Summary: Paul is writing from prison in Rome after receiving a visit from Epaphras. Epaphras had been converted during Paul’s time in Ephesus and carried the Gospel to Colosse, which resulted in the establishment of the Church there. This young Church was facing challenges from other belief systems (Judaism & Gnosticism), so Paul writes to them to highlight the adequacy of Jesus and the inadequacy of any human effort in order to strengthen and encourage them. We are reminded that knowing the real Jesus will always help you stay away from the counterfeit.
(V. 1-5) Paul starts with a clear argument against the false teachers that the church at Colossae and Laodicea were facing. These false teachers claimed to have knowledge of the mysteries of God, however Paul encourages the Church to remember that the mystery of God’s character and will are found only in Christ. In that same verse we see that full assurance and understanding of God’s will is found when we are “vs.2 knit together in love”. This means when the Church comes together as one body seeking Christ in his word we get a picture of the character and will of God. We have to trust this and continue to seek God through His word alone so we aren’t deceived.
(V. 6-15) Spiritual maturity is the opening topic of these passages. That maturity is only found in Christ, but the church (just like today) was being deceived by things like tradition. We get so hung up on things like going to Church because it’s the right thing to do (plus many other reasons), but church isn’t the answer it’s Christ. Paul goes on to lay out the Gospel so we would be reminded that the world & tradition no longer has power over us, we now have the option to live in relationship with God not because of anything we have done, but because of Christ and his accomplishment.
(V. 16-23) In short, Paul reminds us that spiritual rituals like church and cleaning our lives up are of no value in saving us. If Christ has already saved us then why do we still look to things of this world instead of abiding in him? We should no longer want anything to do with this world because “they are of no value in stopping the issue of sin in our heart”.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
(V. 1-5) How do you explain v.2 and the idea of assurance of understanding?
(V. 1-5) What role does community play in us understanding God’s mystery in Christ?
(V. 6-15) Before reading this passage, what did you think spiritual maturity was?
(V. 6-15) After reading this passage, how do you think we grow into spiritual maturity?
(V. 16-23) If we know Jesus is the only thing that can deal with the issue of maturity & sin in our heart, why do we want to turn to the world so badly?
(V. 16-23) What obstacles to maturity can you work on eliminating in your life?