Colossians 1:1-2, Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, (2) To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please note, this article comes from the verse by verse study we are doing in our Wednesday night Bible study. Some of our church people stated that this study really spoke to their hearts about faithfulness and urged me to send it out as an article. 

Faithfulness! In the first two verses of this wonderful book the Apostle Paul makes it plain that there are faithful brethren and brethren that are not faithful. It is very difficult today because the devil has distracted the church and church people by so many different things. The church of Jesus Christ today is being destroyed because of lack of faithfulness to the things of God. Marriages are being destroyed, parents are being destroyed, and their children are being destroyed by unfaithfulness.

Unfaithfulness is infectious to a church, to a home, and the lives of others around you. Unfaithfulness is a culture and crisis of the church and our society.  Of course, unfaithfulness is a heart issue.

Ephesians 6:6-7, Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (7)  With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

I hope by the end of this study you will see the need of real faithfulness in your life.  I want to encourage you to make faithfulness the real spiritual desire of your life. You are the one who has to make that choice.  No one else can make it for you!

The Bible makes it plain that God’s Word is our life and light. Yet how many people neglect their attendance in God’s house for multiple different reasons and rationalization.

Proverbs 13:13, Whoso despiseth (does not give proper attention to) the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

 It did not say might be or possibly could be; it said “shall be destroyed!”

Many lives are destroyed because of their lack of faithfulness to the Word of God! If something else comes up they are not at church to hear God’s Word. They do not spend any time daily “seeking God” through His Word and then wonder why horrible things happened in their lives. It is called living for your lusts!

They are saved but they really don’t have a relationship with Him.  If you do not know what it means to have a real relationship with God we invite you to read this article and then come back and click on How to Have a Real Relationship with God-The Work of the Holy Spirit in a Person’s Life.

 It is magnificent as to how the Apostle Paul points this out in the first two verses in Colossians.

The writer of this epistle is the Apostle Paul as stated in Colossians 1:1. Date: Probably about AD 62. The Epistle to the Colossians is one of the prison epistles which are so called because they were written by Paul while he was in prison in Rome. The prison epistles include Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and the very personal epistle to Philemon.

The four are companion epistles and together they have been called the anatomy of Christianity. As we study them we can see that the subjects covers all aspects of the Christian faith. The four prison epistles of Paul which include the Epistle to the Colossians have been called the anatomy of the church because their subjects cover all aspects of the Christian faith. In Colossians our attention is directed to the head of the body who is Christ. The body, the church, is secondary. Instead Christ is the theme, and Christian living is centered in Him. Colossians emphasizes Christ is the fullness of God.   

Chapters 1 and 2 are doctrinal and chapter 3 and 4 are practical.

This epistle begins with Paul’s introduction and greetings. It is followed by his eloquent prayer for the church there. The first chapter ends with Paul continuing to exalt the person of Christ, noting only his Deity and His reconciling work, but also the mystery of the indwelling Christ in the gentile church.

Colossians 1:1, Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

Paul begins by announcing his authorship as an Apostle and notice the phrase “an apostle of Jesus Christ.” The word “apostle” literally means a delegate, a messenger, or one sent forth with orders.

In the broader context of the New Testament, an apostle was one who not only witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but also had been directly sent forth by Him. Paul notes this in that he was an apostle, notice the phrase, “by the will of God.”  Paul also mentions the presence of Timothy here “as a brother.” He evidently was present with Paul at Rome, possibly under some form of unmentioned detention.

Colossians 1:2, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This epistle is addressed, notice the phrase, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse. The word saints her literally means “holy ones.” What does that mean? Of course, it means to those who by virtue of faith in Christ have been sanctified and thus made holy before God by their standing in Christ. It is a practical synonym for those who are saved and who are also being practically sanctified by their spiritual growth. But Paul takes his greeting a step further. He particularly addressed the epistle to those who were faithful brethren in Christ.”  Many people are saved, but few are “faithful brethren.” 

Matthew 25:21, His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

 So, a servant is one who is faithful.  God’s program for this age is the local church.  If you want to serve the local church is the place.  However, faithfulness is required.

Luke 16:10, He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

Small things in faithfulness are important.

Luke 16:11, If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

1 Corinthians, 4:2, Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

 A steward is someone who has been given a sacred trust. Your salvation and your faithfulness are sacred trusts.

 1Corinthians 4:17, For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

Is it not interesting that Paul says he taught faithfulness in every church! Are you faithful to your church? Are you being taught to be faithful?  If so, be thankful and apply what you are taught.

He sent Timothy because Timothy was “faithful!” A faithful person is someone you can trust.

1Timothy, 1:12, And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

Wow! Being faithful is a requirement for being in the ministry!

 2Timothy 2:2, And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Faithfulness is a requirement to teach.

Hebrews 3:5, And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; Faithfulness is a testimony! Faithfulness is a testimony to your house!

Revelation 2:10, Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

One of the crowns a Christian can win is a crown of faithfulness!

There are many verses in the Bible about each of us being faithful! The question each of us need to ask ourselves is are we faithful? Many problems in life come about because of our unfaithfulness.

Other problems are there to test our faithfulness.

We do not need to confuse the judgement of God in our lives with the tests of our faithfulness. There will be many tests of our faithfulness.

Have you ever heard a relative say, “Well, it is not going to hurt you to miss just “one service?” The church won’t fall in!” This is the kind of worldly foolishness and appeals to emotions that has led to the demise of many Christians and their children.  It is a test of our faithfulness.

What about, “Well, you know Pastor, I just needed a day off.” That day off becomes “excessive leisure” and has destroyed many lives and homes. A test of our faithfulness.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against taking a day off or vacation, but I do go to church at a good church when I take a vacation! If I take a day off it is not when I am supposed to be in God’s house hearing His Word. Or neglecting a responsibility I have signed up for! I do spend time with God every day in his Word and submit myself to Him and ask Him to teach me every day. You don’t take a vacation from God! Then there is the person who is gone all the time and wants to be a leader. You cannot be a leader in the house of God and be gone half of the time. When a person is deceived that they can neglect God’s Word for leisure, entertainment, activities, the world, and the things of the world, they are spiritually deceived.

There are people who take jobs knowing that they will miss hearing God’s Word. They rationalize it many ways. Yet destruction comes to them and their families.   

Even though we are in the age of grace, God still judges in this age, our unfaithfulness. 

Psalm 7:8, The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

Psalm 9:8, And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

John 7:24, Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

It is silly to say a Christian should not judge. We are required to make spiritual judgements every day based on God’s Word and a Spirit controlled life. We are not to judge hypocritical judgement as Matthew 7:1-5 talks about. In essence, we are not to judge other’s lives for the same ungodly things we might be doing!

1Corinthians 11:31, For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

We need to judge our own life every day by asking God if there is any sin that stands between us and God. Then we need to confess it and repent of it.

God judges our unfaithfulness so we do not need to be deceived.

Galatians 6:7-9, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (a godly Spirit controlled life) (9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

In 40 years of ministry I have seen so many people fall by the way side and horrible things happen in their lives because they are unfaithful. God judges our unfaithfulness!

Colossians 1:2, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice the phrase, Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Though often glossed over, the giving of grace and peace from God to us is profound. Grace in the New Testament is a broad and elastic concept.  In its more narrow definition it is unmerited favor. We do not deserve it! However, in its broader scope, grace conveys a spectrum of thought ranging from kindness (graciousness) to strength and help!

Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Paul encourages that grace to his readers. Indeed we will need the strength, help, and kindness of God which only comes through His grace. We lose a lot of these things by an unfaithful non-Spirit controlled life. Yet God always has grace, strength, help, and kindness for a repentant sinner.

We have been saved by God’s grace, (His unmerited favor). However, once on the pathway of the Christian life, we need grace on an ongoing basis for strength for the journey as we have tests of faithfulness. Its companion, peace, likewise is often taken for granted. Problems, anxieties, troubles, and satanic traps line the road of the Christian life. (Tests of faithfulness). However, the God of all peace offers His peace to His people. The peace of God is the forerunner to happiness. Without peace, there is not only trouble, but a lack of true happiness. Such fulfilment comes from the peace of God and having a real, intimate personal and passionate relationship with Him. A faithful one!