Bible Book of the Month


Lesson #3

What It Means To


Text:  Colossians 2:6                             

     1. Paul said the gospel had come to them at Colossae as
it had gone into all the world.  In Colossians 1:7 he says "As
ye also learned of Epaphras..."  The word translated
"learned" in v.7 is the Greek word for "disciple".  They had
been "discipled" by Epaphras.  Jesus had commanded the
apostles in the great commission in Matthew 28:19 "Go ye
therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy
Spirit" (NASV). 

     What is involved in becoming a disciple?  What are the
steps?  When we look at the book of Colossians we can see
what the steps were in being "discipled" by Epaphras. 

     2. But let's notice another verse, in 2:6 we read "As ye
have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in
him."  The Colossians had "received Christ", what does that
mean?  What is involved in receiving Christ. 

      In this lesson we want to notice what the Christians at
Colossae had done in "receiving Christ" and in being
"discipled" by Epaphras. 

      GOSPEL   1:5b, 1:23

     The good news of the Gospel was not native to their city. 
It had been brought to them by Epaphras.  He was himself
a citizen of Colossae (4:12-13), but he had come in contact
with Paul and had been converted to the Lord Jesus.  This
was probably during Paul's great three year ministry in
Ephesus (Acts 19:10).

     Once Epaphras had received the gospel he shared this
"good news" with his relatives and friends back home. 
Perhaps it would have been exciting for him to stay with
Paul in Ephesus where so many wonderful things were
taking place, but his first responsibility was to take the
Gospel to his own home city.  (Compare Mark 5:19.)

     The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ has solved
the problem of sin through his death, burial and resurrection. 
Paul says in verse 5 that they had "heard" the gospel."  The
gospel, or good news they heard, was "the word of truth." 
This means that this message came from God and can be

     "Thy Word is Truth" (John 17:17).  There are many
messages and ideas that can be called true, but only God's
Word can be called "TRUTH".  Satan is a liar; to believe his
lies is to be led astray into death (John 8:44), but Jesus is the
Truth (John 14:6).

     Paul says in verse 5 that they heard the word of God, and
in verse 6 that it brought forth fruit.  The word is likened
unto seed in the parable of the soils in Luke 8:11.  Seed has
life in it, and the Word of God has life in it (Hebrews 4:12). 
When the Word is planted in good fertile soil it brings forth
fruit as it did at Colossae.


     It is possible to hear and not believe.  Jesus spoke of
many who have their ears closed to God.  He spoke of the
seed falling on the wayside soil, and on rocky ground.  But
the Gospel brought forth fruit at Colossae, 1:6.  They
became believers.

     Paul said in verse 3-4 that he gave thanks to God when
he heard of their faith in the Lord.  They (1) heard the
Gospel, and (2) they believed in the Lord Jesus.


     At one time these Gentiles at Colossae were aliens to
God (1:21).  In time past before they obeyed the Gospel
they participated in "wicked words" but now in Christ they
were changed men.  They had turned from their former ways
of sinful living, and were not reconciled to God.  This is
what repentance is, turning away from sin, and turning to

     Another evidence of their repentance is found in 3:5-7,
where Paul names a number of sins they had once
participated in, "fornication, uncleanness, inordinate
affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry."  Then Paul says in verse 7, "in the which ye also
walked some time, when ye lived in them."  They had lived
in these sins in times past, but what about now?  "But now
ye also put off all these"  (3:8).  They had put these practices
aside, they had turned from them, and that is repentance.

     What do we see in the steps of conversion for the
Colossians so far?  1. They heard the Gospel from
Epaphras;  2. they believed the truth which they heard;  and 
3. they turned from their sins, or repented.


     What else did "receiving Christ" (2:6) involve?  What
else did their being "discipled" by epaphras involve?  It
included baptism, an immersion in water in the likeness of
the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ  (Colossians

     There are three points Paul makes in 2:11-12 in regard to
baptism and their salvation.

     First in verse 11 he compares baptism to a kind of
circumcision.  In circumcision there is a removal of the
flesh.  In baptism, (this circumcision made without hands)
there is the putting off of the sins of the flesh.

     Second, in v.12, in baptism we are buried and raised with
Christ.  God raised the Lord from the dead, and when we
are baptized, we are raised from the death brought by sin,
raised to a new life.  (Paul uses this same language in
Romans 6:4-5  "Therefore we are buried with him by
baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from
the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should
walk in newness of life.  5.  For if we have been planted
together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the
likeness of his resurrection."

     Third, Paul's point in verse 13, is that we are dead in our
sins, but in being baptized into Christ, we are made alive
together with him, and forgiven of our trespasses.

     Now what is the relationship of baptism to salvation? 
First, we know that it is not the water that cleans us, we are
forgiven by the washing of the blood of Christ (1;14).  But
baptism pictures the time element, the point when our
relationship to God changes, from being OUT of Christ to
being IN Christ.  The water does not save us, but before
baptism we are DEAD in our sins, AFTER we are alive in

     Baptism is pictured as a death, burial and resurrection. 
When we come up from the watery grave, we are raised IN
Christ (Rom.6).  Paul wrote of the Galatians (3:27) saying
they were baptized INTO Christ.


     These steps  1)  Hearing,  2)  Believing,  3)  Repentance, 
and 4) Baptism, were not of themselves enough to insure a
heavenly home.  Paul said that being presented before the
Lord, "holy and unblamable and unreproveable in his sight"
depended on "If ye continue in the faith grounded and

     So a steadfast faithful life is an expected part of
conversion (1:23).  "...walk worthy of the Lord unto all
pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing
in the knowledge of God" (1:10).

     1. We must give heed to the way we walk, i.e, the way
we live.

     2. We must be fruitful in good words, (they don't save us,
but we are saved to be fruitful in good works, and they
manifest our continued faithfulness.)

     3. We must continue to grow in our knowledge and
understanding of God and his will for us.

     Are you converted to the Lord the way the Colossians

     Are you steafast in your faith as they were?

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