1 Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ who are at Colosse: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 for the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 which has come to you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it also does in you, since the day you heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.
- Hope of eternal life and all that God has promised with it.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and have sat down with my Father in his throne.
7 As you also learned from Epaphras our dear fellow-servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ for you; 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. 9 Because since the day we heard it, we do not stop praying for you, and desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding 10 so that you walk worthy of the Lord pleasing him in all ways, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Knowledge of God humbles man’s pride and brings awe and reverence for our Maker—worship. The universe and God’s word are full of the truths about Him.
God has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance
He strengthens us with His glorious power
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, to all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
- God’s power is so glorious that He created all things by simply speaking.
- Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 9 he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
Jesus bought us back to God and forgave us by His blood
He is the image of the invisible God and firstborn of every creature
God created all things by Him
He is before all things and holds all things together
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 for by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
- ‘Consist’ means hold together. He holds together the particles of matter that make all things.
The eternal Father fully dwells in Jesus Christ
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that among all/in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that all fullness dwell in him; 20 and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by evil doings, he has now reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and without charge in his sight: 23 if you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven; of which I Paul am made a minister.
- If you do not continue, you are not doomed to hell, but you are not holy and unblamable.
- “Without charge” means God has no legal charges to bring against you.
- Every creature has heard God’s message of forgiveness.
- All beings in heaven and earth, including angels and demons, are forgiven if they believe, because of Christ’s death for all sin.
- God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation is received by faith.
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up what is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: 25 of which I am made a minister, according to the stewardship from God which is given to me for you, to fulfill/fully preach the word of God; 26 even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is revealed to his saints: 27 to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope/confidence of glory: 28 whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man complete in Christ Jesus: 29 for which I also labor, struggling according to his working, which works in me in power.
- Christ suffered to bring salvation.
- His ministers suffer to spread that truth.
- The great mystery is Christ Himself in us.
- That is the riches of glory.
- Not that we become like Him for that would be cause for boasting but rather that He is in us, we are in Him—Life’s most astounding opportunity and privilege.
- Colossians 2:10 you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:
In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
1 I want you to know what great conflict I have for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for all those that have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And I say this so that no man beguiles you with enticing words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 Therefore as you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him: 7 rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
- We have to know the truth before we can believe the truth.
- Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
He completes us
8 Watch that no man rob you through philosophy and empty deception, after the tradition of men, after the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
- In Christ is all the treasure.
- Works puff up pride.
- We can’t be full of God and ourselves at the same time.
- Adam and Eve were incomplete in the garden, that’s why they could be tempted.
- They were not designed to be complete in one another.
- God stated that the purpose of the woman was not to complete the man, but ‘not good that man should be alone.’
- If they had been complete in God, they would have been more than content, and therefore not temptable.
11 in whom you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 buried with him in baptism, in which you also are risen with him through faith in the working of God, who has raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
- The power of the world, the flesh, and the devil are continually broken by Christ’s victory through our faith.
- The Greek verb tense says that this was done at one point in time and doesn’t need to be repeated.
14 blotting out the list of charges that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 and having stripped principalities and powers, he made a exhibited them openly, triumphing over them in it.
- In ancient times an itemized list of the prisoner’s crimes was nailed to his cell door.
- Christ took God’s list for everyone and nailed it to His cross and paid all, everything.
- When Christ ascended into heaven He paraded the enemies He’d defeated before the crowds, He rejoiced, triumphed over them and gave their possessions to others.
- This was prophesied in Psalms and quoted in Ephesians.
- Psalm 68:18 You have ascended on high, you led captivity captive: you received gifts for men; yes, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
- Ephesians 4:8 Therefore he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.
- Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
16 So do not let any man judge you in food, or in drink, or regarding a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and worshipping of angels, pushing into things he has not seen, puffed up without cause in his fleshly mind, 19 and not firmly holding the Head, from whom all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, grows with a growth which is from God.
- Seeing God through scripture humbles our hearts.
- Man can only think one thought at a time.
- If we are trying to humble ourselves then that is our thought.
- It is of us and for our glory.
- If we are thinking of God, we will automatically be humbled and realize that we have nothing to be proud about.
- We didn’t create the universe. We don’t sustain the universe and all life.
- Verse 19 tells how, ‘holding to the Head,’ which is Christ.
- Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Acts 11:23 exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cling to the Lord.
20 Therefore if you are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you submitting to ordinances, such as 21 (Do not touch; do not taste; do not handle; 22 which all refer to things that perish with use;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement, and severe treatment of the body; but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
- In Elijah’s time the false worshippers cut themselves with lances until the blood gushed out.
- Our growth and works are the work of God.
- Like sheep just eat grass to produce wool, we learn of God through His word and are transformed into His image.
- Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
Our life is hid with Christ in God
1 If you then are raised with Christ (and you are), keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, appears, you also will appear with him in glory.
- God’s glory is described in Ezekiel 1, Revelation 1 and 4.
- God considers our resurrection a completed act, something that is already done.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, worthless longings, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience: 7 in them you also once walked, when you lived in them. 8 But now put them aside: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
- Covetousness wants the golden egg while God offers the goose that lays the golden eggs and all the golden eggs.
- Anything we desire besides God is way less than having God.
Christ is all and in all
9 Do not lie to one another, because you have put off the old self with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new, who is being renewed to a true/full knowledge according to the image of him that created him: 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also should you. 14 And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of completeness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful.
- Peace in our heart is God’s sign of rightness. Unrest, hustle, and distraction are His sign that something is not right.
- Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, say the LORD, to the wicked.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or work, do all in the name/person of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father through him. 18 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, so that they will not lose heart.
Christ’s reward is the inheritance
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 and whatever you do, do it from the soul, as to the Lord, and not to men; 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that does wrong will receive for the wrong he has done: and there is no respect of persons.
- Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Truly I perceive that God is no respecter of persons
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Jesus is our Master in heaven
1 Masters, give to your servants what is just and equal; knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. 2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching with thanksgiving; 3 praying together about us, that God would open to us a door of the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 that I may make it as clear as I ought to. 5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.
- The gift of God’s matchless grace is what should be spoken of first and then a warning about hell to those who reject God’s free gift of forgiveness in Christ.
- The mystery was revealed earlier in the letter.
- Colossians1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
7 Tychicus, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord, will make known to you all the things about me: 8 whom I have sent to you for the same purpose, that he might know about your circumstances, and comfort your hearts; 9 with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things that are done here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner salutes you, and Marcus, cousin to Barnabas, (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, receive him;) 11 And Jesus, who is called Justus, these are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision, who have been a comfort to me.
- Revelation 4:1 a door was opened in heaven…and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne…was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like an emerald.
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him record, that he has a great zeal for you, and those that are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. 15 Salute the brothers who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in his house. 16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and in the same way, read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, Look to the ministry that you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it. 18 The salutation by my hand, Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
SUMMARY: Colossians 1-4
- God has made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance
- He strengthens us with His glorious power
- Jesus bought us back to God and forgave us by His blood
- He is the image of the invisible God and firstborn of every creature
- God created all things by Him
- He is before all things and holds all things together
- The eternal Father fully dwells in Jesus Christ
- In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
- He completes us
- Our life is hid with Christ in God
- Christ is all and in all
- Christ’s reward is the inheritance
- Jesus is our Master in heaven