Church Must Be Exposed to the Word

Paul speaks of the letter being “read among” the Colossians, and commands that it also be “read . . . in the church of the Laodiceans.” He adds instruction that the Colossians saints also “read the epistle from Laodicea.” Clearly, the apostle wanted them to read the Word.

For a church to mature in Christ and to properly grasp her privileges in Christ she must be exposed to the Word. If we will stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (v. 12) we must know the will of God (1:1, 5, 9, 25; 3:16, 17). And, in order for this to be a reality, it is necessary that we be exposed to Scripture. The reading of Scripture must be a first step in this.

The reading of the Word here refers to public reading. Paul exhorted Timothy in similar terms when he wrote, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13, ESV). The expectation was that the church would gather around the Word. The church that desires to be complete in Christ must be centred on the Word of Christ.

Remember that the early New Testament church, like the old covenant church, did not have ready access to the Scriptures. The idea of a daily quiet time as we traditionally think of it was not an idea that the early church would or could contemplate. Yes, they could meditate upon truth (this was essential—see Psalm 1, 119, etc.) but they could not simply take their Bible off the bookshelf each morning and read it. To meditate on God’s Word they would need to gather where and when it was publicly read. They would need to listen carefully so that they could carry it in their hearts and minds over the following days. Thus, the Word of God being read when the church gathered was a primary event.

In the Old Testament, such times of public reading are mentioned frequently (cf. Deuteronomy 31:9-13; Joshua 8:30-35; 1 Kings 22-23; Nehemiah 8). Jesus publicly read the Word in the Jewish synagogues (Luke 4:16-21). This practice was emulated by the apostles in the early new covenant church (Acts 13:27). And so, when the New Testament speaks of Scripture being read, it is ordinarily in the sense of public reading at corporate worship services (see, for example, 2 Corinthians 3:15; Revelation 1:3; 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 20, 22).

Perhaps because we have such ready access to the Word of God today we take for granted how the church of Colossae would have received this exhortation. There seems to have been the assumption that the church would gather to hear this epistle read. Note the words, “when this epistle is read among you.” When the church gathered, it gathered to hear the Word of God. The Word of God was central to who the church was and how it was to live. And so it is today: God’s Word reveals our identity and our responsibility.

The point of application is obvious: If we will grow in our conviction of completeness in Christ, with the subsequent comfort, character and conduct which flows from this, then we will need much exposure to the truth of God’s Word. The Word of God must remain central to corporate gathering if we will experience corporate growth. We must meaningfully listen to it as it is being read, and when we read it, we must do so meaningfully. After all, it is an event.

Sadly, this is not always the case in churches today—even in those which claim to be Word-centred. Regarding the public reading of God’s Word in corporate worship, Terry Johnson and J. Ligon Duncan write,

One of the striking things about evangelical corporate worship in our times is the evident paucity of Scripture. There is relatively little Scripture read, rayed, or sung in our assemblies. . . . It is a supreme irony that in evangelical worship (the gathered praise of those who among all Christians profess to take the Bible most seriously) the Bible often almost disappears.1

The Complete Church Must Exposit the Word

The simple, straightforward reading of God’s Word is important, but the biblical pattern is that exposition must accompany reading. Paul exhorted Timothy to “give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:12-13). The explanation of that which is read is essential to the complete church.

One of the clearest Scriptural pictures of God’s Word being publicly read is found in Nehemiah 8, where Ezra the scribe read God’s Word in the hearing of all the people. The text of Scripture clearly tells us that Ezra and his assistants “helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense; and helped them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:1-8).

Likewise, whilst it is important that God’s Word be systematically read in our corporate worship, such reading must always be accompanied by suitable explanation of the text to the hearers.

The Complete Church Must Export the Word

Paul was not content to have this letter kept under lock and key in Colossae. Instead, he expected that it be “read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.” We learn from this that a church that is growing in its appreciation of what it means to be in Christ will seek to get the Word to the World.

It was expected that the church would be a faithful steward of God’s Word and hence would, from a catholic concern for other churches, do what was necessary to get the Word to other believers. No doubt they would first make a copy of the epistle, but then they would courier the letter to nearby congregations. By doing so they would be “couriers of completion.”

As God in His providence orders our opportunities, we need to be concerned about the welfare of other congregations. Even though our priority is the spiritual maturity of our own congregation, and even though the development of our own local church’s devotion to Christ must be our priority, we are also to be concerned that other congregations have the same blessings and the same increase in maturity and devotion. But more than concern, we should also do what we can to contribute to such a blessed state of affairs. When God gives us the opportunity to share blessings of revelation then we should be ready and willing to export this to others.

It should also be noted that the Laodicean congregation was responsible for a reciprocal sharing of truth. We know this because Paul commands that they also read the epistle from Laodicea. There was to be a reciprocal sharing of revelatory resources.

At this point, it is necessary to deal with a somewhat technical matter. Paul speaks of a letter which he wrote to the church in Laodicea, but our Bibles do not contain a letter from Paul to the church in Laodicea. We have John’s brief letter to Laodicea in Revelation 3, but Paul clearly references here a letter from his pen to the Laodiceans. What precisely happened to the Laodicean epistle? We cannot say for sure, but scholars have suggested several possibilities.

There is a theory that the Laodicean letter was one inspired by God, but not preserved by Him. Some interpreters argue that preservation doesn’t necessarily follow inspiration. They point out that there are at least two lost letters to the Corinthian church to which Paul alludes in 1 and 2 Corinthians. The fact that these letters were lost doesn’t necessarily preclude inspiration. In the Old Testament Jeremiah recorded God’s inspired Word, but King Zedekiah subsequently destroyed it (Jeremiah 36). Inspiration clearly did not guarantee preservation.2

As a further argument, these scholars point to the words of Christ. When Jesus spoke He spoke God-breathed (inspired) words. But John tells us that the world could not contain the library of books that would be necessary to record all that Jesus said and did (John 21:24-25).

It is quite possible that the letter Paul mentions was inspired and yet the Lord chose not to preserve it. That should not bother us but should instead encourage us to trust that the Lord has provided for us what we need for life and godliness. “In the meantime, let’s all agree to diligently read and heed the Scripture we have and not waste time wondering about those apostolic writings that God obviously did not intend for us to possess.”3

A second suggestion is that this letter was actually an uninspired letter from the Laodiceans to Paul. There has appeared a letter in history which claims this title, but most scholars conclude that this is actually a fraud.

A third suggestion is that the letter here mentioned is actually the epistle to the Ephesians. It is purported that Ephesians was what was known then as a “circular letter,” which was written to a general group of churches rather than to a specific church. There is some evidence that the phrase “to the church in Ephesus” in Ephesians 1:1 may not have been included in Paul’s original manuscript, and thus that letter was for all of the churches in that region, of which Laodicea, Heiropolis and Colossae would be included.

The fact is that we do not know for sure the nature of this letter and speculation does not help. But what we do know is that Paul recognised that there was spiritual value in that letter for the believers in Colossae and therefore he gave apostolic exhortation for them to get it and read it.

Reading Scripture is, as we have seen, vital for the complete church, but I would suggest that the complete church also needs members who are diligent in reading and distributing other biblically faithful material. A reading church will be a growing church.

When you hear the name Laodicea, what comes to your mind? I doubt that the picture is positive for many. I doubt that you would find a church plant somewhere named Laodicea Baptist Church. (Then again, I did once drive past a Second Corinthians Baptist Church. Clearly, the founders were not thoroughly familiar with the contents of second Corinthians!) For most, “Laodicea” is equated with the term “lukewarm,” which conjures up images of an emetic rather than something to be emulated!

And yet let us note that this church still had some deposit of truth that would be beneficial to other churches. Let us be careful of despising as worthless those churches that have some serious problems. We might be amazed what good lessons we might learn from churches that are not on exactly the same page as ours.

Before moving on let us return to this exhortation and note that this epistle would have been essential to the health of that church—as long, of course, as they would actually read and heed its message.

Almost every time that I read this verse I wonder whether the Colossians actually obeyed this mandate. And if they did, what did the church at Laodicea do with this letter? It is interesting that Paul told the church at Colossae to “see that it is read also” in Laodicea. In other words, they were to make this a priority. They were to have a missionary zeal to ensure that the church at Laodicea be exposed to the truths of this epistle. Is it possible that the church at Laodicea became lukewarm partly because they failed to appreciate the message of this epistle? Perhaps.

You see, according to our Lord, the church at Laodicea had become spiritually useless. They were no longer spiritually fit to minister the warm springs of the gospel to heal the spiritually infirmed, or to quench the spiritual thirst of those who needed the cold and refreshing waters of life. And no doubt part of the reason was that they themselves had grown indifferent to the supremacy of Christ and His sufficiency for the believer. With low views of Christ and the gospel, it is small wonder that they became lukewarm in their ministry.

Let us learn from this to be careful to guard our devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. We will be useless to a sin sick world if we ever lose our confidence in Jesus to save sinners and to save the world (John 3:17). We will be irrelevant to a world enslaved in sin if we ever lose sight of the glorious completeness that we have in Christ. We will become useless and impotent in the culture if cease to strive to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Yes, the more earthly-minded we become, the less good we are to the world; but the more heavenly-minded we are, the more useful we are to those who as of yet do not realise there is heaven to be gained and hell to be shunned. Let us fulfil our responsibility to get the complete Word to the world.

A Committed Minister

Paul next makes reference to Archippus, ostensibly a leader in the Colossian assembly, and exhorts the church, “Say to Archippus, ‘Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfil it’” (v. 17).

The Church Needs an Expositor

First, let us notice from this text the responsibility of the minister to the church. We have noted above the need for Scripture to be read and expounded in the church, and it is the task of the minister to explain the Word to his congregation.

The complete church needs a minister who will explain the complete message to the church. There is no more important responsibility of the minister. Ministers must maintain this priority in their ministry (cf. Acts 6:1-4).

The Expositor Needs the Church

At the same time, let us never forget the responsibility of the church to the minister, which is a principle highlighted in v. 17. The church was to exhort Archippus to “fulfil” his ministry. Robertson notes that the phrase “that you may fulfil it” is, in the original language, a “present active subjunctive” which might be translated, “that you keep on filling it full.” “It is a life-time job.”[A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, vol. 4 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1931), 513.]

Everything rises and falls on leadership. This maxim hardly needs to be debated. And this is as true in the church as it is in the world. If the church will grow towards an experiential completeness then it needs to be led by messengers who will faithfully complete their ministry of proclaiming the complete message! This is precisely what Paul admonishes here in verse 17. Paul was telling the church to come alongside one of their ministers and to urge him to complete his ministry to them. Before looking at this point further let’s try and discover who this Archippus was.

We find this name mentioned only here and in Philemon 2. The name itself is interesting because it is a compound name made up of “chief” and “horse.” Archippus was the “chief horse.” Evidently, he was some sort of leader in the church.

Many believe that he was the son of Philemon and Apphia since he is greeted with them in Philemon 2. This may very well be true. What is certainly clear is that he was a minister in the church of Colossae. He may have been the pastor-teacher of this congregation. It is possible, if Epaphras was the man ordinarily entrusted as the pastor-teacher of the church, that Archippus was in this position only temporarily while Epaphras travelled to meet with Paul. (Personally, I doubt this because Epaphras, as a faithful shepherd, would most likely not be away for so long in Rome.) Regardless, it is clear that this man had a vital role as a minister in that church and here Paul exhorts him to “fill it to the full.” He was entrusted with a ministry from the Lord, a ministry acknowledged by this local church, and he was expected by God, by Paul and by his flock to fill it to the full. What he had begun he was to complete. And his church was to encourage him to do so.

Let me add that there is no reason to assume that Archippus was guilty of being slack in his ministry. I recently read a sermon where the preacher took illegitimate liberty in caricaturing this man. There is no textual warrant for such a conclusion, and so we should give him the benefit of the doubt. Though it is sometimes the case that ministers in Bible-centred churches are slack and careless, this is more a rarity than a common occurrence.

Rather, from the words used and from the larger context of the letter, I would maintain that Archippus was a faithful minister (perhaps a young one) who merely needed the encouragement to keep on keeping on. After all, the onslaught of the Gnostic legalists was pretty severe, so severe in fact that the Lord sent this church an apostolic letter. It can be extremely draining on a minister to stand against doctrinal error. To do so puts you in the firing line and slander and misunderstanding often abounds.

Jerry Wragg, who served at one time alongside John MacArthur at the Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, recalls that

just before leaving Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California to assume the senior pastorate of the church where I now serve, I asked John MacArthur to give me a couple of final “tips.” Without hesitating he said, “You’re going to find that your ministry as an associate pastor at Grace Community has been quite private and protected. But when you take the role as senior shepherd, your ministry will suddenly become very public. So be on your guard!” I’ve been reminded of that advice repeatedly throughout the challenges of ministry. After eight years “in the saddle,” as they say, I’m beginning to understand what a “public” ministry is like. It is loaded with hazards, pitfalls, challenges, and difficulties that no one would choose to face were it not a divine calling.4

Further, the sense of being a “nay-sayer” can become a wearying and wearing task; a task of which the minister can become wary! But before looking at how the minister can be encouraged let us further explore why the task of declaring the message of the supremacy and the sufficiency of Christ can be so dauntingly difficult.

One reason is because of the antithetical nature of the message. You see, if Jesus Christ is supreme then we are not. And most don’t want to hear this. The elitists in society do not; the rationalists in religion do not; the idolaters of false religion do not; the self-righteous do not; and the esoteric religious do not.

When you preach the sinlessly supreme Christ you at the same time are pointing out the sinful state of man. And the natural man does not shine to this at all. Further, to preach the all-sufficient Christ is at the same time to highlight the insufficiency of sinful man to save himself. In short, to proclaim the supremely sufficient Saviour is a humbling task (to both messenger and hearer alike).

Consider further the convicting nature of the message. In this letter Paul highlights, the sinfulness of sin, the hopelessness of sinners, the depravity of sinners, the ongoing depravity of saints, the struggle that is called for, and the ethical and relational responsibilities of believers.

In light of all of these difficult realities it is easy to understand why a minister would need the exhortation here given to Archippus. The chief horse would need a good dose of oats to stay in the battle!

Another reason is because of the self-knowledge of the messenger. Those who preach the glories of Christ are all too aware of their own failures in living out the message they are proclaiming. The more they wrestle with the text, the more they apprehend something of the transcendent greatness of Christ and the greater the sinfulness of their own heart. They cry out, “Who is sufficient for these things?” (see 2 Corinthians 2:16).

A third reason is because so much in the world seems to be a denial of the supremacy and the sufficiency of Christ. Do you sometimes look around and wonder who is really in control? Our faith is tested and so is the faith of the messengers of the sovereignty of Christ. People sometimes look at you as if you are from another planet when you speak of the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. When you proclaim the promise that God’s church will be glorified people want to put you in an institution for the mentally unstable! I suppose that one way to illustrate this challenge is to look at 3:1-3. How often we hear from sceptics that Christianity is pie-in-the-sky, and this passage seems to intimate the truth of this accusation. And yet the messenger proclaims without shame that there is a real world that is more real than that which you can taste and touch.

In the light of these challenges I find it quite understandable that Paul gave this admonition. But we need to note that the admonition that Paul gave concerning Archippus was not directly to him but rather to the people to whom he ministered. I love that!

One commentator has noted, “Paul’s desire throughout the letter has been that the Colossian church should grow to maturity, and it is likely that this final instruction would relate to that process. . . . He is to find his fulfillment in being the Lord’s agent to bring the church to its fulfilment.”5 And the church needed to remind him of this.

This reminds me of a similar passage in the book of Joshua where Joshua was taking over as the leader of God’s people from Moses who had just died. We know that Joshua was sane because he was intimidated by the prospect! And yet the people came alongside of him and encouraged him with these words:

So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses.  Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”

(Joshua 1:16-18)

This is a beautiful scene in which God’s people came alongside their leader and encouraged him to remain faithful to the Lord and to His Word. “Yes Joshua, we know that Moses is dead, but God is not! Please, Joshua, stay faithful and we will follow you.” This really is a remarkable scene, in which God’s people affirmed their human leader. They understood what he must be feeling. They empathised with him and encouraged and exhorted him at the same time. Wonderful!

This has often been my experience at BBC. Many have come alongside and exhorted me to take heed to my ministry and to fulfil it. They have done so with the all-important reminder that I have received it “in the Lord.” They have reminded me that this ministry is not mine and that power is available. They have reminded me that they are with me, that my assignment is not (yet) over, and that I must complete my ministry because they want to be increasingly perfect and complete in the will of God. I thank God for such exhortations!

And by the way, this matter of exhortation is not limited to saying affirming things; sometimes it requires a good kick in the seat of the pants! When a minster loses perspective then sometimes he needs to hear the church say, “Complete what you started; get back to basics; show us the glories of the supreme and sufficient Saviour!”

Confident Martyrs

As Paul closed his letter he took the pen from the hand of his secretary and, as was customary with his letters (1 Corinthians 16:21; Galatians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:17; Philemon 19), signed it with his own hand.

As he did so the chains on his hand no doubt clanged across the parchment, and he was perhaps reminded that, though he was complete in Christ, he was nevertheless suffering. Though he was saved and though he served the sufficiently supreme Saviour, at the same time he was at the mercy of a world hostile to both the message and the messenger of the Sovereign. And so he made an appeal: “This salutation by my own hand—Paul. Remember my chains” (v. 17). He was a confident martyr—that is, a confident witness—of the gospel.

Note briefly three things about this exhortation.

First, Paul wanted them to pray. He had already exhorted them to pray (4:2-4) but here again they were to “remember” him in part by praying for him as he was imprisoned for the gospel.

Second, Paul wants them to pay attention to apostolic authority. He had the marks of authenticity and so it was important for them to listen to him. William Barclay writes,

Alford comments movingly: “When we read of his chains we should not forget that they moved over the paper as he wrote (his signature). His hand was chained to the soldier that kept him.” But Paul’s references to his sufferings are not pleas for sympathy; they are his claims of authority; they are the guarantees of his right to speak. It is as if he said, “This is not a letter from someone who does not know what the service of Christ means. This is not a letter from someone who is asking others to do what he is not prepared to do himself. It is a letter from one who has himself suffered and sacrificed for Christ. My only right to speak is that I too have carried the Cross of Christ.6

And Lightfoot adds, “His bonds establish an additional claim to hearing. He who is suffering for Christ has a right to speak on behalf of Christ. . . .These passages seem to show that the appeal here is not for himself, but for his teaching—not for sympathy with his sufferings but for obedience to the Gospel.”7

“Remember my authority and pay heed to what I have written,” exhorts the apostle. Like the stigmata of the scars that he bore for Christ’s sake (Galatians 6:17) the chains that Paul wore were testimony to the fact that he was a “martyr” (witness) who should be listened to. His testimony was credible. And so it always is for those who are growing in their love for and submission to the all Sufficient Saviour.

Third, this exhortation bore testimony to reality. There is a divine tension between sufficiency and suffering. The Colossians were to look to Christ even as Paul suffered, and even as they suffered themselves for the sake of the gospel. “Remember that suffering is part and parcel of the life which aims for being perfect and complete in all the will of God.” In other words, this suffering is part of the will of God. “It was important that they (and we) not forget where devotion to Jesus will often lead: to suffering, to loss of freedom, to oppression and the end of convenience and comfort, but never to despair!”8

Being complete in Christ does not mean that we will be comfortable and care-free. In fact it might mean that conflict can be expected. But in such sufferings one learns increasingly just how sufficient Jesus is!

A Comprehensive Means

Paul closes the letter in his customary fashion: “Grace be with you. Amen” (v. 18). Grace was the resource that they needed to experience completion.

“Grace has been the subject of the whole letter,” writes Wright. “Grace has been the object of the letter: Paul has written in order to be a means of grace, not merely to describe it.”9

How does one persevere towards being perfect and complete in all the will of God? The songwriter tells us: “Only by grace can we enter, only by grace can we stand.” Paul began his letter with grace (1:2) and now ends it with grace.

It is by God’s grace that we are united to Christ and it is by God’s grace that we are complete in Christ and it is only by God’s grace that we mature in Christ.

I realise that we know this but let me say it anyway: The Christian life is indeed all of grace. If you will grow in experiential knowledge of your completeness in Christ—that is, if you will grow in your appreciation of the love of God in Christ Jesus—it will only happen by God’s grace. Let Ephesians 3:14-21 be your prayer. If indeed that is the epistle from Laodicea then make sure that you read it and that you pray it!

Wiersbe concludes his commentary on Colossians with these words:

As we come to the close of our study of this remarkable letter, we must remind ourselves that we are complete in Jesus Christ. We should beware of any teaching that claims to give us “something more” than we already have in Christ. All of God’s fullness is in Him, and He has perfectly equipped us for the life that God wants us to live. We do not live and grow by addition, but by appropriation.10

And how do we appropriate Christ? By grace alone!

I conclude with the words of John Piper.

Paul has in mind that the letter itself is a channel of God’s grace to the readers. Grace is about to flow “from God” through Paul’s writing to the Christians. So he says, “Grace to you.” That is, grace is now active and is about to flow from God through my inspired writing to you as you read—“grace [be] to you.” But as the end of the letter approaches, Paul realizes that the reading is almost finished and the question rises, “What becomes of the grace that has been flowing to the readers through the reading of the inspired letter?” He answers with a blessing at the end of every letter: “Grace [be] with you.” With you as you put the letter away and leave the church. With you as you go home to deal with a sick child and an unaffectionate spouse. With you as you go to work and face the temptations of anger and dishonesty and lust. With you as you muster courage to speak up for Christ over lunch. . . . [Thus] we learn that grace is ready to flow to us every time we take up the inspired Scripture to read them. And we learn that grace will abide with us when we lay the Bible down and go about our daily living.

May God’s grace be with you.

Show 10 footnotes

  1. Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W. H. Thomas, and J. Ligon Duncan III, eds., Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2003), 140.
  2. It should be pointed out that, whilst Zedekiah did destroy Jeremiah’s original manuscript, the prophet appointed a scribe to rewrite what had been lost.
  3. Sam Storms, The Hope of Glory: 100 Daily Meditations on Colossians (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007), 354.
  4. Jerry Wragg, Exemplary Spiritual Leadership: Facing the Challenges, Escaping the Dangers (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2010), 112.
  5. N. T. Wright, Colossians and Philemon: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1986), 162.
  6. William Barclay, The Daily Bible Study: Letters to Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1971), 208.
  7. J. B. Lightfoot, St Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993), 245.
  8. Storms, The Hope of Glory, 356.
  9. Wright, Colossians and Ephesians, 162.
  10. Warren Wiersbe, Be Complete: The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989), 154.