Now we begin studying the text of the epistle. If we were to do it verse-by-verse from my notes, it would take about 23,497 separate posts. So I'm thinking... no. It will be selective.
Like Ephesians, Colossians generally falls into two roughly equal parts: the first emphasizes doctrinal truths (chapters one and two), the second emphasizes practical application (chapters three and four).
First in Colossians we have the greetings (1:1-2). Ancient letters were unlike modern letters. They begin with the signature, and the addressee. So here:
Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy the brother, to the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: grace to you, and peace, from God our Father.
- He was hand-picked by Jesus (Luke 6:12, 13; the office could not be applied-for)
- He had to be an eyewitness of Christ's resurrection (Acts 1:21-22)
- There would be confirmatory miraculous signs (2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3-4)
As an apostle, Paul was a conduit of ongoing revelation (John 14:26; 16:12-15), and as such laid the one foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20), which is the truth of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Can there be apostles today? Sure, I supposed, but they'd have to be about 2000 years old (cf. Acts 3:21), and would have to show unambiguous miraculous confirmation such has not even been suggested since the close of the first century.
In other words, no.
The foundation has been laid by the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20). Our role is to build on it, not keep starting over again as if the apostles had not already laid it.
Next time, Lord willing, we'll look at the sender's Master.