Scofield Reference Notes
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
SCOFIELD REFERENCE NOTES (Old Scofield 1917 Edition)
The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians
WRITER. The Apostle Paul (Col 1.1)
DATE. Colossians was sent by the same messenger who bore Ephesians and Philemon, and was probably written at the same time.
THEME. Epaphras, who laboured in the Word in the assembly at Colosse, was Paul's fellow-prisoner at Rome. Doubtless from him Paul learned the state of that church. As to fundamentals that state was excellent (1.3-8), but in a subtle way two forms of error were at work: The first was legality in its Alexandrian form of asceticism, "touch not, taste not," with a trace of the Judaic observance of "days"; the object of which was the mortification of the body (cf Rom 8.13). The second form of error was false mysticism, "intruding into those things which he hath not seen"--the result of philosophic speculation. Because these are ever present perils, Colossians was written, not for that day only, but for the warning of the church in all days.
The Epistle is in seven divisions:
I. Introduction 1.1-8
II. The apostolic prayer 1.9-14
III. The exaltation of Christ, Creator, Redeemer, Indweller 1.15-29
IV. The Godhead incarnate in Christ, in whom the believer is complete. 2.1-23.
V. The believer's union with Christ in resurrection life and glory 3.1-4
VI. Christian living, the fruit of union with Christ, 3.5-4.6
VII. Christian fellowship, 4.7-18
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
Grace (in salvation). vs. 2Th 2:16 Rom 3:24. See Scofield Note: "Jn 1:17".
As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
See Scofield Note: "Rom 3:24".
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Reconciliation. The Greek word signifies "to change thoroughly from," and occurs, Rom 5:10 11:15 1Cor 7:11 2Cor 5:18,19,20. Reconciliation looks toward the effect of the death of christ upon man, as propitiation See Scofield Note: "Rom 3:25", is the Godward aspect, and is that effect of the death of Christ upon the believing sinner which, through divine power, works in him a "thorough change" toward God from enmity and aversion to love and trust. It is never said that God is reconciled. God is propitiated, the sinner reconciled (cf) 2Cor 5:18-21.
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
See Scofield Note: "Mt 13:11".
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
See Scofield Note: "Mt 13:11".
See Scofield Note: "Eph 4:24".
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Margin perfect See Scofield Note: "Mt 5:48".
Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.