Like the letters to the Ephesians and Philippians,this letter to the Colossians was written by Paul from the prison at Rome. Paul had never been to Colossae a town within 100 miles of Ephesus. While Paul was in Ephesus for two years, visitors from Colossians heard about Paul’s teaching and became Christians.
Collossae was only 12 miles from Loadicea. It was infected with Judaistic Gnosticism,
When Paul heard the community was disturbed with this teaching he writes this letter to Colossians. 1. That Salvation could be obtained only through wisdom answer in Col 1:28; 2.That God did not create the universe directly – but through creating one creature who in turn created another ect. Christ was just another of these creature. Answer in Col 1:15-19; 2:18; 3. Asceticism – avoiding joy of life and practicing self denial. Answer in Col 2:16.23; 4. Licentiousness – Unrestricted immorality. Answer in Col 3:5-9; With the central message 2:9- “For in Him-Jesus, dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”
Chapter 1-2: Doctrinal : “That ye may be filled” chapter one : The preeminence of Christ. In his introduction,Paul links the trinity of graces for believers in v-4.5; Which is Faith-Past tense;Love-Present;Hope-future: Epaphras was a dear fellow servant and minister of Christ. Paul’s prayer in V 9-14; That ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will and that ye might walk worthy. Strengthened unto all patience, also in the next verses five fold salvation in the prayer-partakers of the inheritance of the saints, who hath delivered us from the power of darkness;and has translated into the kingdom of His Son; in whom we have redemption through His blood; Even the forgiveness of sins.The Person of Christ in V15-18; Paul give his full length portrait of our Lord. in V 15-18; 1. The image of the invisible God. 2. The first born of all creation. 3.By Him were all things created. 4.He is before all things, 5.By Him all things consist. 6.He is the head of the body,the Church. 7. The first born from among the dead. This was the Christ which had been preached in Colossians. Christ alone,unites all of these aspects Paul gives in his prayer – that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. Then Paul states three aspects of our Lord in V-19-27; 1.In Him should all foulness dwell. 2. Having made peace through the blood of his Cross. 3. His body – the Church – the mystery which had been hid” The fullness comprehends the Godhead – the Cross the universe – the mystery comprehends all ages – but now is made manifest to his saints. That Mystery is Christ in you,The Hope of Glory
In Chapter 2: The Dangers of Philosophy and Ritual. Paul says Christ is the answer to Philosophy v 1-15. There were at least 5 errors that endangered the church of Colossae. 1. Enticing words. 2. Philosophy 3.Legalism 4. Mysticism. 5. Asceticism. and Paul answers each of these errors: Know who Jesus is V 3 & 9;Know what He has done for you V:14-17; Know who you are as Christians V: 10-12 ; Know what you are to do for Him V:6-7 ;
Chapter 3 and 4 : Practical- Set your affection on things above In these two Chapters , we see the duty of the believers in all areas of life. In relation to the Son of God – 3:1-4; In relation to our personal life 3:5-12; In Relation to the other believers, 3:13-14 ; In relation to the word of God 3:16 ; In relation to the word of God 3:17 ; In relation to home- Wife,Husband,Father and Children 3:18-21 ; In relation to your service 3:22-25 ; In relation to your prayer life 4:2-4 ; In relation to the unsaved 4:5-6.
Paul closes the letter by listing nine leaders associated with his ministry. 1. Tychicus who took the letter to Colossae 2. Onisimus- The runaway slave of Philemon. 3.Aristarchus – A fellow prisoner with Paul. 4 . John Mark – The Apostle. 5. Justus – A co-worker with Paul. 6. Luke – The physician – The author of Luke and Acts. 8 Demus A co worker that eventually forsook Paul. 9. Archippus -The one who assumed the pastorate at Colossae when Ephaphas was imprisoned. And Finally he says remember my bonds V;18.. while his imprisonment was getting severe and he was chained… it is indeed a masterpiece.. of Grace.