Paul wrote to the church in Colossae to fortify it against false teachers who might try to impose strict rules about eating and drinking and religious festivals. Paul shows the superiority of Christ over all human philosophies and traditions. He writes of Christ’s deity (“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” [1:15]) and of the reconciliation he accomplished with his blood. He explains that the right way of living in this world is to focus on heavenly rather than earthly things. God’s chosen people must leave their sinful lives behind and live in a godly way, looking to Christ as the head of the church (1:18). Paul wrote while in prison, probably about the same time as he wrote to the Ephesians. (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Col). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.)
Col 1.1-2; Introduction; Paul and Timothy greet the Colossians with grace and peace
Col 1.3-14; Thanksgiving-Prayer; Paul gives thanks for their faith, love and hope in Christ. He says the gospel is bearing fruit across the world. He and Epaphras keep on praying that they may be filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding. They acknowledge God has delivered them from the domain of darkness into his kingdom.
Col 1.15-21; Teaching; Jesus Christ is the image of God, the firstborn over all creation. He is the creator of all, the head of the church, and the firstborn from the dead. The fullness of God dwells in him and he reconciled all things to himself by the cross.
Col 1.21-23; Assurance-Instruction; Paul says they have been reconciled by Jesus in order to present them holy and blameless before him provided they continue in the hope of the gospel.
Col 1.24-2.5; History-Instruction; Paul rejoices in his sufferings. He has been given a stewardship from God to tell the Gentiles of the mysteries of Christ. He proclaims him, warning and teaching so that he may present everyone mature in Christ. Paul struggles for them that their hearts may be encouraged and they may not be deluded by others.
Col 2.1-15; Instruction-Assurance; Paul instructs them to keep walking with Jesus with thanksgiving. He warns them away from being deceived by philosophy and tradition and not in Christ. In Christ they have been circumcised, baptised, and raised to new life. His cross has canceled their record of debt and its legal demands. Through the cross he triumphed over the rulers and authorities.
Col 2.16-23; Instruction; Therefore they should let pass judgment on they in regards to the Jewish law or asceticism. If they died to the law they no longer have to submit to the law.
Col 3.1-17; Instruction; Since they have been raised with Christ they should pursue heavenly things and they will appear with Christ when he returns. They should put to deathbtheir old selves and put on their new selves. In Christ everyone is being renewed in knowledge in God’s image. Everyone is equal. Do everythong in the name of Jesus giving thanks to God the Father.
Col 3.18-4.6; Instructions; Paul gives instructions for wives, husbands, children, servants and masters. They are to continue in prayer with thanksgiving. Paul asks for prayer in his ministry. They should be wise and graceful among outsiders.
Col 4.7-18; Close; Paul sends some final greetings from a range of people instructing them to have the letter read among other groups. Paul ends with grace.