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Colossians 1 – Salutation and Thanksgiving & Colosse

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1 The mineral rich
The mineral-rich pools and startling white terraces of Pamukkale, Turkey, along St Paul’s Trail.
While Turkey is perhaps best known to British holidaymakers for its budget beach resorts, it offers rich pickings for history buffs.

As the setting for some of the key events in the history of Christianity, it contains some of the religion’s most holy shrines.

St Paul spread the word of Jesus to the Jewish diaspora (who were generally disliked by the conventional Jews in Jerusalem) during four journeys between 46 and 64 A.D. before he was captured and executed by the Romans.

Without him, Christianity might have been wiped out when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

After looking at this city we will look at…

Colossians 1
Salutation and Thanksgiving

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

“Epaphras” – a native and probably founder of the Colossian church, and an evangelist in nearby Laodicea and Hierapolis.

8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

“The knowledge of his will” – Biblical knowledge is not merely the possession of facts.  Rather, knowledge and wisdom in the Bible are practical, having to do with godly living.

2 Hirapolis
Hirapolis located in the province of Denizli.
This place is more often referred to using the prefix Pamukkale, Pamukkale Hirapolis.

Pamukale derived from the Turkish language, which means ‘cotton castle’.

It is very famous for its historical heritage and natural beauty.

In Pamukale there are two major tourist sites which Hierapolis and Travertine’s.

Hierapolis is an old town that stood during the Roman Empire and the Byzantine empire.

Named Hierapolis because there was once here Hiera temple (one of the Greek gods).

Having a personal relationship with Jesus is different than understanding or memorizing the Bible.  To know God is by far better than understanding the Bible, but you can’t know God until you understand the Bible. 

Another thing, knowing God does not mean you understand Him and I truly do not think it is possible for anyone to fully understand Him, I know I don’t.

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

“Kingdom” – does not here refer to a territory but to the authority, rule or sovereign power of a king.  Here it means that the Christian is no longer under the dominion of evil (darkness) but under the benevolent rule of God’s Son.

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

“Redemption” – deliverance and freedom from the penalty of sin by the payment of a ransom – the substitutionary death of Christ.

3 Xerxes
Xerxes was born around 520 B.C. in the southern province of Persis (Fars).
He was a powerful king who ruled Achaemenid (Persian) Empire from 486-465 B.C.

Xerxes was Darius The Great’s eldest son by Queen Atosa (daughter of Cyrus The Great).

He had been designated official heir perhaps as early as 498 B.C, and while crown prince he had ruled as the King’s governor in Babylon.

The new king quickly suppressed the revolt in Egypt in a single campaign in 485 B.C.

Xerxes then broke with the policy followed by Cyrus The Great and Darius of ruling foreign lands with a fairly light hand and, in a manner compatible with local traditions, ruthlessly ignored Egyptian forms of rule and imposed his will on the rebellious province in a thoroughly Persian style.

Plans for the invasion of Greece begun under Darius were then still further delayed by a major revolt in Babylonia about 482 B.C, which also was suppressed with a heavy hand.

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

“Thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers”angelic hierarchy of angles and fallen angles.

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18 And 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.

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.

22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

“Every creature” – every living thing has heard or will hear of Jesus Christ before He returns.

24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

4 Cyrus
Cyrus was born (in Susa?) in 424 or 423, as the second son of king Darius II Nothus and his wife Parysatis.

He was the younger brother of Artaxerxes II. His mother had great plans with the boy, who may have been more talented and energetic than his older brother, the crown prince.

The fact that the boy had the same name as the founder of the Achaemenid empire, Cyrus the Great, may have done something to heighten his self-esteem.

In 408 or 407, queen Parysatis secured the young man’s appointment as satrap of Lydia, Cappadocia and Phrygia (all in western Turkey).

At the same time, he was appointed as commander in chief of Asia Minor.

It was not unusual for an important Persian to rule two satrapies, but three was exceptional, and the more so because Cyrus was only 15-17 years old.

25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

“Mystery” – the purpose of God, unknown to man except by revelation.

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

“Gentiles…Christ in you” – the mystery is the fact that Christ indwells Gentiles, for it had not been previously revealed that the Gentiles would be admitted to the church on equal terms with Israel.

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

“Warning every man” – telling everyone all about Jesus, as he had told His disciples to do (Matt 28:19-20), which is something that most pastors and priest today do not do fully.

29 Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Colosse

Colosse (or Colossae) was located in the Roman province of Asia Minor in the Lycus valley about 120 miles east of Ephesus in today’s southwestern Turkey.

An ancient city of Phrygia, it was situated on the southern bank of the Lycus River, about 11 miles from Laodicea and 13 miles from Hierapolis.

The site is currently unoccupied and has not been excavated, although a few surface inscriptions have been found.

What little we know of Colosse comes from numismatics (the study of coins and related objects) and from comments made by ancient writers, but until the city can be excavated our understanding of its history will remain clouded.

The historian Herodotus (History, 7.30) referred in 480 B.C. to Colosse as “a great city of Phrygia,” and Xenophon (Anabasis, 1.2.6) described it in 400 B.C.as large and prosperous.

Colosse, standing on the most important trade route from Ephesus to the Euphrates, was a place of great importance from early times. The Persian king Xerxes visited it in 481 B.C., as did Cyrus the Younger in 401.

By the time of Paul the city may have diminished somewhat in significance. Its economy depended upon trade and textiles, and particularly on distinctive purple wool called colossinus.

The church at Colosse was established on Paul’s third missionary journey, during his three years in Ephesus, not by Paul himself, but by Epaphras, a native of Colosse and an evangelist in nearby Laodicea and Hierapolis.

5 The Tell
The Tell
Colossae was located 120 miles east of Ephesus in the Lycus River Valley in ancient Phrygia, part of the Roman territory of Asia Minor.

It was one of a triad of cities in the area (the other two being Laodicea and Hierapolis), resting at the foot of Mount Cadmus.

It’s biblical significance lies in the fact that the book of Colossians was addressed to the church here and that Philemon lived in this city.

Paul loved and admired him, calling him “our dear fellow servant a faithful minister of Christ” and a “fellow prisoner”. Epaphras was the one who told Paul at Rome about the Colossian church problem and thereby stimulated Paul to write this letter.

The name Epaphras is a shortened form of Epaphroditus (from “Aphrodite,” the Greek goddess of love), suggesting that he was a convert from paganism. He is not the Epaphroditus of Phil 2:24, 4:18.

Archippus also exercised a fruitful ministry in Colosse. Philemon was an active member of this church, as was Onesimus.

Colosse lost its importance due to a change of the road system, after which Laodicea became the greater city.

During the 7th and 8th centuries its open position exposed it to the terrible raids of the Saracens, and the people moved to Chonae (now called Chonas), a fortress on the slope of Mount Cadmus, about three miles farther south.

6 Featuring
Featuring thermal pools, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa center, this hotel features comfortable accommodations just 2.5 miles from the ancient city of Hierapolis.
Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the hotel.

The air-conditioned rooms at Spa Hotel Colossae Thermal are tastefully decorated with colorful linens and carpets.

They all feature balconies. Some rooms also include a private sauna and a hot tub.

At Colossae Thermal, guests can choose from a variety of dishes in the elegant restaurant.

Unique tastes of Turkish cuisine are served as an open buffet. Delicious drinks are available at the hotel’s bars.

Guests can relax with a Turkish bath or get tanned at the solarium.

A range of massages can also be enjoyed at the spa center.

Pamukkale is only 3 miles from Spa Hotel Colossae Thermal with its famous travertines. Denizli Cardak Airport is 43 miles away.

During the 12th century A.D. the Turks destroyed the city. Archaeologists have unearthed ruins of an ancient church.

…the lost city of Tenochtitlan.

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