A Letter From Paul To The Colossians
Paul wrote this letter to the Colossians after hearing about how well they
were doing as well as some of their unique cultural challenges and pressures.
Paul writes to the Colossian Christians expanding and explaining the simple
fact that no part of their human existence remains untouched by the loving
and liberating rule of Jesus. In light of this, Paul goes on to say that every
Christian’s suffering, temptation, moral character, and family dynamics must
all be re-examined and transformed in light of the work of Jesus. According
to Paul, becoming a follower of Jesus, means that you’re joined to Jesus for
eternity and are part of his new multi-ethnic family, united under His authority
Modern day readers studying this book can divide Paul’s letter into two
significant sections: Paul explaining what Christ has done and in turn, what
Christians should do in response. Colossians contains 4 main themes: Christ
as God, Christ as head of the church, union with Christ, and heresy.*
WHO WROTE THE BOOK?
Paul wrote this originally as a letter to the church in Colossae. It later became
known as a “book” when it was adopted into the official canon of scripture.
Some biblical scholars support the idea that it could have been one of
Paul’s scribes who did the writing with his expressed consent and approval.
Nevertheless, the letter from Paul to the Colossians is consistent with his
voice and themes from other books of the Bible, most closely linked to the
book of Ephesians.
WHEN AND WHERE ARE WE?
Paul wrote this letter while imprisoned in Rome around 60 AD, more than a
decade into his ministry. Interestingly, Paul addressed this letter to a church he
did not start in a city he’d never visited: Colossae. Colossae was a culturally
insignificant city in the country of Phrygia, now modern day Turkey. So the
question begs to be asked, why did Paul write this letter to this unimportant
place he’d never been and to a people he did not know?
WHY IS COLOSSIANS SO IMPORTANT?
Paul’s focus in this letter is to both encourage the Colossians in the things
they do uniquely well as a church (modeling Christian faith, hope, and love,
combating false teaching and heresy) and address the cultural pressures they
lived with. Paul’s letter helped the church establish a theological foundation
for the supremacy of Christ.
WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?
The entire letter can be summed up with the idea that, it’s not what
you know, it’s who you know. Christians know Jesus, the Messiah, and
knowing Him changes everything you do, how you think, the way you
interact with culture, and the way you live life on earth.
*Adapted from The Bible Project