Inscribe the Word * June Scripture Writing Plan
This year, 2018, the Lord put on my heart to begin inscribing the New Testament Epistles. Writing these letters in full and in context is a powerful way to study Scripture. You follow the thoughts of the author from beginning to end; hearing their heart and abiding by their words.
In January, we inscribed 1 John. We learned that God is light, love, and life. How blessed we are that we serve a God who LIGHTS our path, LOVES us with an everlasting love, and has given us LIFE abundantly.
In February, we studied the books of 2 and 3 John, Titus and Philemon. Written by the apostles John and Paul, these four books gave us extensive insight into living the Christian life.
In March, we took apart the Book of Galatian's word by word. Written by Paul, the overall theme of this book showed us that we no longer live under the law. We live in the faith and freedom of Jesus Christ.
In April, we inscribed Ephesians and understood that we are the unified body of Christ; fitly joined together.
In May, we looked into Philippians and learned that real joy comes from Jesus Christ and not on happenings and circumstances.
And now, here we are in June of 2018, and we continue with our Year in the Epistles with the Book of Colossians.
Let's take a look at the blueprint and background for the book of Colossians.
Author: Paul wrote the book of Ephesians.
When and Where: Colossians was written by the Apostle Paul around 60 A.D. from Rome. It is one of the four epistles to be written from prison. (Acts 28:16, 30-31) Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon were the other three.
Written To: This letter was written to the church at Colosse, a city in Asia Minor. Paul had never visited this church. (Col. 2:1) It had been founded by Epaphras and other converts from Paul's missionary journey. (Col.1:5-7) Colosse had been a healthy and thriving city during the reign of Persian King Xerxes (see Ahasuerus in Esther 1:1) However, by the time Paul came into the picture, new roads and routes had been created that bypassed Colosse leading to its decline.
Why: Paul wrote to the church in Colosse and to Christians everywhere to warn against a heresy that had threatened the church. Similar to the other epistles we've inscribed this year, this heresy was dangerous. It contained elements of what later became known as Gnosticism: God is good, but matter is evil, and Jesus was merely one of a series of emanations descending from God and being less than God, and that secret and higher knowledge above Scripture was necessary for enlightenment and salvation. (John MacArthur. Introduction to Colossians)
Not only was Gnosticism plaguing the church, but Jewish legalism and mysticism were also seeping in. Epaphras was so concerned about the health of his church and the dangers of this heresy that he made the trip from Colosse to Rome to speak about it with Paul.
The central theme of Colossians is to show us that we have everything we need in Jesus Christ. He has absolute supremacy and is our all-sufficient One. It is written to show us that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, the HEad of the Church, and we have a union with Christ that cannot be broken because of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.
The Blueprint for Colossians:
1. Personal Matters from Paul in the form of Greetings, Thanksgiving, and Prayer. (Colossians 1:1-14)
2. Doctrinal Instruction about Christ's Deity, Paul's Ministry, and False Philosophy. (Colossians1:15-2:23)
3. Practical Exhortation and Encouragement regarding Christian Conduct, Christian Homes, speech, and friendships. (Colossians 3:1-4:18)
I hope and pray that this Inscribe the Word plan encourages you to seek all that you need in Jesus. So many Christians are looking to the heresy of the world to define them. I pray that this month, we stop looking to the world as our source, and get back to looking on Jesus; our all-in-all and everything.