Paul’s Self-Presentation in Colossians

Paul presents himself to the recipients of the letter as:

▪ An apostle of Christ and by God’s will (1.1), commissioned to be a servant of the church and the gospel (1.23) in order to make it fully known (1.25; particularly to the Gentiles 1.27) in order to present all mature in Christ (1.23, 28)

▪ As completely committed to this mission regardless of the trouble it causes him. He is a prisoner because of his proclamation of the gospel (4.3, 18) yet he takes joy in such sufferings, which are for the sake of Christ’s body, the church (1.24)

▪ As one who constantly struggles for the Colossians, the Laodiceans, and even those in Christ he has not met (2.1), seeking the unity of all in love (2.2)

▪ As a slave of Christ and fellow-slave of Epaphras (1.7; 4.12), his associate through whom they came to faith (1.7), and who he commends (4.12-13), and as grateful for and valuing of all those he works alongside (4.7-11)

▪ As one who constantly prays and thanks God for the Colossians, interceding for their growth in God (1.3, 9; 2.5)

▪ As deeply concerned for their perseverance and holding onto the gospel of Christ (1.11, 23; 2.5-7), and concerned for their being taken captive through teachings and practices not grounded in Christ (2.2, 6, 8-23)

▪ As one who is consciously reliant upon God for carrying out his commission (4.2-4)

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