This content is part of a series.It’s a Big Front Seat!
It wasn’t very long ago when I heard a rather popular Christian woman speaker make a very surprising confession: she stated that even though she had been speaking and preaching for over 20 years, she had never actually read all of the Bible. I was stunned! She, of course, went on in defense of herself that the parts she didn’t read were the “begets” and “begottens” and some of the lists included in Scripture. And even though I can humanly understand that reading those passages can be cumbersome, the first thought that entered my head was this: every word in the Bible is the holy, breathed word of God. That consequently means that not one word, however small or seemingly laborious, is there without His specific ordinance that it be there. With that in mind, who are we to decide what we should spend our time reading and what we shouldn’t? If God deemed a passage remain, then it deserves my attention!
Of course, that’s not always easy. I’m currently finishing up my doctorate work on Biblical Expository Studies. One of the requisites of this work is that I summarize and outline every chapter of certain books of the Bible, and one of those books was Nehemiah. Take a look at that book—there are entire chapters that consist of nothing more than lists of names of those working on the city wall. I came to some of those chapters and my first thought was, “How in the world does one outline this?!” But do you know what? I learned more from studying those lists than I ever expected. My knowledge of biblical history was truly enhanced, and more importantly, my assurance that God is sovereign over every aspect of human history was more thoroughly grounded.
What we come to as we close our study of Colossians is another example of such a passage. Once the reader finishes with verse six of chapter four, she may be tempted to skim to the end of the book, thinking that these closing remarks are simply that—closing remarks—that don’t actually merit much attention. However, these last verses of Colossians are actually one of the richest passages included in Paul’s letters, and there is so very much for the believer to glean from them. Only the book of Romans has a longer greeting and list of names. Paul’s individual attention to specific people tells us that the Colossian church was much more than an organization to the him—he was concerned with and dearly loved its people. John MacArthur called it a “group photograph” of the Colossian church.
The church, as we all know, is not the building where we all meet to worship and study together. The church is the people, God’s people. And not ...
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