Jack Carroll - (2x2 worker) - 1952

The letters in the New Testament have a definite message to the people of God today; they meet the needs of people in this our day as they did when they were written. The letter to the Colossians was written by Paul, not to his own converts, but to one of his fellow servants, a younger servant. The work there was founded by Epaphras. We know that in the family of God there is equality of relationship, but there is not equality of responsibility. Those who are babes in Christ have not the same responsibility as those who are older. This is the same with the servants of God; this lesson is taught very clearly in the letter to the Colossians. Here is a younger servant of God who had to deal with things that were beyond him. He made a visit to Rome to see Paul about certain matters and then this wonderful letter was written. This is the responsibility of every older servant of God the world over, to strengthen the hand of the younger fellow servants.

The key to this letter is in the 3rd chapter, verse 11, "Christ is all."  The theme of this letter is the all sufficiency of Christ. Christ is all the servant of God needs, Christ is all the child of God needs, Christ is all the man or woman that is not a child of God needs. Away up on the mountain slope of Galilee after His resurrection Jesus said to the disciples, "All power is given unto Me.  Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."  I have proved the truth of those words, "Lo I am with you always."  Christ is all that a servant of God needs, Christ is all that a child of God needs in his home life and business life. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the answer to every problem, the solution to every question.

As you read over the four chapters of this letter, remember it was written to the same kind of men and women that lived in the same world and are up against the same problems we are. Read this letter as a message to your own heart. Why did Paul put such tremendous emphasis on these things? Men crept in amongst those people who were bringing in their own thoughts. Paul warned against men who would beguile them. These Christians in Colosse were in great danger of being led astray by men who were bringing in their own philosophy.

This letter was written to supply help to this younger servant of God. Read Colossians 1:15-18. Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by Him were all things created, etc. He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. The birth of Christ was not an ordinary birth; the life of Christ was not an ordinary life; the death of Christ on Calvary was not an ordinary death; it was an extra-ordinary death; the resurrection of Christ was not an ordinary resurrection, it was an historic fact.

The question often arises in our hearts, What is God like?  All down through the ages men have speculated as to what God is like. Men have manufactured idols, etc., to express their understanding of what God is like. Remember when Paul was in the city of Athens, he made this statement, "For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the God-head is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device." (Acts 17:29)  Years ago when we were having a convention in the city of Athens, some of us went to Mars Hill. There was a museum there and hundreds of images of God, the attempts of men to convey to others what they thought God was. I would like to answer this question simply and I hope scripturally that God is like Christ. Jesus was the visible representation of the invisible God. We think too often of Him as man. I want to speak to you about Him as Christ. He clothed Himself with a human form and manifested to the world God. To me, Christ was the human form of God in this present evil world.

In order to help you understand this, I would like you to read John 1:1. The thoughts of God and the mind of God is expressed in this one verse, "In the beginning was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Was with God and was God.  Verse 14, The Word (Christ)) was made flesh and dwelt among us.  Verse 18, No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." (John 14:8-9)  Philip saith unto Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us."  Jesus saith unto him, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, 'Show us the Father?'"  I believe He was hurt. Oh, how much those first disciples needed to have their faith increased.

Hebrews 1:1-3, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."  All that Christ was, God is. During those years on earth He manifested the character and nature and love of God. He gave to men and women a look into the Father's heart. This helps me to understand the awful cost of Calvary. He came unto His own. Did you ever try to determine the awful sin of those men? Christ was the Word (or God) made flesh.

In Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27-29) Jesus asked His disciples, "Whom do men say that I am?"  He didn't say, "What are the chief priests and Scribes and Pharisees saying?"  He knew too well they said He was Beelzebub, a Samaritan, had a devil, said He was a glutton and wine-bibber. A glutton was one of the worst sins. They also said he was a friend of publicans and sinners. Who were the men who were saying these reports? They were the men that the people had been taught to look up to for religious guidance. Here was the Messiah, right in their midst, but these were the things they were saying about Him. He asked the question, "Whom do the common, ordinary people say that I am?"  What was true then is true today.

Jesus said, "I thank Thee Oh Father, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes."  His disciples said, "Some say, 'Elias,' and others, 'One of the prophets.'"  He was like the prophets of old; they could see some little likeness to the men of old. Then He said to His disciples, "But whom say ye that I am?"  Peter answered, "Thou are the Christ."  What place are you giving to Him in your heart-life, home-life and business-life?  Is He just merely One that lived in the long ago?  Some say He was a man of God. He was not a man of God, but He was the God-man.  That in all things Christ might have the preeminence.  Our destiny depends not on how much we know of Him, not in our knowledge of the truth that He taught, but the place we allow Him in our hearts.  In all things, Christ.