The book of Colossians is one of the four prison epistles (along with Ephesians, Philippians and Philemon) written during Paul’s home imprisonment in Rome in the early 60’s A.D. While each of the letters have a specific purpose and message, they are connected. Colossians was written to address the dangerous heresies being entertained in the church at Colossae. The most dangerous of those heresies was an attack on the Deity of Christ. Paul wrote to emphasize the importance of knowing Christ.
1. Walking in His will
Colossians 1:9-10 (CSB) We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God,
Knowledge – epignosis – Deep understanding (1 Peter 3:7 Husbands & Wives)
This was a turning point from the greeting to the purpose since Paul was dealing with the heresies against the Deity of Christ
His message was that you must know Him to walk in His will
2. Growing in His power
Colossians 1:11-14 (CSB) being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. 14 In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Paul was encouraging them to allow their knowledge of God to result in transformation
This transformation was a result of the power of the Gospel
3. Standing in awe of His presence
Colossians 1:15-20 (CSB) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and by him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Paul’s emphasis on the centrality and supremacy of Christ in these verses addressed the heresies head on
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh…
4. Living strong in His truth
Colossians 2:4-10 (CSB) I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with arguments that sound reasonable. 5 For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ. 6 So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in him, 7 being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ. 9 For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, 10 and you have been filled by him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
Paul’s concern stemming from Ephaphras’ report was they would lose their desire to follow Christ because of the false teaching which was prevalent
Vs 9 – fullness (pleroma – the sum total of all that God is, all of His being and attributes)
Weirsbe’s encouragement: ”Why, then would you need anything else?”
5. Being committed to His plan
Colossians 3:1-4 (CSB) So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Again Paul focuses on transformation of the believer
If Christ is truly all we need and all there is, He should be the focus and purpose of our existence
Paul does not mean that we should never think the things upon the earth, but that these should not be our aim, our goal, our master. The Christian has to keep his feet upon the earth, but his head in the heavens. He must be heavenly-minded here on earth and so help to make earth like heaven. – A.T. Robertson