Summary of the Book of Colossians
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.
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 dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (2:9).
…by him to reconcile all things unto himself… (1:20).
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His 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.
Chapters 3-4 – Paul encourages the church to focus on God, and keep their eyes on the goal,
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (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,
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (3:13).
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful (3:14-15).