I. Introduction. A. The primary purpose of this letter was to guard the church against the false teachers of false philosophy. 1. The first half of the letter is doctrinal (1:12 to 2:23). 2. The second half of the letter is practical (3:1 to 4:18). B. Greeting and gratefulness for their faith (1:1-2). 1. The letter was from Paul, an apostle of Jesus, and Timothy, the brother (1:1). 2. To the saved and the faithful in the city of Colossae, a city of Asia Minor near the town of Laodicea (1:2). 3. He wishes for them grace and peace from Jehovah and from Jesus (1:2). C. Paul's prayer for them (1:3-11). 1. Thanksgiving for their faith and love for the saints (1:3-4). 2. Thankful for the hope of an eternal reward (1:5). 3. The gospel was the foundation of the hope of future reward (1:5). 4. The gospel had come to Colosae and to all the world (1:6). 5. The gospel brings forth the fruit of the knowledge of the grace (gifts) of God (1:6). a. Their faithful preacher was Epaphras (1:7). b. Paul had learned about the church in Colosae from Epaphras (1:8). 6. Paul prayed they might: a. Be filled with knowledge, spiritual wisdom, and understanding (1:9). b. Walk worthily of the Lord (1:10). c. Bear fruit in every good work (1:10). d. Be strengthened with all power (1:11). e. Be patient and longsuffering with joy (1:11). II. Doctrinal Part of the Letter (1:12 to 2:23). A. Exhortation to be thankful for salvation (1:12-29). 1. The Father made us sufficient to partake of heaven (1:12). 2. The Father translated the saved out of the world of sin, and into the kingdom of his dear Son (1:13). 3. In Christ is forgiveness of sins (1:14). 4. Jesus is: (1:15-19). a. The image of the invisible God (1:15). b. The firstborn of all creation (1:15). c. Creator of all things (created through and unto him) (1:16). d. Before all things (eternal) and by him all things stand together (1:17). e. Head of the church (1:18). f. Preeminent--to be first (1:18). g. God in the completeness of his being (1:19). B. The great blessing of reconciliation in Jesus is made known through the gospel (1:20-23). 1. Through Jesus, the Father changes the sinner from enemy to friend (reconciles the lost). Men are invited to be reconciled to Jehovah--to change their attitude, and accept the provision God had made (1:20). a. The reconciliation is by the blood of the cross (1:20). b. The result of reconciliation is peace (1:20). 2. The lost are corrupt in mind and evil in works (1:21). 3. The sinner may come back to God and be made holy, without blemish and unreprovable by Jesus' death on the cross (1:22). 4. It is necessary to continue in the faith (1:23). a. Grounded in the hope of the exciting news of salvation (1:23). b. The gospel was preached throughout the world (1:23). C. The service and persecution of Paul (1:24-29). 1. Paul rejoiced in his suffering because it served the highest interest of the church, which is Jesus' body, for which Paul gladly faced afflicted (1:24). 2. Paul served sinners because of the stewardship given to him according to the will of God (1:25). 3. The revealed mystery is that God is willing to save all the nations--not just the Jews (1:26-29). a. Christ is also in the Gentiles as the hope of glory (1:27). b. Paul preached Jesus to all men that all might be made complete in Christ (1:28). c. Paul labored--toiled to the point of weariness--to teach the whole world the truth of the gospel (1:29). D. Exhortation to steadfastness (2:1-10). 1. The importance of the subject (2:1-7). a. The apostle loved the lost and sought their salvation-- even those he had never met (2:1). b. Paul wanted them to have comfort, love, and the full assurance that the gospel is for all (2:2). c. In Christ all spiritual wisdom and knowledge is deposited (2:3). d. Do not let false teachers fool you with their fair speech (2:4). e. Though I cannot be with you physically, I think of you and am happy because you have a clear-headed understanding, and therefore, have a strong foundation (2:5). f. Stay with the truth you received (2:6-7). 2. Warning against false teachers (2:8-10). a. There is an ever-present danger of being spoiled by those who claim to love truth, but follow empty words, the teaching of men, and all that is opposed to God (2:8). b. In Christ is the fullness of perfection and the government of deity. If you have Christ--the gospel--you do not need any other teaching. The fullness of the divine is in Jesus (2:9). c. In Christ you have full perfection (2:10). E. You have everything you need in Christ (2:11-15). 1. In Christ you have a circumcision not made with hands (2:11) a. This circumcision is the putting off of the sinful body of the flesh (2:11). b. It is the work of Christ (not the work of man--not made with hands) (2:11). 2. The circumcision not made with hands--putting off the body of flesh--occurred in baptism (2:12). a. It is a co-burial and a co-ressurrection--you are buried with Christ and you are raised with Christ (2:12). b. This is accomplished because of your faith in the work God does in your burial and resurrection (2:12). 3. You were dead in sin, but are now alive in Christ (2:13). 4. Gentiles are saved without submitting to the Jewish law (2:14). a. The bond written in ordinances that opposed Gentiles and preferred Jews, is removed (2:14). b. Jesus nailed that Old Covenant to his cross (2:14) 5. Jesus gives both Jew and Gentile victory over the devil and his angels in the triumph of calvary (2:15). F. Evils to be avoided (2:16-23). 1. Do not be bound by the requirement of the Jewish law (2:16). a. The Jewish law was a shadow (2:16). b. The substance is Christ--the new covenant (2:17. 2. Salvation does not come by: (2:18) a. Your own suffering--crawling over broken glass or lying on beds of nails (2:18). b. Worshipping angels (2:18). c. The worthlessness of human wisdom (2:18). d. Salvation comes by holding fast to Christ (2:19). 3. If you died and were buried with Christ in baptism and raised with him to a new life, do not follow worthless things (2:20-23). a. Human ordinances (2:20). b. Austerities (2:21). c. Things which may appear to be clever, but have no value in warring against the enemies of the soul (2:22-23). III. Practical Part of the Letter (3:1 to 4:18). A. You died and were buried and were raised with Christ to be a new creature (3:1-4) 1. Think about heaven, not earth (3:2). 2. You are dead to sin and alive to God (3:3). 3. When Jesus comes again he shall appear a second time apart from sin unto salvation, and worldly things will perish (3:4). B. Stay away from evil (3:5-11). 1. Avoid sexual impurity of every kind, filth (keep your house clean), intemperate affection, evil thoughts, and greed--love of money which is worship of mammon, or idolatry (3:5). 2. God will punish every vile thing (3:6). 3. You once lived by the rule of moral decadence (3:7). 4. But now, put all wrong away (3:8-9). a. This includes anger, wrath, malice, railing and vulgar talk (3:8). b. The old man of sin has bean crucified with Christ, therefore, tell the truth (3:9). 5. Follow Christ as your generous creator and do not be biased against other humans (3:10-11). C. Things children of God must do (3:12-25). 1. Follow what is true and right (3:12-15). 2. Let the word of Christ live in you, and teach and admonish one another to love and good works (3:16-16). 3. Do only those things Christ approves (3:17). 5. Wives obey your husbands (3:18). 6. Husbands love you wives (3:19). 7. Children obey your parents (3:20). 8. Fathers, do not provoke and discourage your children (3:21). 9. Slaves, offer sincere obedience to your masters (3:22-24). a. Do not chaff and be resentful (3:23). b. Christ will come and reward you (3:24). c. Christ will punish evil doers (3:25). 10. Masters, be fair to your slaves knowing you have a master in heaven to whom you must give an answer (4:1). D. Various admonitions (4:2-6) 1. Continue in prayer (4:2-4). 2. Walk in wisdom toward those outside of Christ (4:5). 3. Buy back the opportunities (4:5). 4. Let your speech be with grace (4:6). 5. Know how to answer each one (4:6). E. Tychicus and Onesimus would come to them and bring additional information about Paul's condition (4:7-9). F. Closing remarks and blessing (4:10-18).
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