Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Melodic Line of Colossians

This is unashamedly from some training I received from Richard Coekin several years ago.
"The aim of purpose of a text applied to the theme or melodic line of the text will give us the main message of the text."

Consider Colossians 1v3-8
v3: Paul prays for the Colossians with thanksgiving; we conclude it is good to pray with thankfulness.
v4: faith is impressive as is love.
v5: faith, love and hope are the tests of being a Christian
v6: the gospel is true and about the future, the gospel is about grace
v7: we should commend our fellow gospel workers
v8: we should speak well of one another.

All of which are good but what if we locate this passage in Colossians.
1. How does Paul know about the Colossians? (4v12, 1v7, 2v1)
2. What does he think of them? (1v3-5,2v5)
3. What false teaching is he worried about? (2v8,16,18)
4. So what is the primary aim or purpose of this letter? (2v6-7,2v4)
5. And what's the primary theme or melodic line of the letter? (2v6&9,2v16&17,2v18&20)
6. How do the following relate to this melodic line? (1v3=8,1v9-14,1v15-23,1v24-2v5,3v1-4v6)
7. If we apply the melodic line to the purpose of the letter, what's the message of Colossians?
Trying 1v3-8 again:
v3-5a: Paul thanks God for their faith that marks them out and the hope they have stored up - they are true believers not needing any extras.
v5b-6: The gospel is true, you can see it growing globally.
v7: False teachers are saying that Epaphras didn't teach the full gospel, but we say Epaphras is a genuine gospel teacher: In Christ you have all you need!

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