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Introduction to the Book. Authorship Paul (in the company of Timothy 1:1) Paul includes a handwritten greeting at the end of the book (4:18) Why is Paul’s handwriting important or significant? . Introduction to the Book.

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introduction to the book
Introduction to the Book
  • Authorship
    • Paul (in the company of Timothy 1:1)
    • Paul includes a handwritten greeting at the end of the book (4:18)
  • Why is Paul’s handwriting important or significant?
introduction to the book1
Introduction to the Book

Colosse was located 100 miles east of Ephesus, and was one of three closely-situated cities (with Hierapolis and Laodicea).

The other two cities were known for pleasure, trade, recreation, and politics.

introduction to the book2
Introduction to the Book

Colossae was simply known as a small town.

Colossae eventually fell into disrepair and the city of Chonae occupied its ruins.

Paul apparently never visited Colosse.

introduction to the book3
Introduction to the Book

Colosse had mostly a pagan population with a strong intermixing of Jews.

In 62 B.C., there were 11,000 Jews intermingled in the tri-city area.

This explains the duality of the problems the church there faced.

introduction to the book4
Introduction to the Book
  • Epaphras either founded this church, or was instrumental in its establishment (1:7)
  • Epaphras is with Paul at the time of this book’s writing.
    • He is likely a native of Colosse, being called “one of you” in 4:12.
introduction to the book5
Introduction to the Book
  • Church leadership?
    • Deduced to be Philemon.
    • The letter to Philemon deals with the reconciliation of Onesimus (the slave) to Philemon (the master).
    • Onesimus is identified as “one of you” by Paul in Colossians 4:9, completing the linkage.
setting of the book
Setting of the Book

This is one of four “prison epistles.”

Likely written during Paul’s imprisonment in Rome between 61 and 63 A.D.

purpose of the book
Purpose of the Book

The condition of the church seemed mostly favorable (1:4-5).

Paul warns against a relapse into paganism as well as pointed warnings about four particular areas of heresy.

the colossian heresy
“The Colossian Heresy”

Human Philosophy

Judaistic Ceremonialism

Angel Worship


paul s priorities
Paul’s Priorities
  • This letter is meant to instruct, rebuke, and correct. Yet, what comes first in Paul’s letter?
    • Thanking God for them.
    • Praying for them.
    • Commending them for their faith.
    • Commending them for their fruit.
    • Commending them for their growth.
epaphras report
Epaphras’ Report

Epaphras, with Paul at the writing of this letter, has brought news about the Church in Colosse.

Tells Paul about their “love in the Spirit.”

Seems careful to have balanced good news with bad news.

pre correction activities
Pre-Correction Activities
  • Paul indicates that some time has passed since receiving the news. Before correction comes in this letter, what groundwork does Paul lay?
    • He “has not stopped praying” for them.
    • He goes to God first.
    • Reminds them of the positive (The Gospel) in advance of correction.
the heart of the matter
The Heart of the Matter
  • Paul touches on the core fear acting as a stumbling block to the Colossians in 1:13. What is it?
    • “The Dominion of Darkness”
  • What might this phrase mean?

Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."


Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

John 14:5-9

the christ supremacy
The Christ Supremacy
  • Seeing Christ = Seeing God The Father
  • Christ = Creator
  • Are you stuck on the imagery of a linear Trinity?
    • God > Jesus > Holy Spirit
the christ supremacy1
The Christ Supremacy
  • Understanding Christ’s completeness in the Trinity unlocks:
    • His power over creation
    • His dominion over things seen and unseen
    • His authority over rulers and authorities (1:16)
the christ supremacy2
The Christ Supremacy
  • Paul describes Jesus as:
    • The firstborn over all creation.
    • The firstborn from among the dead.
  • For what reason?
false thinking at colosse
False Thinking at Colosse
  • Paul’s proclamations of Christ a directly combating philosophical poison present in the church:
    • Matter is evil.
    • God could not have created earth because evil exists in it.
    • Christ is one of many pathways to God.
    • Salvation comes from special knowledge.
summing it up
Summing it Up…

In Christ, we are without blemish and free from accusation.

Our part of the bargain is to hold fast in our faith, not moving from the hope we have in the Gospel.

challenge questions
Challenge Questions

What challenges you in how Paul and Epaphras prepared to deliver correction to their fellow believers?

What limitations have you consciously or subconsciously placed on Christ?

Are there any ideas or philosophies in your mind that are not subservient to Christ?