Would you like to know more about Jesus? Or how to live a Christ centered life? Colossians reveals that Christ is God, Creator and Supreme over all. Knowing Christ will enable us to live the life that He has created us for.
The Apostle Paul reminds us: “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything… and He holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything. Colossians 1:15-18 (NLT)
Supreme– 1: highest in rank or authority. 2: highest in degree or quality. Merriam Webster Dictionary
Writing from prison in Rome, Paul combatted false teachings, which had infiltrated the Colossian church. The problem was “syncretism,” combining ideas from other philosophies and religions (such as paganism, strains of Judaism, and Greek thought) with Christian truth. The resulting heresy later became known as “Gnosticism,” emphasizing special knowledge (gnosis in Greek) and denying Christ as God and Savior. To combat this devious error, Paul stressed Christ’s deity—his connection with the Father—and his sacrificial death on the cross for sin. Only by being connected with Christ through faith can anyone have eternal life, and only through a continuing connection with him can anyone have power for living. Christ is God incarnate and the only way to forgiveness and peace with God the Father. Paul also emphasized believers’ connections with each other as Christ’s body on earth.
Colossians is a book for an embattled church in the first century, but it is also has timeless truths for us today! We will gain a fresh appreciation for Christ as the fullness of God and the only source for living the Christian life. Know that He is your leader, head, and power source.
Purpose: To combat errors in the church and to show that believers have everything they need in Christ
Original Audience: The church at Colosse, a city in Asia Minor
Date Written: Approximately A.D. 60, during Paul’s imprisonment in Rome
Setting: Paul had never visited Colosse. Evidently the church had been founded by Epaphras and other converts from Paul’s missionary travels. The church, however, had been infiltrated by religious relativism, with some believers attempting to combine elements of paganism and secular philosophy with Christian doctrine. Paul confronts these false teachings and affirms the sufficiency of Christ.
Key Verses: “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority” (2:9, 10).
Key People: Paul, Timothy, Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Epaphras
Key Places: Colosse, Laodicea (4:15, 16)
Special Features: Christ is presented as having absolute supremacy and sole sufficiency. Colossians has similarities to Ephesians, probably because it was written at about the same time, but it has a different emphasis.
In this letter Paul clearly teaches that Christ has paid for sin, that Christ has reconciled us to God, and that Christ gives us the pattern and the power to grow spiritually. Because in Christ lives all the fullness of God, when we learn what he is like, we see what we need to become. Since Christ is Lord over all creation, we should crown him Lord over our lives. Since Christ is the head of the body, his church, we should nurture our vital connection to him.
|Christ Is God||Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, Lord of all creation, and Lord of the new creation. He is the visible image of the invisible God. He is eternal, preexistent, omnipotent, equal with the Father. He is supreme and complete.||Because Christ is supreme, our lives must be Christ-centered. To recognize him as God means to regard our relationship with him as most vital and to make his interests our top priority.|
|Christ Is Head of the Church||Because Christ is God, he is the head of the church, his true believers. Christ is the founder, the leader, and the highest authority on earth. He requires first place in all our thoughts and activities.||To acknowledge Christ as our head, we must welcome his leadership in all we do or think. No person, group, or church can regard any loyalty as more critical than that of loyalty to Christ.|
|Union with Christ||Because our sin has been forgiven and we have been reconciled to God, we have a union with Christ that can never be broken. In our faith connection with him, we identify with his death, burial, and resurrection.||We should live in constant contact and communication with God. When we do, we all will be unified with Christ and with one another.|
|Heresy||False teachers were promoting a heresy that stressed self-made rules (legalism). They also sought spiritual growth by discipline of the body (asceticism) and visions (mysticism). This search created pride in their self-centered efforts.||We must not cling to our own ideas and try to blend them into Christianity. Nor should we let our hunger for a more fulfilling Christian experience cause us to trust in a teacher, a group, or a system of thought more than in Christ himself. Christ is our hope and our true source of wisdom.|
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Source: Life Application Study Bible, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1988), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 2025-2024.