Colossians – Fullness in Christ

Paul’s introduction to the Colossians includes a greeting, a note of thanksgiving, and a prayer for spiritual wisdom and strength for these brothers and sisters in Christ. He then moves into a doctrinal discussion of the person and work of Christ, stating that Christ is “the image of the invisible God”, the Creator, and the “head of the body, the church”, and the “beginning of the firstborn from among the dead”. His death on the cross makes it possible for us to stand in the presence of God.

In this letter Paul clearly teaches that Christ has paid for sin, that Christ has reconciled us to God, and that Christ gives us the pattern and the power to grow spiritually. Because Christ is the exact likeness of God, when we learn what he is like, we see what we need to become. Since Christ is Lord over all creation, we should crown him Lord over our lives. Since Christ is the head of the body, his church, we should nurture of vital connection to him.

Read Colossians as a book for an embattled church in the first century, but read it also for its timeless truth. Gain a fresh appreciation for Christ as the fullness of God and the only source for living the Christian life. Know that he is your leader, head, and power source, and make sure of your connection with him.

Written by Paul, in the company of Timotheus (Timothy) – (Colossians 1:1), having been commissioned of God with an apostleship (job) in the dispensation of grace to write a book.

Date Written:
During the two years that Paul was in his own hired house (A. D. 61-63), continuing to preach the kingdom of God (Acts 28:31). Paul wrote Colossians at about the same time that Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark. Written from Rome, during Paul’s imprisonment

To Whom Written:
To “the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse” (Colossians 1:2). A city in Asia Minor.

The purpose of the book of Colossians was to address the doctrines of false teachers. Paul had heard of the new believers in Colosse who had believed without seeing (signs) in the new dispensation of grace. He thanked God for them, but was writing them because of the misleading of certain false teachers. Many think these were Gnostics, a group who claimed secret knowledge through angels or other powerful beings the called aions (out-flowing sources of “truth” that only the initiated supposedly had access to). There is some question, however, as to whether the Gnostics really were a problem among the believers in the first century. It any rate, the Colossians were being urged to worship angels and look to principalities and powers rather than to Christ. Others were promoting the keeping of religious works and tenets of Judaism, such as keeping of feasts and dietary laws. Instead Paul urged the Colossians to a religionless faith in Christ. Then, he advised them as to the worthy walk of the believer, with teachings very similar to those represented in the last three chapters of Ephesians.

Complete Outline:
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