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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

and truth.


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

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