Welcome to the Book of Colossians! Here is a little background as to who wrote this book and why was it written…
Most commentators agree that this book was written by Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome.
Several hundred years before Paul was born, Colossae had been a leading city. But, by the first century a.d. Colossae had become a second-rate market town, and the surrounding towns of Laodicea and Hierapolis had gained power and importance.
The Church of Colassae gained New Testament importance during Paul’s three-year ministry in Ephesus. Epaphras, a distinguished leader and probably the founder of the Colossians church, came to Paul in Rome with good news and bad news about the church. The good news was that the gospel had flourished among the Colossians who were continuing in their faith in Christ and in love for their fellow believers. The bad news was the Colossians were being troubled by a new teaching that was contrary to the gospel which Epaphras had been preaching to them. This young church became the target of heretical attack (heretical = of, relating to, or characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards (Merriam-Webster)).
Paul never directly states the heresy that is happening in Colossae, but, according to Bible Study Tools, the heresy was diverse in nature.
There were 6 areas of heresy happening in Colossae:
1. Ceremonialism – strict rules about the kinds of permissible food and drink, religious festivals (2:16-17) and circumcision (2:11;3:11)
2. Asceticim – “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” (2:21;2:23)
3. Angel Worship (2:18)
4. Depreciation of Christ. This is implied in Paul’s emphasis on the supremacy of Christ (1:15-20; 2:2-3,9).
5. Secret knowledge. The Gnostics boasted of this (2:18, 2:2-3)
6. Reliance on human wisdom and tradition (2:4,8).
Paul’s purpose of this book is to refute the heresies stated above.
Paul refutes this heresy by exalting Christ as:
*the very image of God (1:15),
*the Creator (1:16),
*the preexistent sustainer of all things (1:17),
*the head of the church (1:18),
*the first to be resurrected (1:18),
*the fullness of deity in bodily form (1:19, 2:9) and
*the reconciler (1:20-22).
These are all proof that Christ is completely adequate. Chapter 2 verse 10 states that we “have been given fullness in christ”.
These verses prove that the Colossian heresy was altogether inadequate. It was inadequate and deceptive philosophy (2:8).
How does the book of Colossians apply to our life? Just like this Church, we are easily misled to depart from our beliefs. Bottom line – Colossians is all about who we are in Christ! When we find our security and significance in Him we find that He is really all we need. When we know that He is ALL we need, we want others to have what He’s given us – a personal relationship with Him through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.