Colossians - Error Dealt With

  • This letter was written by Paul while he was imprisoned at Rome.
  • In the first two chapters, we find what Christ did for us, and in the last two chapters we find what Christ does through us.
  • The first half of the book is doctrinal and the second half is practical. It shows how Christ needs to be first in everything and that the Christian life should reflect that priority.
  • The purpose of this letter was to refute error in the church. Some believers were attempting to combine elements of paganism and secular philosophy with Christian doctrine.
  • The error against which Paul warned in this book later became known as Gnosticism.
  • There is no record that Paul had ever been to Colossae, but he was well acquainted there.
  • Epaphras seems to have been the one who established the church at Colossae (1:6-7). He was one of Paul’s co-laborers and was probably converted in Ephesus during Paul’s stay there.
  • The city of Colossae was located about one hundred miles west of Ephesus in a district of Asia Minor (now modern Turkey).
  • This city was built along the Lycus River and was one of three population centers that flourished in that region. Laodicea and Hieropolis were the other two cities.
  • This letter was delivered to the church by Tychicus and Onesimus (4:7-9), who also took letters to the Ephesians and Philemon (Ephesians 6:21).
  • This letter contains great doctrines of the Gospel and was to be read aloud in the churches.
  • It seems that the Colossian church was composed mainly of Gentile converts (1:21; 2:11, 13).
  • This letter shows how relationships inside and outside the home should demonstrate daily the transformation that faith in Jesus Christ makes in the walk of the believer.

A simple outline for the book is:

  1. The truth about Christ (chapter 1).
  2. The truth about cults (chapter 2).
  3. The truth about Christians (chapters 3-4).