In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, we read an important verse:
4:16 After this letter has been read among you, make sure that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
I looked extensively for the Letter today and found the following:
Letter of Paul the Apostle to the Laodiceans
1 Paul an Apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, to those who are at Laodicea.
2 Grace be to you, and Peace, from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank Christ in every prayer of mine, that you may continue and persevere in good works looking for that which is promised in the Day of Judgment.
4 Let not the vain speeches of any trouble you who pervert the truth, that they may draw you aside from the truth of the Gospel which I have preached.
5 And now may God grant, that you may attain to a perfect knowledge of the truth of the Gospel, be benevolent, doing good works which accompany salvation.
6 And now my bonds, which I suffer in Christ, are manifest, in which I rejoice and am glad.
7 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation, which shall be through your prayer and the supply of the Holy Spirit.
8 Whether I live or die; for me to live shall be a life to Christ, to die will be joy.
9 And our Lord will grant us his mercy, that you may have the same love, and be like-minded.
10 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have heard of the Coming of the Lord, so think and act in the fear of The Lord, and it shall be to you Life Eternal;
11 For it is God who is at work in you;
12 And do all things without sin.
13 And what is best, my beloved; rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ, and avoid the love of money.
14 Let all your requests be made known to God, and be steady in the teaching of Christ.
15 And whatever things are sound and true, and of good report, and pure, and just, and lovely, these things do.
16 Those things which you have heard, and received, think on these things, and peace shall be with you.
17 All the saints greet you.
18 The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
19 Cause this Letter to be read to the Colossians, and the Letter of the Colossians to be read among you.
Thoughts about the above:
I wonder why this Letter was not included in the books of the Bible. Could it be because there are good works and benevolence mentioned therein?
It is true that we need to be born of the Spirit of God, that our own good works don’t inherit the Kingdom of God but neither does New Birth without corresponding works. Maybe this is something to consider because Paul refers to “working out our Salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12) In other words, there needs to be an outworking of Salvation and practicing a healthy “fear of The Lord” we see mentioned several times in the Old Testament. And the Book of Revelation confirms this in the words of Jesus “I Come quickly; and my Reward is with Me, to render to each one according to their works” (Rev 22:12) In fact we find the same words with these verses: Mt 16:27 “Then he will payback each person
based on what that person has done”. Rom 2:6 “who shall render to each according to his works”
Did you know that we can find the same words in the OT also? (Psalms 62:12 Proverbs 24:12 and Jeremiah 32:19). Three references in NT and OT…….that says to me that The Lord must take this kind of thing very seriously. And also, did you know there is great Reward in the Fear of The Lord? There are various Promises mentioned in the Old Testament. I will give you one verse in parallel translations:
Psalm 25:14 Reads:
The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
The LORD is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD advises those who fear him. He reveals to them the intent of his promise.
Webster's Bible Translation
The secret of the LORD is with those who fear him; and he will show them his covenant.
The intimate counsel of the LORD is for those who fear him so they may know his covenant.
The original Greek and Hebrew the Bible was written in are much richer than English, so I am
placing a few translations in this post that bring out the richness, hey?
Reflecting Paul's words in Philippians
In Phil 1:21 Paul says these words “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”
and in Phil 4:8 he gives us this counsel:
English Standard Version
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Finally, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.
Therefore, those things that are true, those that are honorable, those that are righteous, those things that are pure, those things that are precious, those things that are praiseworthy, deeds of glory and of praise, meditate on these things.
What I am saying is this__ having read this Letter, I would not be quick to dismiss it’s worth, even if I never see it printed in a bible, hey? To me, it reaffirms a few things each of us need to remember. At the same time, we would do well to remember that any Sea Scroll, whatever, that claims to be a missing letter and so forth, should pass the same test this one apparently may.
Even the greetings at the beginning and end of the Letter are the same as Paul's Letters. This Letter says certain things Paul said in other letters about those who would try to unsettle us with different gospels and to stay resolute to the TRUE Counsel of God, he waited on The Lord fourteen years to pass on to us. Let God be True and every man a liar who says different to what we find in our Bible.
One can get caught up in searching for books and letters. The important thing is, do we spend much time searching His Word in our Bible and do we put into practice godly principles we read therein? How often do we prayerfully read His Words of Life? They are so important, a Christian man who went to The Lord and was sent back to describe what he had seen in Heaven was instructed by Jesus to tell us to “PRESENT HIS WORDS TO HIM often when we pray.”
They are so important that JESUS saw fit to live by them in His walk on earth and quoted verses from the Old Testament.
May The Lord be with your spirit as you consider these things.
Update: A day after writing this post, I found a website that doubts the authenticity
of this Letter, saying that it was written some time later. Whatever the case
may be, I will leave this Post here because I think the contents of the Letter
are inspiring for our Christian walk, containing necessary elements that
are often left out in the lives of so many Christians in this present
Day and Age - the very time we need to watch out for false teachings and be
Ready for Jesus when He Comes, hey?
TAGS: Importance of the Fear of The Lord, Promises and Reward