The Testimony of Love & the Spiritual Brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ

Today’s selected reading is found in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Colossae. More specifically today’s passage begins with the first verse of the first chapter and continues through to the fifth verse of the second chapter. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossae: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Colossians 1:1-2).

 

            “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 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: as ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit” (Colossians 1:3-8).

 

            “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you,a nd to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 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: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 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. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; but him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:9-20).

 

            “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 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; 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: 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; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 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: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily” (Colossians 1:21-29).

 

            “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ” (Colossians 2:1-5).

 

            When you come to the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Colossae you will find the third of three prison epistles contained within the New Testament. Of course we know and understand that while writing the epistles unto Timothy the apostle Paul was also in prison, however, it is these three epistles which strike the chord within the New Testament as “the prison epistles.” If you take the time to read this epistle you will find it beginning with the customary greeting which has been used in each of the epistles written by the apostle Paul unto each of the churches. The epistle written unto the Colossian saints is the sixth epistle which was written by the apostle Paul unto saints which were present in the midst of Asia and Europe. In the first and opening verse of this epistle you will find the apostle Paul speaking of himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God and Timothy their brother in the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul then goes on to speak of the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which were at Colossae and then goes on to pronounce grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is actually quite remarkable and unique when you think about how the apostle Paul opens each of his epistles for when you come to them you will find the apostle referring and speaking to himself as an apostle and yet not an apostle of men nor of the will of men but an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. What we find in the beginning and opening verses of this epistle is the same customary greeting of the apostle Paul according to the will of God together with Timothy who was their brother in the Lord.

 

            What I absolutely love about the words which are found in the opening verses of this passage of Scripture is the use of the words “to the saints” and “faithful brethren.” What’s more is the apostle Paul not only speaks of the saints and faithful brethren but also those who are in Christ Jesus which are at Colossae. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this epistle for once more we find the apostle Paul writing unto saints—and not just saints but actual brethren in Christ Jesus. It is this concept of being “in Christ Jesus” that is so incredible unique and powerful when you think about it for at the very heart and center of our relationship—not only with the living God but also our relationship together with others is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is indeed the Lord Jesus Christ who is the bond that unites, binds and ties us together. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws us to acknowledge the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ as the foundation for our fellowship and our relationships with each other. Oh there is a great and incredible need within our hearts and our spirits to recognize and understand that at the very heart and center of our fellowship together with others is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            When I read the four gospel narratives written about the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ is that when He called the disciples to walk with and follow Him He wasn’t just calling them to walk with and follow Him. As you read the words which are found in the four gospel narratives you will find the Lord Jesus Christ inviting the disciples such as Peter and his brother Andrew, James and his brother John, Matthew and others to of course walk with and follow him but also to walk with and fellowship with each other. We would like to think that the call and invitation given by the Lord Jesus Christ unto the disciples to walk with and follow Him was simply and solely about their relationship with Him, however, the truth of the matter is that their walking with and following Him was about so much more than just their walking with and following Him. When the disciples made the decision to walk with and follow Him they were also making the decision to walk with and fellowship together with each other. Not only this but we must also recognize and understand that the decision the disciples made to walk with and fellowship with each other also meant walking together and fellowshipping with those outside of their number who would also make the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. If you take the time to read the four gospels you will find that apart from and outside the twelve disciples who made the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus there were others who would minister unto Him and would help supply His earthly needs here as He walked in the form of flesh and blood. The Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t merely walked with and followed by the twelve disciples but there were certain woman who would daily walk with and follow Him and would minister to His needs.

 

            I have to admit there is something incredibly important and powerful about the four gospel narratives for what we find in these gospels is the outline and the framework for what would be the Church and the corporate body of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a great need within our hearts and minds to recognize that what we saw in smaller number with the twelve apostles and perhaps those women who walked with and followed the Lord Jesus Christ was the beginning of a greater and much larger number of men and women who would not only walk with and follow the Lord Jesus but would also walk with and fellowship with each other. The Lord Jesus Christ didn’t merely invite the twelve apostles to walk with and follow Him for throughout the gospels you will find Him extending such invitations to others to do the same. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of this is that of the rich young ruler whom Jesus invited to sell all his possessions, give to the poor and to come and follow Him that he might have treasure in heaven. Of course we know and understand that the rich young ruler departed from the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ sorrowful and with great sadness because he was a man of great wealth and possessions. The rich young ruler was just one of what was most likely countless men and women who were given an invitation to walk with and follow Him for even when speaking unto the disciples Jesus would emphatically declare that if anyone wished to come after and follow Him they must deny themselves and take up their cross. The Lord Jesus deliberately and intentionally invited men and women to walk with and follow Him which would indeed require them to take up their cross.

 

With this being said the Lord Jesus also invited all those who labored and were weary and heavy laden to come unto Him that they might receive rest. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the tenth, eleventh and sixteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. I would also invite you to consider the following words which are found in the nineteenth chapter of the same New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these passages of Scripture beginning with the tenth chapter and concluding with the nineteenth chapter:

 

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:34-39).

 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

 

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:24-28).

 

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:16-22).

 

            It is quite clear and obvious from each of these passages that the Lord Jesus invited more than just the disciples to walk with and follow Him. With that being said we must also recognize and understand that the invitation to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus also carried with it the understanding to walk with and fellowship together with those who would make the same decision. Would it shock and surprise you to consider that no man was called to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus alone? If the design and intention of the living God was to have just one person walk with and follow Him He would not have called and invited twelve different apostles to walk with and follow Him. If the design and purpose of the living God was to have just one person walk with and follow Him he would not have extended an invitation to all those who were weary and heavy laden that they might come unto Him and find rest. This also bears in mind the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ and how He would invite countless others to walk with and follow Him—beyond just the disciples and those whom we have accounts of an invitation to walk with and follow Him. In all reality we must needs recognize and understand that of all the twelve apostles who were given the invitation to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus we only have an account of the invitation of perhaps six of those men—Matthew, Peter and his brother Andrew, James and his brother John and Nathaniel. Oh there is a great need for us to recognize and understand that although we do in fact have twelve specific apostles who were given an invitation to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus there were countless other men and women who were given the invitation to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus.

 

            I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the invitation Jesus gave to the countless men and women to walk with and follow Him—and not only to walk with and follow Him but also to walk with and fellowship together with each other. What we find with the disciples—and not only with the disciples but also with all the others whom the Lord Jesus invited to walk with and follow Him is that His invitation was one of following and fellowship. With this being said we must needs recognize that while we would like to think we can somehow separate following Jesus from fellowshipping with each other the truth of the matter is that the two are intrinsically linked. In fact I would even dare say that just as the first two and the greatest of all commandments are intrinsically linked together so also is following the Lord Jesus and fellowshipping together with others. Within and throughout the gospels it is universally understood by religious scholars, teachers of the Law and others how the greatest commandment was to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength and how the second greatest commandment was similar to it—namely, loving our neighbor as ourselves. If the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength, and if the second commandment is likened unto it—namely, loving our neighbor as ourselves—then it must needs be said that following the Lord Jesus and fellowship together with others are intrinsically linked together.

 

            We must needs recognize and understand that as much as we would like to separate following the Lord Jesus from fellowshipping together with the saints, with the brethren and with the disciples of the Lord Jesus there is absolutely no way we can do so in the sight of God the Father, in the sight of God the Son and in the sight of God the Spirit. There is absolutely no way we as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ can indeed and can in fact separate and draw any distinction between following the Lord Jesus and fellowship together with the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am absolutely and completely captivated with the tremendous truth that walking with and following the Lord Jesus is directly linked and connected together with fellowshipping together with those who walk with and follow Him. As surely as we make the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus we also make the conscious and decision to fellowship together with those who have also agreed to make the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. I would also dare say that walking with and following the Lord Jesus by its very nature requires us to fellowship together with others for it is impossible to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus and not be in community and fellowship together with each other. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we understand that when we make the decision to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus we also by its very nature make the decision to walk with and fellowship together with those who also walk with Jesus. Although it might seem as though Peter and his brother Andrew were the first to be given an invitation to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus we must needs understand that they were called to walk together and fellowship with James and John who would come after them, Matthew who would also come after them.

 

            WALKING WITH AND FOLLOWING THE LORD JESUS ALSO MEANS WALKING WITH AND FELLOWSHIP TOGETHER WITH THE SAINTS OF GOD, THE BRETHREN AND THE DISCIPLES OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! I have to admit the more I think about and consider this the more I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding walking with and following the Lord Jesus Christ does in fact mean walking with and fellowshipping together. What’s more is that this means that we walk together and fellowship with one another regardless of our differences, our different opinions, or anything else that might divide us. In all reality this is what is so incredibly unique and powerful about the words found in the twelfth chapters of the epistle written unto the saints of Rome as well as the first epistle written unto the saints which were at Corinth. Within each of these chapters we find the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ being one body united together under one head and yet made up of many members. There is a tremendous need to pay attention to the truth that the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ is made up of many members which are unique, diverse and different from each other. Walking with and following the Lord Jesus is entirely and altogether centered around the incredible truth surrounding the need to walk with and fellowship together with other saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus. Walking with and following the Lord Jesus Christ is never an isolated or independent affair and always includes and involves walking with together and fellowshipping with other saints of God. This is what is so incredibly powerful about the words which are found in the opening verse of the first chapter of this epistle written unto the Corinthian saints. It is the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Colossian saints that helps us understand the church of Jesus Christ is indeed made up and comprised of saints and brethren who are all united together under the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

            If you continue reading this epistle you will find the apostle Paul going on to reveal that which he lifted up these dear saints before and unto the throne of God. As you begin reading with and from the third verse you will find the apostle Paul speaking unto these saints how he thanked God and the Father of their Lord Jesus Christ praying always for them. What’s more is that not only did he give thanks to God and the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and prayed always for them but he did so since he heard of their faith in Christ Jesus, the love which they had to all the saints, and the hope which was laid up for them in heaven. I have to admit I am absolutely and incredibly intrigued by the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is something which is absolutely and entirely needed within and among the saints of God. Apart and aside from the apostle Paul giving thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ praying always for the saints we find the apostle Paul speaking of how he heard of their faith in Christ Jesus. What we must needs recognize and understand is that a direct byproduct of their faith in Christ Jesus was their love for all the saints. I find it absolutely and incredibly intriguing that the apostle Paul not only heard of the faith they had in Christ Jesus but also the love which they had to all the saints. What’s more is that when the apostle Paul spoke of the their love for the saints he didn’t merely speak of their love for the saints but their love for all the saints. The use of the word “all” in this passage of Scripture is entirely and altogether necessary when we think about that which the apostle Paul wrote concerning the saints for it is one thing to love certain saints, and it is one thing to love some of the saints, however, it is something else entirely to love all the saints.

 

            I am sitting here today thinking about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and how the apostle Paul both spoke of their faith in Christ Jesus and the love which they had to all the saints. In all reality I am absolutely convinced that what we find here are words which are intrinsically linked and connected to the first and greatest commandment as well as the words which are found in the second commandment. It is the first and greatest commandment which we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength while it is in the second commandment we are instructed to love our neighbours as ourselves. If we wish to be functioning members within the kingdom of God and the community of the saints of God there is a great need for us to be those who not only love the LORD our God with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our strength as well as loving our neighbors as ourselves. What adds to this even more is when you think about and consider the words which are found in the second chapter of the epistle written by James the half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written by James unto those who were scattered abroad throughout Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth:

 

            “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: are ye not them partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:1-13).

 

            “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see them how that by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14-26).

 

            As you consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will be brought face to face with the awesome command against partiality and favoritism within the church. At the very heart and center of this is the underlying commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves which is the royal law. If the greatest commandment is loving the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength then the royal law which James speaks of is that which involves the loving of our neighbor as ourselves. The apostle Paul wrote unto the Colossian saints that he heard of their faith in Christ Jesus and how directly linked and connected to their faith is their love which they had for all the saints. It is truly remarkable and astonishing when you read the words found in the opening verses of this epistle for the apostle Paul gave thanks to God the Father of the Lord Jesus as he prayed for them upon hearing of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—and not only their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ but also the love which they had for all the saints. THE TESTIMONY OF LOVE! THE TESTIMONY OF LOVING THE SAINTS! Oh there is something truly remarkable and astonishing about the words which are present here for what we find within this passage is a wonderful witness and testimony of faith in the Lord Jesus and love for His brethren. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the saints of God and disciples are more than simply those who are part of a corporate body of the Lord Jesus Christ. What we must needs recognize is when the epistles and New Testament refer to “the brethren” it is more than simply our brethren in the spiritual sense of the body of the Lord Jesus. When the Scripture speaks of and refers to “the brethren” they do in fact speak of the very brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            The more I sit here and think about this particular truth the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth that within the four gospel narratives we find it written concerning Jesus’ mother and brethren and how there were times when they even came seeking Him. It’s interesting to note that the Lord Jesus emphatically declared that His mother and His brethren were those who did the will of the Father who was in heaven. This is important for us to recognize and understand for when we think about the reality of “the brethren” we must recognize that while on the earth Jesus had His earthly brethren and yet even in the midst of His earthly brethren there is now a spiritual brethren—those who do in fact do the will of the Father. There is a great need for us to consider the words which are found in the first and second second chapters of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews for within this epistle we find a powerful witness and testimony of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ—and not only the witness and testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ but also of the humanity which He took upon Himself. Not only this but what we find here is an awesome and powerful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ being fully human while He walked among us in the flesh. What’s more is that in these two chapters we find the author of the epistle referring to both the Church and the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ and how He is not ashamed to call them brethren. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the first and second chapters of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews:

 

            “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, but whom also he made the worlds; who being the brighteness 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; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast love righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:1-14).

 

            “…For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-18).

 

            There is something incredibly powerful about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is a wonderful witness of those whom Jesus called His brethren—and not only those whom He called brethren but that He was not ashamed to call them brethren. It is in this passage where we find the author declaring how the Lord Jesus was not ashamed to call them brethren and then quoting the Scripture which stated “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” Furthermore in this passage we find the author of this epistle speaking unto the Hebrews concerning the Lord Jesus and how He took upon Himself the nature of flesh and blood that he might be made like unto His brethren. When we think about “the brethren” of the Lord Jesus Christ we must needs recognize that Jesus made Himself like unto His brethren and that we who are the called of God and saints of the most High God are brethren to the Lord Jesus Christ. When we think about the concept of “brethren” we must needs recognize and understand that not only did He make Himself like unto His brethren but those who we refer to as “the brethren” are indeed more than just our brethren here upon the earth but the very brethren of the Lord Jesus. Not only this but all those who were mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews and the great cloud of witnesses which is mentioned in the twelfth chapter of the same epistle are indeed our brethren and the brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            As you read the words which are found in this epistle you will find the apostle Paul thanking God for the Colossians and what he heard about them—namely, of their faith in Christ Jesus and the love which they had to all the saints. The apostle Paul goes on to write and speak of the hope which was laid up for them in heaven which they heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel which was come unto you as it was in all the world. That which the apostle Paul goes on to speak of is the gospel bringing forth fruit as it does in them since the day they heard of it and knew the grace of God in truth. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for we have a great need to recognize that we have indeed and have in fact been called to love the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength and we have indeed been called to love our neighbor as ourselves. Not only this but we have indeed been called to bear fruit. In the parable of the sower and the seed Jesus speaks of one of those groups of people who were described by the seed which fell on good soil and how it produce fruit some thirty-fold, some sixty-fold and some an hundred fold. Not only this but in the fifteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John you will find the Lord Jesus declaring unto His disciples that they were the branches and that He was the vine. Not only this but He also declared how they were called and chosen to bear much fruit and how without and apart from Him they could bear no fruit. This would directly be linked to the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the reality that men would know they were His disciples by the fruit which they bore. It would be Jesus who would declare in the Sermon on the Mount that they would indeed and would in fact be known by their fruit.

 

            Upon continuing to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture we find the apostle Paul going on to further describe the prayers which he offered up for these dear saints and how he desired that they might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. The apostle Paul earnestly prayed for these dear saints that they would be filled with the knowledge of the will of God—a truth which directly corresponds to that which he wrote in the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome. It would be in the twelfth chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome the apostle Paul would not only beseech them to present their bodies as living sacrifices which were holy and acceptable in the sight of God but also be transformed by the renewing of their minds that they might prove what the good and acceptable will of the Lord was. When writing unto the saints which were at Colossae the apostle Paul prayed that they would be filled with the knowledge of the will of the Father but also how that knowledge was directly linked and connected to all wisdom and spiritual understanding. What a truly incredible thought it is to consider how the will of the Father and spiritual understanding are intrinsically linked and connected together and how those who understand the will of the Father are those who possess this supernatural wisdom and spiritual understanding with themselves. What’s more is that it is in the knowledge of the will of the Father and this spiritual understand that we are truly able to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing being fruitful in every good work.

 

            In all reality I find the words which are found in this passage of Scripture truly remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about it for brings us face to face with the knowledge of the will of the Father and spiritual understanding but also that we would worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. Pause for a moment and ask yourself if that describes you life—if you are one who truly walks worthy of the Lord. What’s more is I would urge you to ask yourself if you are one who walks worthy of the Lord and does so unto all pleasing. Remember what the Father spoke concerning and unto the Son at the Jordan River after He had emerged from the waters of baptism—“Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased?” Remember when Jesus was atop the mountain of transfiguration and how on that mountain the Father once more spoke and declared that this was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased and commanded them to hear Him? Perhaps one of the greatest questions we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are those who walk worthy of the Lord—and not only walk worthy of the Lord but walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. Oh how absolutely incredible the use of the word “all” is in this passage for the apostle Paul emphatically speaks concerning walking worthy of the Lord and its direct link and connection to all pleasing.

 

            Pause for a moment and look over your life and ask yourself if you are one who not only walks worthy of the Lord but also one who walks worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. Can the LORD God say of your life that He is well pleased with you? Remember the words which David wrote in the book of the Psalms and how He asked that the words of his mouth and the meditation of his heart would be pleasing and acceptable in the sight of the living God. We as the saints of God must needs ask ourselves if we are walking worthy of the Lord—and not only walking worthy of the Lord but walking worthy of Him unto all pleasing. It is only to the degree and measure that we walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing that we are able to be fruitful in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God. Do you want to be fruitful in every good work? You and I must needs recognize and understand that as we are filled with the knowledge of the will of God manifested in all spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding then we are truly able to walk worthy of the Lord and do so unto all pleasing. To the degree and measure we walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing we are able to be fruitful in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God. Oh dear brother is that the pursuit of your heart? Do you desire to increase in the knowledge of God and to be strengthened with all might according to His glorious power unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness? I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs be filled with the knowledge of the will of the living God unto all wisdom and spiritual understanding that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. Oh that we would recognize the tremendous importance of walking worthy of the Lord and that our lives must needs bear witness of the Lord Jesus Christ and of God the Father.

 

            With all of this being said you will read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and discover the apostle Paul going on to give thanks unto the Father who had made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light and has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. The apostle Paul shifts gears and transitions within this epistle to the inheritance we have as the saints of God and brethren of Christ and how we have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of the Son. Oh is this your testimony? Are you one who has been made to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light and have you been delivered from the power of darkness? It is my prayer that you who read these words come face to face with the awesome and incredible need to be fully, completely and wholly delivered from the power of darkness as you are translated into the kingdom of the dear Son. At the very heart and foundation of this is the redemption we have through the blood of the eternal and only begotten Son and the forgiveness of sins. Stop and consider how truly astounding and remarkable being forgiven of sins, being redeemed through the blood of the Lord Jesus, being delivered from the power of darkness and being made to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light actually us. What great joy we must needs take and find in these words for the testimony of the saints of God and brethren of Jesus Christ is indeed inheritance, deliverance from sin, redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins.

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely incredible to think about the words which the apostle Paul goes on to write for the apostle goes on to preach and present the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul goes on to emphatically declare of the Lord Jesus Christ that He was the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this for if you want to see the Father you need only to look at and behold the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember it was the Lord Jesus Christ who declared that those who saw Him had seen the Father for He and the Father were one. Here in this particular passage of Scripture the apostle Paul goes on to declare that the Lord Jesus is the image of the invisible God—and not only the image of the invisible God but also the firstborn of every creature. The apostle goes on to express the authority, the power, the dominion and the preeminence of the Lord Jesus by declaring that by Him were all things created—those things which are in heaven, those things which are in the earth, and those things which are visible and invisible. Remember when Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and the glory therein and offered them all unto Him if he would but worship him? It’s actually quite interesting to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the apostle Paul goes on to speak of thrones, dominions, principalities and powers and how the Lord Jesus is the head over all things which were created and exist in the earth. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it brings us face to face with the awesome authority and dominion that is found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            In addition to the authority and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ we find the apostle Paul going on to declare how He was the head of the body, the church and is the beginning and the firstborn from the dead. Not only this but the apostle Paul also goes on to declare how in all things the Lord Jesus must have the preeminence. The apostle Paul goes on to declare how it pleased the Father that in the Lord Jesus Christ all the fulness might dwell as he made peace through the blood of His cross and by Him to reconcile all things unto himself—regardless of whether those things be in heaven or upon the earth. On top of all of this we also find the apostle Paul declaring how the Lord Jesus has indeed made peace through the blood of the cross of the Lord Jesus and that we might be reconciled unto Him. It is through the blood of His cross that all things are reconciled unto the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father. Moreover the apostle Paul goes on to describe those who were sometime alienated and enemies in their mind by wicked and yet were reconciled in the body of His flesh through death that they might be presented as holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight. This would be immediately followed by the apostle Paul speaking unto them of their continuing in the faith being grounded and settled and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which they had heard and which was preached to every creature which was under heaven. Oh that we would recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and that we would recognize and understand the language of reconciliation and how at the very heart and center of that which the Lord Jesus Christ did was to reconcile the world unto the Father by His cross and through His blood. Oh that we would understand that we have been called to be transferred out of and from the kingdom of darkness unto the kingdom of the eternal and only begotten Son of God that we might have an inheritance secured in Him and in the heavens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s