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. 1-14) We see first that Paul is thankful for the Colossians because of the glory Christ is receiving from them. He goes on to pray for them in a specific order: 1. Knowledge of God & his will, 2. A walk that is worthy of the Lord. The thing to understand is that your walk is directly influenced by your understanding of the word and God’s will for your life. As our knowledge of the Lord & what HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED FOR US grows, there will be a desire to glorify Him with our lives. We then see Paul once again remind us that we will only have “endurance and patience with joy, because the Father has qualified us for Heaven (meaning there is nothing we have done to save ourselves).
(V. 15-29) Paul makes clear the deity of Jesus. Jesus is the revealed image of God himself. Paul is trying to help us understand that Christ was given a special place in the order of creation, which was over all of it. This means that Jesus doesn’t just deserve part of our lives, Jesus should control every part of our lives. We have to understand that Paul is addressing a church that is facing a lot of false teaching (much like today) that rely on the work of man for salvation, but starting in verse 21 we’re reminded again that Jesus is the one who has done everything necessary for our forgiveness.
This points to two truths:
1. Jesus deserves nothing less than all we have for what he has accomplished
2. Our obedience is no longer to earn God’s love, but done in spite of God’s love.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
(V. 1-14) If Paul were writing about you, what would his prayers point out?
(V. 1-14) How does your life differ when you spend time with God consistently vs. when you don’t?
(V. 1-14) Why does your understanding of the word have such a direct effect on your walk?
(V. 15-29) What does it mean for Jesus to be the image of the invisible God?
(V. 15-29) Why is the deity of Jesus important for us to understand?
(V. 15-29) After reading this, is Christ pleased with where you put him in your life?
(V. 15-29) What changes when we understand that Christ saves & not our works?