Introduction to the Book of Colossians
• The Content of Colossians
- This book address some very important and current issues such as, false religion, the church, creation, end times, family and social life, and above all, the person of Jesus Christ.
- It addresses the heresies of Mystical Religion, Legalism, and Gnosticism.
- As Paul does in most of His epistles, The first half of the letter is doctrinal, and the second half is practical
• The Concept, or theme, of Colossians
- The Supremacy of Christ
- Col 1:15-19
- The Sufficiency of Christ
- Col 2:9-10
I. Paul the Apostle 1
A. Paul was in prison when he wrote this epistle
Other prison epistles are Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon
B. Paul was an Apostle
1. Paul declares his Apostleship to give weight to the defense of the truth
2. “by the will of God”, brings an added note of weight. It says, if you reject this doctrine, you reject God’s messenger and God Himself.
C. Timothy was most likely a secretary for Paul seeing that He used the personal pronoun, “I”, throughout the rest of the book.
II. People and Place of Colossi
A. The Place
1. Colosse was a “used to be” town that was on the decline.
2. It was a main route of trade, but had been over shadowed by Laodocia and Hierapolis it’s close neighbors.
3. It was 100 miles east of Ephesus, from where the gospel most likely came to Colosse
B. The People
1. The Saved
a. Paul did not found this church 2:1
b. It was started during His ministry at Ephesus Acts 19
- Acts 19:10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
c. It was started by a man named Epaphras. 1:6-7
(i.) He was a convert during Paul’s 3 year ministry in Ephesus
(ii.) He was most likely from Colosse and went home after hearing the gospel and started the church.
d. The book of Philemon is closely related to Colossians
(i.) The story of Philemon and Onesimus
- Phi. 1:1-2 Colosse was where Philemon lived and the church there was in his home
(ii) Col 4:7-10 Onesimus, and other companions came to the church with this letter and the letter to Philemon in their hands
2. The Citizens of Colosse
a. There was a large Jewish community there
(i.) With it came the legalism and Judaism that was affecting the church
(ii.) Legalism is the attempt to be accepted by God through good works
b. Roman idolatry was there.
c. Because of the past traffic that would flow through the city there was a mix of religious belief and practice
d. Mysticism was big in Colosse
e. Gnosticism seemed to be a threat to the church.
(i.) This was the belief that supernatural knowledge was given to the favored
(ii.) They believed that all material was evil, and the spiritual was all good.
(iii.) This led to the forsaking of the body from food, drink, physical relationship, and other things.
(iv.) They denied the Deity of Christ
3. This was the heresies Paul was confronting in this Letter
III. Prayer of the Apostle for the People 1:9-10
A. You can hear his intent to refute mysticism and Gnosticism
1. He prays for true understanding for them 9
2. He prays for true wisdom for them 9
3. He prays for spiritual understanding for them 9
B. You can hear his intent to refute legalism in verse 10
A. Jesus is Sufficient for our salvation and our sanctification
B. The book of Colossians tells us that to the problems, and questions, and crisis of our age, Jesus is the answer and he is all you need!