Terry Baxter Devotional

The “If… Then Theorem.” Colossians 1:22-23

The “If… Then Theorem.” Colossians 1:22-23
“22) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23) if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.” Colossians‬ ‭1:22-23‬
In the Old Testament, God proclaimed over and over again that He was for Israel as long as they honored and obeyed Him; but if they turned away they would loose His favor and blessing. Instead, they would inherit a curse and discipline. The most profound text to establish this principle is Deuteronomy chapter 28. Reading this chapter in its entirety is shocking.
It defines what I call the “if.. then theorem.” “If” you obey God and walk with Him, “then” His blessings will overtake you. But, “if” you turn away from Him and choose a life of sin and rebellion, “then” His rod of discipline will settle on your life.
This principle holds true in the New Testament as well. Ephesians 4:30 warns that the Holy Spirit can be grieved and Hebrews 12:4-13 explains how God disciplines those whom He loves. There are innumerable rewards and benefits to obedience and walking in fellowship with God.
In this context in Colossians 1:22-23, Paul says “if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel…”. Here we see the “if… then theorem” in a New Testament context.
I do not believe this text is about loosing salvation or being kicked out of the family of God. I believe it is about living pleasing to God and walking in the light as He is in the light. (See 1 John 1:5-7) John warns in these verses that we can fall out of fellowship with God.
I have been there! It is not a pleasant place to live. Jesus does not force us to come to salvation or to walk with Him. Many Christians live fleshly lives; but they forfiet the glory of friendship with God, walking in the Spirit, Divine favor, manifold blessings, the fruit of the Spirit and spiritual wisdom and discernment.
Instead these backslidden Christians quickly become irritable, self centered, condemning and grumpy as they live defeated lives in spiritual bondage. They spread bitterness, contention, and division within the church. Unfortunately, our churches are filled what Paul calls “carnal Christians.” (See 1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
But those who sincerely seek Jesus and “continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel” are transformed by the Spirit of God. Agape love enfolds them and the Holy Spirit works in and through them. They are not perfect, but they are alive, growing and pressing on for the glory of God.
If you are a Christian but out of step with God, why not repent and run back to Him? Revival is a precious doctrine. Like the Father of the prodigal son, God is waiting for you to come home. Why live a miserable life in a foreign land when the Father is eager to welcome you home and surround you with His love and acceptance?
Psalm 4:3 is an ageless truth; “But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.” God favors those who walk with Him in sincerity and truth. Be one of them!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

What a Difference He Made in My Life: Colossians 1:21-22

What a Difference He Made in My Life: Colossians 1:21-22
“21) And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—” Colossians‬ ‭1:21-22‬ ‭
This text lays out the lost condition of humanity. Apart from Jesus Christ, people are alienated from God, hostile in mind, and involved in evil deeds. Fallen human nature is ruled by the flesh. Non-Christians live as if God does not exist and therefore moral and ethical boundaries are very arbitrary. Many of them are content and have no desire to seek God.
The amazing thing about the Gospel is that God was seeking man even when mankind had no desire to seek God. On the cross, Jesus made a way for sinful people to be reconciled to God.
When a person turns to Him, Jesus changes them. He turns around the three qualities mentioned in verse 21 and makes them holy, blameless and beyond reproach as seen in verse 22. The atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross paid for human sin in full. People can now be acceptable to God through justification by faith. It is the atonement of Jesus Christ and not our personal goodness that makes us acceptable to God.
But make no mistake, those whom Jesus saves He changes. At moment of salvation the Holy Spirit comes in and begins the work of washing, cleansing and sanctifying. (See Titus 3:4-7) This is a life long process. The thing that excites me most is that Jesus removed the enmity so that friendship with God could begin at the moment of salvation.
I have spent my entire adult life building my relationship with Jesus. It has been my primary pursuit. I have had many trials and hardships, but I can honestly say that Jesus is my best friend. But the amazing part is that it keeps getting better and better.
Here is the key, I am far from perfect. On the cross, Jesus paid for my sin so that at the moment of salvation He could embrace me with unconditional love and acceptance. Like any friendship, my sin sometimes grieves our relationship, but He does not abandon or forsake me.
As the months have turned into years, the Holy Spirit has significantly changed me. I am a very different man today than I was back in 1973 when I invited Jesus Christ into my life. Twenty or thirty years from now if I remain in this body, I have every reason to believe my walk with Jesus will be much deeper, sweeter and even more glorious than it is today.
My goal is to enjoy the journey, embrace everything Jesus provides in this life and serve Him any and every way I can. The same should be the testimony and heart cry of every believer. What a difference Jesus makes in our life.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Peace Making Mission: Colossians 1:19-20

The Peace Making Mission: Colossians 1:19-20
“19) For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20) and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians‬ ‭1:19-20‬
According to these verses, Jesus came on a peace making mission. His mission was to bridge the enmity between God and humanity. His mission was to reconcile or put back together what sin and Satan had broken. He came to heal the breach between heaven and earth.
Make no mistake, God in His love took the initiative to redeem humanity. Humanity was not seeking God, but according to the Bible… God was seeking lost humanity.
Notice the wording of the above two verses; “it was the Fathers good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross…”
Satan wants to distort your understanding of God the Father and your view of Jesus Christ. He wants you to think the Father is mean, angry and bent on judgement and vengeance. He wants to plant the thought in your mind that God is against you. Nothing is further from the truth.
The whole plan of human redemption was Gods idea and it was rooted in His love. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Agape love motivated God to send His Son into a hurting, lost and dying world as a Savior. His mission was to break the power of sin, death and misery perpetrated on humanity by Satan. He came to redeem, save and set free. He came to expose and destroy the works of the devil. (Read 1 John 3:8)
But you ask; “Didn’t Jesus come to judge the world?” That’s not what the Bible teaches. John 3:17 goes on to say; “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.” Jesus came as Savior and not Judge. Make no mistake, He will one day return as Judge, but that was not His mission at His first coming. He came to seek and to save the lost. He is still on that mission.
This is where Colossians chapter one becomes mind boggling. The full list of the attributes of Jesus Christ in Colossians 1:12-19 goes to the cross in Colossians 1:20-22 and dies for lost humanity. The Creator become our Redeemer. God took on the form of humanity in Jesus Christ and Deity went to the cross and paid the full, wretched and costly penalty for humanities sin. Jesus opened the door for reconciliation and peace with God through His death on the cross. Hence, He is the Savior!
The greatest mystery for me in the whole Bible is how Jesus as God came with the expressed purpose of dying on a cross for the very people who crucified Him? Make no mistake in your thinking; Colossians chapter one makes the case that Jesus Christ is God and that in love He took on the form of humanity with a peace making mission in mind. He came to seek and to save the lost.
The question that you must now resolve is, “What are you going to do with Jesus Christ?” Are you going to believe in Him and receive Him into your life as Lord and Savior; or are you going to reject Him and live as if God does not exist? You have that choice.
No matter what you decide, just remember that Jesus Christ is reaching out to you because He loves you and is currently on a peace making mission. He wants to save you from your sin and from yourself. However, when He comes again… it will be as Judge. (Read 2 Corinthians 5:10)
Sorry for the abrupt ending, but that’s how the Bible presents the gospel of love and Redemption. God went way beyond the call of duty and love to reach humanity. He does not force or manipulate peoples response. He leaves you and me with a choice.
I made my choice way back in 1973 when I invited Jesus Christ into my life as my Savior. It was by far the best choice I ever made. I have been sincerely seeking and serving Him since. It has been by far the greatest Journey this life has to offers. I’ve made plenty of mistakes but have always been assured of peace with God. My war with God ended when Jesus came into my life.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Identity Of Jesus Christ and Your Prayer Life: Colossians 1:9-20

The Identity Of Jesus Christ and Your Prayer Life: Colossians 1:9-20
“12) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 13) For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15) And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16) For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17) And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18) He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19) For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20) and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians‬ ‭1:12-20‬ ‭
Ok, let’s tie Colossians 1:9-20 together. So Who is Jesus Christ? Is He adequate to the task? Let’s look at Paul’s list in this text. The following fourteen points all come from this context in Colossians chapter one. Welcome to Christology 101!
*He is Ruler of the Kingdom of light. *He is the Redeemer of Mankind. *He is Our Basses of Forgiveness. *He is the Very Image of God. *He Pre-existed Creation. *He is the Creator of all Things. *He is the Possessor of all Things. *He is Pre-eminent above all Things. *He is the Sustainer of all things. *He is the Highest Ecclesiastical Authority. *He is the Beginning and the End. *He is the First Born from the Dead. *He is the Fulness of God. *He is Humanities Reconciliation to God.
When I survey this list, it reminds me that I am very small. But it also reminds me that Jesus Christ is incomprehensibly immense. He is God. He is the Almighty. (See Isaiah 9:6) It reminds me of His love and that He is for me and not against me.
Keep in mind, Paul penned these words right after his prayer recorded in Colossians 1:9-12. May I observe that your present prayer life is a reflection of your true view of Jesus Christ. If you have a big view of yourself but a small view of Jesus Christ, you will have a dismal prayer life. Please understand this… Prayer is not wishful thinking or a mere mental exercise of positivity.
Prayer is making petition to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Prayer is entering into the very throne room of God. Prayer is asking the Creator, Sustainer and Possessor of the universe to intervene in our circumstances and to use us for His purpose in the world.
Prayer is an acknowledgement of Gods Sovereignty, Pre-eminence, Power, Will and Greatness. Prayer is possible because Jesus Christ made us clean and acceptable in the very presence of God through His work on the cross… so we can come boldly before the throne of grace. (Hebrews 4:16)
Prayer works and is effective because God is and He rules over the created realm. That’s right, prayer is based on the existence, compassion and power of God. This entire list Paul assembled about the Person and work of Jesus Christ was his motivation for prayer, praise, thanksgiving and sacrificial service. He properly viewed himself as servant and Jesus Christ as Lord.
If you want your life to change, focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ and your understanding of Who He Is! Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Purpose to walk with Him through the Helper He has given to His own. Press forward in learning how to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Deepen your prayer life through a growing understanding of Jesus Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

More, More About Jesus: Colossians 1:15-20

More, More About Jesus: Colossians 1:15-20
“15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16) For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17) He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19) For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20) and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians‬ ‭1:15-20‬
We now examine several more qualities about Christ from this context. Then, I will conclude in the next post with a full list of all the attributes of Christ from this context. Sometimes seeing a list has more impact.
We pick up from the last post with verse 17; “He is before all things.” Scholars usually assign the word “pre-eminent” to this quality. It means “He is absolutely number one.” He has no rival and He has no equal. Nobody and nothing even comes close to comparing to Him. He is in a category all of His own.
Then it says; “in Him all things hold together.” This means He is the “Sustainer.” He hold the atoms together, the laws of physics, galaxies, the dynamics of our solar system so we can set our watch by it, gravity, the seasons and every persons heart beat. We have no need to panic over the dim predictions of the prophets of doom of a meteorite potentially colliding with earth… Jesus watches over it all and nothing happens outside of His Sovereignty. He watches over and sustains the created realm.
By the way, when Jesus was crucified, the earth shook, rocks were slit in two, it became dark and tombs were open. (Matthew 27:45-54) Why? The Sustainer temporarily stepped out of His role! Without Jesus Christ in His role of Sustainer, chaos would shortly take over the physical realm.
Verse 18 then says; “He is head of the body, the church.” What does that mean? Well, it means He is the highest religious and ecclesiastical authority. He is above Mohammad, Buddha, the Pope, every religious leader, every idol, angel, demon, prophet, pastor, teacher or preacher. In John 10:8 Jesus proclaimed that all who came before Him were thieves and robbers. Acts 4:10-12 says that there is salvation in no other name under heaven. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way to the Father. (See John 14:1-6)
Then Colossians 1:8 says; “He is the beginning!” He started it all. He was the originator or catalyst for all things. Genesis 1:1, John 1:1, and 1 John 1:1 all point to Jesus as the beginning. Revelation chapter one says He is the Alpha and Omega, and the first and the last. In other words, Jesus is the beginning and the end and everything in between.
Verse 18 then goes on to say; “He is the first born from the dead.” Some argue that others like Lazarus experienced a resurrection. Yes, but only Jesus was given a glorified body. 1 John 3:1-3 says that one day we will see Him in His resurrected and glorified body and will be like Him. According to 1 Corinthians 15:42-58, amazing things are coming when we put on our new bodies. We will in some mysterious way be like Jesus.
Verse 18 closes by saying; “so that He Himself Might Come to have first place in everything.” How can I explain this? It means that He will become absolutely #1. All false gods will be put down, all pride from others will be debased, all false religions will be disposed of and the devil and his angels will be thrown into the lake of fire. In the end, Jesus Christ alone will be left standing.
We now need to take a look at Colossians 1:19; “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,” This means He is Deity! Compare this to Colossians 2:9. Jesus Christ is God. I cannot explain the Trinity, but the concept is taught from Genesis to Revelation. It means “One God consisting of three coequal and indistinguishable persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Paul comes to the conclusion that all the fullness of God dwells in Jesus Christ in bodily form. He is the revelation and manifestation of God to the physical realm.
Sorry this was so abbreviated, but space hinders me. Ponder these verses carefully. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the fullness of Jesus Christ to your understanding. Consider the personal implications of each attribute of Jesus mentioned in this text of Scripture. For example, “if Jesus is the Sustainer, I have no reason for fear or hysteria over potential catastrophe. Jesus is in control! He will work all things together for good!” Above all… seek Him!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

So Who Is Jesus Christ? Colossians 1:13-23

So Who Is Jesus Christ? Colossians 1:13-23
“13) For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us into the Kingdom of His Beloved Son, 14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. 15) And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16) For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians‬ ‭1:13-16‬ ‭
The question now becomes; “Is Jesus Christ equal to the task of redeeming us from the domain of Satan and darkness and transferring them into His own kingdom?” The Old Testament parallel was God bringing the children of Israel out from under the slavery of Egypt and into the Promised Land. That was a monumental undertaking. The question they had to answer; “Was their God greater than the gods of Egypt and the surrounding nations?” Was He equal to the task? We now face the same questions related to our salvation.
To answer these questions, Paul launches into an in depth study of the identity of Jesus Christ. We we tackle only a few of his claims in this post.
He starts in verse 13 by stating that Jesus Christ is King over the kingdom of light. This opens the discussion of which is more powerful, light or darkness? Think about it, the smallest light can illuminate the darkest place. Life thrives in the light. One of the initial acts of creation was separating light from darkness. (Genesis 1:4)
He then introduces the concept in verse 14 that Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind. The idea is that He purchased us to set us free. His work on the cross paid for our sins and provided for our forgiveness. He became our basis for freedom from sin and Satan. Salvation is based on His work and not any attempt to save ourselves.
Without skipping a beat, in the first part of verse 15 Paul states that Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. This is reminiscent of Hebrews chapter one. Verse 3 says, “He is the radiance of His glory and exact representation of His nature.” He is God. The serious Bible student should study Hebrews chapter one for a full understanding of this statement.
Paul then finishes verse 15 by saying that Jesus Christ was “the first born of all Creation.” The idea here is that before anything in the physical realm came into existence, Jesus already was! He was the Eternal Self-existant One.
Things get even more profound with the next verse. Verse 16 unequivocally states that Jesus Christ was the Creator of both heaven and earth. He created everything, both visible and invisible. This verse also implies that He created both the angelic realm and all human domain. Everything was created by Him and for Him. He owns it all!
Ok, slow down! Don’t skip over these points quickly. These claims are worthy of very serious thought… and belief! The Creator is infinitely greater than anything created. But you ask; “are there other texts in the Bible that makes these claims?” For starters, I would refer you to both John 1:1-5 and Hebrews 1:2-14. Both present Jesus Christ in these exact same terms.
Paul is far from done with his Revelation of Jesus Christ in this context, but in these few verses he has given us plenty to chew on for a long time? Here is the point, you will never move deeper in your Christian life than your true view of Jesus Christ!
If your view of Jesus is small… your faith will be small. If your view of Satan is bigger than your view of Jesus Christ, you will live in bondage, defeat, failure and poor spiritual, mental and physical health. You will not and cannot experience greater victories or miracles in your life than your true view of Jesus Christ.
So if you are stuck in life, do what Paul does in Colossians chapter one. Launch into a study of the identity, person and work of Jesus Christ. Expand your truth and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Your true view of Jesus Christ is the pivot point of what happens in your life whether small or great. He and not self must become our focal point.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Living As A Citizen Of The Kingdom of Light. Colossians 1:12-14

Living As A Citizen Of The Kingdom of Light. Colossians 1:12-14
“13) For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians‬ ‭1:13-14‬ ‭
What Jesus accomplished for us in salvation is profound. The English words of “delivered” or “rescued” do not come close to capturing the meaning of the Greek word “rhuomai”. It literally denotes “to draw with force or violence, to drag, pull, deliver or draw away from danger or calamity and liberate.”
Satan and the kingdom of darkness wants to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) He is bent on spreading misery, suffering, pain, violence, trauma and destruction. He revels in it. Evil has no boundaries, limits or rules in destroying lives. Sinful bondage is deviating in this life, but the eternal suffering is beyond human comprehension.
Between His death and resurrection, Jesus literally wrestled the keys of death away from the devil by force. He wrestles the redeemed away from the kingdom of darkness with the same force and resolve.
This text in Colossians 1:13 proclaims that Jesus saved us not only from the consequence of our sin, but also from the ravishes and evil intent of the kingdom of darkness. He transfers us from darkness to light, from hate to love, from war to peace, from evil to good, from affliction to edification, from sickness to health, from confusion to a sound mind, from deception to truth, from the deeds of the flesh to the fruit of the Spirit, from the devil to the Savior. Salvation is about far more than what awaits us in eternity, it is about a radically different place and Master in this life. The word “transferred” means we had a “change of place.”
One of Satan’s relentless attacks on Christians relates to ongoing guilt and condemnation. Revelation 12:10 calls him “the accuser of the brethren.” He wants to render people emotionally depressed and miserable. According to Colossians 1:14, when we understand redemption and forgiveness, Satan’s whole scheme is defused. Our sins are forgiven and our conscience can be wiped clean by the Holy Spirit because Jesus paid for our sins in full. No sin debt remains.
But there is a catch. Each Christian needs to embrace their liberation and freedom in Christ. It is like God giving the children of Israel the promised land. They had to go in and take possession of the land. So we need to lay aside the deeds of the flesh and take possession of everything that belongs to us in Christ.
Christians who continue to live in bondage have not embraced truth or claimed their inheritance as citizens of the kingdom of light. They choose to live in compromise, deception, sin and defeat. Jesus has already done everything to set them free, but they refuse to make Him Master and Lord of their life.
One of the challenges encountered by Israel taking the Promised was believing that their God was up to the task. The giants were so big that for many it made their God look small. They needed to expand their view of God.
The same is true today. We will never experience kingdom life in greater measures than out view of Jesus Christ. So guess what Paul does in the next several verses? He reviews the identity, person and work of Jesus Christ. As you comprehend these verses, suddenly the god of this world becomes very small.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Pathway to Kingdom Living: Colossians 1:9-13

The Pathway to Kingdom Living: Colossians 1:9-13
“9) For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10) so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11) strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously 12) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Colossians‬ ‭1:9-12‬ ‭
Are you ready for some deep truth? Paul prayed for believers. He asked God to do a profound work in them. He wanted them to know God’s will with spiritual wisdom and understanding. This is beyond the wisdom of the world or natural wisdom. This is the wisdom imparted by the Spirit of God. (See 1 Corinthians 2:1-16)
This is the starting point of walking worthy of the Lord and pleasing Him in everything we do. At some point the believer stops living for self and starts living for God and others. The result is bearing fruit in every good work and constantly increasing in the knowledge of God.
Do not forget that the wisdom and ways of God are foolishness to the unsaved. (See 1 Corinthians 1:18-31) Don’t expect them to share your values or understand your motivations and priorities as you draw closer to God. They most likely have a totally different world view. That’s ok, we do not live to gain the worlds approval. We live to gain Gods approval.
Then Paul comes back in verse 11 to pray for inner strength that is measured by God’s might. The prayers of Paul recorded in Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-21 helps unpack the depth of this request. Paul is praying for total inner transformation within believers. These are anything but shallow prayers. He yearned for a deep work of the Holy Spirit in the life of every Christian that resulted in them becoming mighty in Spirit.
The end result recorded in Colossians 1:11-12 is steadfastness, patience and thankfulness as God ushers us into sharing in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. The next verse says that God “delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.” Paul was praying for believers to experientially enter into the daily reality of kingdom life. This is very different from the old life driven by the flesh. Walking in the Spirit is the pathway that leads to kingdom living.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

The Praying Disciple: Colossians 1:7-8

The Praying Disciple: Colossians 1:7-8
“7) just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8) and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.” Colossians‬ ‭1:7-8‬
There is not a lot know about Epaphras. He is mentioned three times in the New Testament. He is mentioned twice in the book of Colossians and once in the small book of Philemon. (See Colossians 1:7; 4:12 and Philemon 1:23)
It appears that he was part of the church at Colossae and may have been imprisoned with Paul for a short time in Rome. He became Paul’s currier to carry the book of Philemon and also this letter to the church back in Colossae. It may have been after his release from prison.
It appears that he brought news to Paul about the welfare of the church in Colossae. He informed Paul of their love in the Spirit and was sent to minister to Paul on behalf of the church.
It is clear from Colossians 4:12 that Epaphras was a prayer warrior. He was “laboring earnestly” for them in his prayers. This comes from the Greek word “agonizomai”. You can see the English word “agony” in the Greek. It originally meant “to contend for victory in the public games.” It had the idea of fighting or wrestling to win. Epaphras approached prayer with the intensity and focus of an Olympic wrestler seeking to win the prize.
Two things stand out in these few verses. First, the believers in the church of Colossae had agape love rooted in the fruit of the Spirit. Second, the early disciples were prayer warriors. I believe the two go hand in hand. Love is ignited in the prayer closet as one draws close to the heart of God.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global

Fruit Bearing: Colossians 1:6

Fruit Bearing: Colossians 1:6
“ … the gospel, 6) which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth;”. Colossians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭
The gospel is powerful. Grace and truth changes lives and produces fruit. As the gospel took off across the Roman empire, good things started happening.
Formerly wicked and evil people were changed into gentle and loving believers. Corruption was curtailed and many in bondage or slavery were set free. Eventually Christianity ended slavery in the Roman empire.
I am not implying that mere religion can do this because it does not change the inner core of people. Many in Paul’s day were religious but lost. The same holds true today.
But the true gospel of grace changes people. It liberates them from guilt, bondage, addictions and sin. This fruit is both individual and corporate.
Jesus spoke of this fruit in John 15:1-16. Verse 8 is to the point; “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and prove to be my disciples.” His disciples abide in His love and are a huge impact within their sphere of influence.
If you are a Christian, you should be making a positive influence in your world. Good fruit should follow you.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global