According to the first verse of Colossians, the letter is written by Paul, but Timothy is also included as one of the senders of the letter.  Timothy is a very important figure in Paul’s writings. Paul and Timothy were very close.  Timothy was in Corinth on the second journey when Paul wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians. He was at Ephesus on the third journey when Paul wrote 2 Corinthians. He was in Rome during Paul’s first Roman imprisonment, when he wrote Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. You might also notice that two of Paul’s later letters are addressed specifically to him, see 1st and 2nd Timothy. In many ways, Paul and Timothy had been chained together. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “I would rather be chained in a dungeon, wrist to wrist with a Christian than to live forever with the wicked in the sunshine of happiness.” We all know that Paul was beheaded by Nero in about 65 AD.  According to Hebrews 13:23, Timothy was also a prisoner and very likely experienced a similar death.

In the second verse of the first chapter of Colossians, Paul extends a wonderful blessing to his readers. He says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” Paul often wished these two things on his readers.  These two brief words contain everything we need to survive life’s trials, temptations, and troubles. He uses the same greeting for the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Thessalonians, and of course the Colossians. His greetings to Timothy and Titus vary slightly but contain the same concepts. Grace and Peace! Who could ask for more? Grace is most clearly seen in Christ’s work on the cross for sinners. What is deserved, judgment is taken for us on the Cross. What we don’t deserve, forgiveness, happiness, and eternal life is procured for us on the cross. This is Grace. Paul wishes it for us all! John Newton wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace.” As he thought upon the words: “By the grace of God I am what I am,” he said, “I am not what I ought to be. How imperfect and deficient I am! I am not what I wish to be. Though I am not what I ought to be, I can truly say that I am not what I once was—a slave to sin and Satan. I can heartily say with Paul: “By the grace of God I am what I am!”

It’s the apprehension of Grace that settles God’s peace deep within our being. Paul’s prayer is that each of us will comprehend the marvelous depth of God’s grace and that it will settle so deeply within us that no external circumstance could ever unsettle it. He prays for us all in Philippians 4:7, “may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”