Friday, January 12, 2018

Colossians, part 1, Linking to a Hebrew Letter

Hebrew letter "zayin"
Zayin is the 7th Hebrew letter and means weapon or sword. In Modern Hebrew it means to be armed and that is the primary theme of the 7th book, Judges, but our third zayin book, Colossians, is void of weapons. However, being related to the 7th letter is apparent in its relationship to the number 7 itself. In Biblical symbolism 7 represents fullness, completeness. Throughout Colossians the theme of God's fullness is apparent in the 18 times it occurs. 

all wisdom, all things, all fullness, all treasure, all wisdom, Christ is all in all, etc.

Colossians was written by St. Paul to the Christians at Colosse. Paul had not visited Colosse, but he often prayed for the Christians there. In fact he says early on in his letter (1:9) that he had not stopped praying for them. This is a short book and you can easily read it straight through right now before reading on.

Paul reminded the Christians about the importance of Jesus. Jesus is God, and He created everything.  Jesus became a man so that He could die for us and because Jesus paid our “death debt,” God will accept us. He forgives us our sins and accepts us. If we invite Jesus into our lives, we will become friends of God (Colossians 1:15-23).

Then, Paul warned the Christians about some people (Colossians 2). These people wanted the Christians to obey the ancient rules of the Hebrew nation. And these people said that real Christians must obey all such rules. Paul did not agree. He wrote that these rules were human traditions (Colossians 2:8). Christians ought to obey Christ, instead of tradition. Traditions might seem wise, but they cannot help us to live good lives (Colossians 2:23).

Paul reminded the Christians how they should live. They should think about the things in heaven (Colossians 3:2), because they belong with Christ (Colossians 3:3-4). They should not do evil deeds (Colossians 3:5-11). Instead, they should love other people (Colossians 3:12-14). And they should serve God (Colossians 3:15-17). 

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