Survey of the Bible - Colossians

Text: Colossians 2:1-7

 

I.         The letter to the church in Colossae is one of the four letters Paul wrote from prison while in Rome.

            A.        It was written about the same time as Ephesians and Philemon and were delivered by the same messengers - Tychicus and Onesimus - Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7-9; Philemon 10-12

                        1.         The themes of the letters overlap and the people mentioned are similar.

            B.        Paul is its author - Colossians 1:1, 23; 4:18

            C.        The date would be somewhere between A.D. 60 and 62

            D.        Colossae was a minor city about 100 miles east of Ephesus.

                        1.         It is located in a fertile valley shared with Laodicea and Heirapolis

                        2.         At one time it was the center for trade in the region’s glossy black wool, but in Paul’s day the city was in decline.

            E.        Paul had not been to Colossae, even though he taught for three years in Ephesus - Colossians 2:1

                        1.         Likely the church was started by Epaphrus - Colossians 1:4-8

                        2.         Epaphras was with Paul in prison - Colossians 4:12-13; Philemon 23

II.        Purpose

            A.        The church is facing pressure to accept Jewish doctrines - Colossians 2:5; 8, 16-17, 20-23

            B.        Paul’s argument is that everything needed is in Christ

                        1.         All knowledge is in Christ - Colossians 2:2-3

                        2.         He is the fullness of the Godhead - Colossians 2:9-10

            C.        Thus they needed to stay rooted in the teachings of Christ - Colossians 1:9-11, 23

            D.        Seek the heavenly things - Colossians 3:1-2

III.       Outline

            A.        The book is divided into two parts, like the book of Ephesians

                        1.         Chapters 1-2 argues the supremacy of Christ

                        2.         Chapters 3-4 emphasizes the practical application in submitting to Christ

            B.        Introduction - Colossians 1:1-14

                        1.         Salutations - Colossians 1:1-2

                        2.         Paul’s thankfulness for the Colossians - Colossians 1:3-8

                        3.         Paul’s prayer - Colossians 1:9-14

            C.        The Preeminence of Christ - Colossians 1:15-29

                        1.         First place in the Creation - Colossians 1:15-18

                        2.         First place in redemption - Colossians 1:19-23

            D.        Paul’s service - Colossians 1:24-2:7

            E.        False teaching - Colossians 2:8-23

                        1.         The empty philosophy of Judaism - Colossians 2:8-10

                        2.         Ceremonialism - Colossians 2:11-17

                        3.         Worship of Angels - Colossians 2:18-19

                        4.         Ascetic rules - Colossians 2:20-23

            F.        The believer

                        1.         Seek the things above - Colossians 3:1-4

                        2.         Put off the old man of sin - Colossians 3:5-9

                        3.         Put on the new man - Colossians 3:10-17

                        4.         Family relationships - Colossians 3:18-21

                        5.         Work relationships - Colossians 3:22-4:1

                        6.         Prayer - Colossians 4:2-4

                        7.         Conversation - Colossians 4:5-6

            G.        Conclusion

                        1.         Introduction to Tychicus - Colossians 4:7-9

                        2.         Greetings from those with Paul - Colossians 4:10-14

                        3.         Instructions concerning this letter - Colossians 4:15-18