Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. (Colossians 4:16)
We Have The Whole Book
For most of us it is not unusual to have a Bible in the home. In many homes there are multiple copies. Technology has advanced so much the whole Bible can be found on our smart phones, computers, IPads and internet. Never in the history of man has the revealed word of God been as available to man as it is today. I am not sure how many languages the Bible has been translated into but it must be more than we can imagine. In the days of Paul this was not true. The ‘Old Testament’ as we call it was in complete form. Jesus referred to it as “the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” The ‘New Testament’ was in the process of being written.
What is so important about our text today is to realize the churches of the first century had to borrow letters from one another. We know that books like Colossians is written to a church in the city of Colosse; Ephesians to the church in Ephesus; Philippians to the body of Christ in Philippi; and so forth. There are many letters and epistles of Paul (for example) we do not have today. But what we do have to day is the whole collection. The completed revelation of God’s redemption of man. I can only imagine what Paul would have done with the mode of transportation today along with a Bible in his hand!
The early churches had to share letters from one another and the gospel was spread all over the world. We have the Bible from Genesis to the Revelation in one book – how are we doing with that? They did not have computers to write letters to one another and yet they spread the gospel everywhere. Everything was written by hand on parchments. We have the whole book. How are we doing with that? May we use the blessing of the completely revealed word of God to share with our neighbors in spite of the fact that – unlike in the early church – we have the whole book.
If you see a Bible that is falling apart, it probably belongs to someone who isn’t. (Vance Havner)