THE APOSTLE PAUL'S LETTER TO THE CHURCH OF COLOSSEA
(Written from Rome about 61AD)
Ruins at Colossae
THEME OF COLOSSIANS
Colossians expresses the extraordinary place and purpose of Christ in God's redemptive plan.
It might be of interest that many of the points covered in this letter, are also found in the letter to the Ephesians.
SHORT-PHRASE OF COLOSSIANS
– The writers main argument simplified –
We have taken each chapter of Colossians and summarised the core message in a short-phrase (shortened paraphrase). That creates a condensed version of Paul's main train of thought. We suggest you go through this summary, before reading the full text through in your Bible.
We thank God ever since we heard of your faith and love for the saints because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven. For this reason we do not cease to pray for you that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him. Strengthened with all might according to His power, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to partake of the inheritance of the saints. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood. He is the image of the invisible God. By Him all things were created, He is before all things and in Him all things consist. He is the the head of the body, the first begotten of the dead, that in all things He might have preeminence. For it please the Father that in His Son all the fullness should dwell and by His death to reconcile all things back to God God wished to make known this mystery among the Gentiles – that is, Christ in you, the hope of glory.
I have such conflict for you, that your hearts may be encouraged and knit together in love, in full understanding of the riches and assurance of the Father and of Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom. Walk in Christ, rooted and built up in Him. Beware that no one cheats you through philosophy and empty words according to the ways of man and not Christ. For in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily and you are complete in Him. In Him you were circumcised by the circumcision made without hands, by being buried with Christ in baptism and raised with Him through faith in the working of God. Having been dead in your trespasses He has made you alive in Christ. Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us He has nailed it to the cross. And has disarmed principalities and powers and triumphed over them on the cross. Let no one judge you by what you eat or drink or by festivals which are a shadow of things to come but the substance is of Christ.
COLOSSE AFTER PAUL'S LETTER
The Cities Paul's letters were written to.
(These original letters were still in their respective churches more than 150 years later and probably survived until Roman Emperor Diocletian made a point of destroying them around 300AD).
We have many known references, quotes and endorsements of the letter to Colossians from the earliest days of the church. These include from roughly 200AD: Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Irenaeus, and the Muratorian Fragment (180 AD), then by Origen (250AD) and Eusebius (300AD).