The U.S. Secret Service has a website telling us how to detect counterfeit money before we’re swindled. The key is knowing the qualities of genuine bills, the lifelike nature of the portrait, the distinctive depiction of the seal, the fine lines of the border, the singular style of the serial numbers, and the tiny fibers embedded in the paper. By knowing the genuine article, we can spot forgeries.
In the same way, we detect heresy by knowing true biblical doctrine. That’s the approach Paul took in this little letter of four chapters.
A man named Epaphras had planted the Colossian church during Paul’s prolonged ministry in Ephesus. Some years later, Epaphras grew distressed when error crept into the church.
By then Paul was imprisoned in Rome, so Epaphras visited him to share his heartache. In response, Paul wrote this letter in which he went on theological offense, describing Jesus Christ in all His glory, declaring that Christ is the image of the invisible God.
Paul proclaimed that Christ alone is enough. No other person, knowledge, or system is needed.
- The first two chapters of Colossians are theological in nature;
- the last two are practical, telling us how to live out the truth of Christ in daily life by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The right truth leads to the right testimony. Correct doctrine leads to a winning walk. The more we focus on Jesus, the more our hearts overflow with the reality that in all things He must have the preeminence.
Jesus Christ is Lord of all, sufficient for all our needs and worthy of all our worship and obedience.
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
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” (Col 1:15,18).
Since we’ve been raised with Christ, we must set our hearts on things above, where Christ reigns (Col 3:1).