All too often Christians and churches are shaped by the latest ideas about Christianity instead of the timeless truths of the Bible which form its true foundation. Although what has become known as the ‘Colossian problem’ was tied to a particular place and time, the issues bound up with it have surfaced again and again throughout the ages – thus what was happening in Colossae in 60 A.D. has a lot to say to us in the twenty-first century.
Paul’s little letter to Philemon is intimately connected to Colossians, and is one of those often-overlooked gems of the Bible. The respective messages of these two letters are closely related, and some of what Paul had broadly set out to the Colossians is developed in detail in his letter to Philemon, who was a member of that church.
Let’s Study Colossians and Philemon will help readers to see the horizons of both letters as extending to the church of all ages. Paul shows us that the acid test of the spiritual health of a church is whether or not Christ is at its heart – not just in some vague and general sense, but Christ in all his glory as he is set before us in God’s Word.
‘Mark Johnston’s Let’s Study Colossians and Philemon is packed tight with informed insight, clear and concise summaries of otherwise complex issues, and relevant and wide-ranging application. Designed to aid Bible Study, this book should prove a first choice resource. All who follow the author’s fast-flowing argument and analysis will find their heads cleared, their affections engaged and their hearts strengthened. I cannot commend it too highly. Essential reading.’ — DEREK W. H. THOMAS
‘I am very pleased to commend Mark Johnston’s study of Colossians and Philemon. It admirably meets the goal of this series to provide sound exposition with application based on high quality scholarship for readers who are not technically trained in biblical studies. A decided plus are the carefully prepared study guides that provide a valuable resource for both individual and group study.’ — RICHARD B. GAFFIN JR.
‘Mark Johnston walks us through the mountain peaks and deep valleys of Paul’s teachings like a friendly tour guide, drawing from much study but speaking on a level we can understand. However he leads us on no mere aimless, spiritual tourism, but guides us on the only path to escape the wrath of God and enter the fullness of His grace. Paul’s epistle to the Colossians boldly declares the centrality, supremacy, and sufficiency of Christ for every step of this journey. The epistle to Philemon shows us how knowing Christ transforms relationships. The message of both epistles is sorely needed, for the church of Christ constantly faces temptations to shift its attention from Christ to man-made religion and spirituality, with a resulting loss of practical love.’ — JOEL BEEKE