AUTHOR: Paul
DATE: 61-62 AD
Key Message: The Supremacy of Christ

Colosse was a Roman city of Asia Minor located about 100 miles east of Ephesus and near Laodicea and Hierapolis (4:13). It had been a prosperous commercial center but was in decline. Jewish legalism, Greek philosophy, and Oriental mysticism existed in Colosse and the combining of various ideas, beliefs, and practices (syncretism) prevailed.  Specifics included dietary and Sabbath observances and circumcision rites (2:11, 16), the worship of angels (2:18), and the practice of asceticism, which stemmed from the belief that the body was inherently evil (2:21-23).

Like Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon, Colossians was written during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome.  Paul was personally unacquainted with the believers in Colosse (Col 2:1) but learned of the problems in the church from Epaphras. Tychicus delivered the letter (Col. 4:7), in which Paul’s message to the Colossians was clear: Christ is preeminent.  Paul wrote of the cosmic significance of Christ as Lord of Creation and Head of the Church (Col 1:15-23), and he exhorted that any teaching or practice that detracts from the centrality and supremacy of Christ is heresy(Col 2:8-23).  He also encouraged the Colossians by writing or their union with Christ (Col 3:1-4). 

OUTLINE OF COLOSSIANS

I. Introduction, 1:1-14

A. Greetings, 1:1-2
B. Gratitude for the Colossians’ Faith, 1:3-8
C. Prayer for the Colossians’ Growth, 1:9-14

II. The Exalted Christ, 1:15-29

A. Christ’s Character, 1:15-23
B. Christ’s Commission to Paul, 1:24-29

III. The Exalted Christianity, 2:1-23

A. Exalted over Philosophy, 2:1-10
B. Exalted over Legalism, 2:11-17
C. Exalted over Mystical Teaching, 2:18-19
D. Exalted over Asceticism, 2:20-23

IV. The Exalted Calling, 3:1-4:6

A. The Certainties of Our Calling, 3:1-4
B. The Characteristics of Our Calling, 3:5-4:6

1. In everyday life, 3:5-17
2. In the home, 3:18-21
3. In slave-master relationships, 3:22-4:1
4. In prayers, 4:2-4
5. In witness and speech, 4:5-6

V. Concluding Personal Remarks, 4:7-18

 

Colossians

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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