Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Colossians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison). Paul wrote it circa 60-62 A.D. The key personalities include Paul, Timothy, Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, and Epaphras. It was written to counter and respond to heretical teachings and encourage believers to serve with fervor and passion.
The basic problem was a Judaic-Gnostic heresy that sought to mix Greek philosophy with Christian theology. Gnostic philosophy taught that matter was evil. In order to avoid having their pure god create evil, they had created a system of lesser deities that overflowed from their god. These lesser gods were far enough removed from the pure god that they were able to create the universe (which was composed of evil matter).
They named this lesser deity the Jehovah God of the Hebrews.
• In chapters 1-2, Paul sends words of thanks to the faithful believers “who are at Colosse”. Paul did not establish the Colossian Church and had never visited there. He teaches one of the most powerful passages attributing the divinity of Jesus Christ who is God in flesh. It is apparent that false teachers were spreading heresy by rejecting the deity of Jesus Christ, probably teaching that He was just a “unique man”. Paul warns not to allow anyone to lead them astray with Philosophy, trickery, or by traditions of men. Paul then assured the church that Jesus is God, “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (2:9), and that He, “reconciled all things unto Himself’ (1:20), and He did it by, “having nailed it to the cross” (2:14) referring to our sins. Because Jesus Christ is God,
He was able to pay the penalty of sin in order to rescue mankind.
• In chapters 3-4, Paul encourages the church to focus on God, and keep their eyes on the goal, “set your mind on the things above” (3:2). He teaches believers how to live at home, how to manage family matters, and how to get along with other believers in Christ. His approach is for believers to put aside the petty situations that become obstacles in our lives, ultimately slow us down, and prevent the spread of the Gospel. Paul then explains what it means to forgive, "just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you" (3:13). Paul declares, "Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts" (3:14-15)