A  1:1,2. Epistolary and Salutation.
 B  1:3-8. Reports and messages by Epaphras.
  C  1:9-2:7. Paul's Solicitude for the Colossians, and Prayer that they might acknowledge the Mystery.
   D  2:8-23. Doctrinal correction for failure as to Ephesian truth. Having died with Christ.
   D  3:1-4:1. Doctrinal correction for failure as to Ephesian truth. Having risen with Christ.
  C  4:2-6. Paul's Solicitude for them, and their prayers asked concerning his preaching the Mystery.
 B  4:7-9. Reports and messages by Tychicus and Onesimus.
A  4:10-18. Epistolary and Salutation.

   1. Doctrine has more place than practice in the Epistle to the Colossians. There is a marked resemblance between it and the letter to the Ephesians, a prominent element of both, as well as of Philippians, being the apostle's insistence upon the reality of our union with Christ, as having died and risen again in Him, and the necessity for "holding fast the Head" (2:19).

   2. SUBJECT. Colossians, like Galatians, proclaims our freedom from the "elements", or "rudiments", of the wold. What those elements are, is sufficiently explained by the term "ceremonialism", the rites and ceremonies of religion as distinct from Christianity. Hence Paul's earnest admonition against a return to such, Jewish or other, inasmuch as this is to deny our completeness and perfection in Christ. Practically, it is to say that He is not sufficient, that something more is needed to be added to Him, some ordinance is wanted to make us quite complete. But, as the apostle unfolds to us, we died with Christ, and, consequently, ordinances are of no use to dead persons. In this Epistle all practical holiness is shown to spring from the holding of true doctrine, i.e. our life is the outcome of our belief. Then, our standing being complete and perfect in Christ, we cannot grow in this standing, but we may grow in the knowledge, experience, and enjoyment of it.

   3. The statement in 2:1 indicates that, at the time of writing the Epistle, Paul had not yet visited Colossæ.

   4. DATE. The Epistle was written towards the end of the apostle's 1st imprisonment in Rome, about 62 A.D.

   5. The Phrygian city of Colassæ was only a few miles from Laodicea, the importance of which gradually increased as the other city declined. Both so entirely disappeared that only in recent times were the sites discovered, and various ruins traced, by modern explorers.




Colossians 1)

1 Paul, an apostle (cp. 2 Cor. 1:1) of Christ (Gr. Christos = the Anointed One, i.e. the Messiah) Jesus (Gr. Iesous, Heb. Yahshua = Yahaveh's Savior) by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
2 To the saints (see Acts 9:13,15. God's elect) and faithful brethren in Christ which are in Colossæ: Grace be to you, and peace, from God (Gr. Theos, Heb. equivalent to Elohim) our Father (see John 1:14. Gr. Pater, it denotes His relationship to His "beloved Son") and the Lord (Gr. Kurios, Heb. equivalent to Yahaveh) Jesus Christ.

3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love (foundation of Christianity) which you have to all the saints,
5 For the hope which is stored away for you in the heavens (see Matt. 6:9,10.), whereof you heard before in the word of the truth of the good news;
6 Which is come to you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit (see Rom. 7:4. This is why churches are in trouble today, they don't do this) [and increasing], as it does in you also, from the day you heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
7 As you learned of Epaphras (see 4:12. Philem. 23) our dear fellow-slave, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
8 Who declared also (see 1 Cor. 1:11) to us your love in the spirit. (I.e. the product of the new nature.)

C  A1  1:9-11. Solicitude as to their faith and walk.
    B1  1:12-22. Christ the Head of the body.
   A2  1:23-25. Solicitude as to continuing in the faith.
    B2  1:26,27. The faith stated. The Mystery declared.
   A3  1:28-2:2-. Solicitude as to their growth and assurance.
    B3  2:-2,3. The Mystery acknowledged.

9 On account of this (i.e, their faith and love) we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire in order that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will (His plan) in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (See 1 Cor. 1:19; 12:1)
10 To walk worthily of the Lord to all pleasing, fruit-bearing by every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (If you aren't being fruitful, you aren't much use to God. Produce fruit, and you will receive blessings. To have knowledge of His will and be faithful you must increase your knowledge of God's Word.)
11 Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power (see Eph. 1:19), to all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; (It is a blessed thing to have faith in God. You can tap into His knowledge and His glorious power, if you believe.)

B1  C  12-14. Gentile made fit.
     D  a  15. Christ's essential glory.
         b  16. Reason. Creation of all things.
          E  17. Upholds all things.
          E  18-. The Head of the body.
     D  a  -18. Christ's acquired glory.
         b  19,20. Reason. Reconciliation of all things.
    C  21,22. Gentiles reconciled and presented perfect.

12 Giving thanks to the Father, Which made us fit for the share of the lot (God owns everything, not yours, ours) of the saints in the light: (Gr. Phos. = enlighten. See 2 Cor. 3:6. Light dispels darkness. Light is truth. Light allows you to produce fruit.)
13 Who rescued us (see Matt. 6:13. Rom. 7:24) from the power of the darkness (see Luke 22:53. Eph. 6:12. You have the power and authority from God through Christ to kick him [Satan] out who is the prince of darkness), and has translated us (= carry away to a higher level of thinking. See Acts 13:22) into the kingdom of the Son of His love:
14 In whom we have redemption (see 3:24) through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Cp. Eph. 1:7. Redemption is the real beauty of Christianity. Don't ever allow someone to take that away from you. Through His blood, Jesus Christ forgives sins. You either believe that, or you don't. Those who don't believe it, their sins are not forgiven.)

15 Who is the [exact] image (see Rom. 8:29) of the invisible God (see Rom. 1;20), the Firstborn of all creation: (See Rom. 1:39; 8;29. This is why Jesus could say, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father" [John 14:9]. Jesus is the exact image of God.)

16 Because by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers (see Eph. 1;21): all things were created by Him, and for Him: (Some folks have difficulty grasping this. God created all things in heaven and earth through His Son Jesus. He created all things for His pleasure [Rev. 4:11].)

17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things are held together. (Without God and Jesus in your life, what are you? Nothing, absolutely nothing!)

18 And He is the Head of the body (see Eph. 1:22,23), the church: Who is the beginning (see Prov. 8:22-30), the Firstborn from the dead; (He defeated death. We must also.)

that in all things He might become the pre-eminent One. (Don't ever try to limit God. He is the Head. By Him, all things were created, including you.)

19 For it pleased God that in Him should all the fullness dwell; (See Eph. 1;23; 3:19)
20 And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile (see Eph. 2:16) all things to Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (You must know that there is a war going on in heaven now too. But remember, He is in control and is everywhere.)

21 And you, that were sometime alienated (see Eph. 2:12) and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He reconciled (He made you fit. You are a child of the Living God. If you believe on His salvation, Jesus Christ, your sins are reconciled. You don't belong to anyone else, and you don't owe anything to anyone else. Your spiritual body is eternal in the 4th dimension.)
22 In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable (see Eph. 1:4. Not the "church") and unimpeachable in His sight: (See 1 Cor. 1:8. That's how He looks at you.)

23 If (conditional) at least you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the good news (i.e. the return of the Lord. Cp. Tit. 2:13), which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under the heaven (see Matt. 6;9,10); whereof I Paul became a minister;
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you (cp. Rom. 8:18. 2 Cor. 1:5), and fill up that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ (i.e. the tribulations of the members of the body of which He is the Head) in my flesh for His body's sake, which is the church: (He was willing to suffer for you.)
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God (see 1 Cor. 9:17 and cp. Eph. 3:2) which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; (God's love for His children and plan of salvation.)

26 Even the mystery (cp. Rom. 16:25. Matt. 13:35) which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: (God's elect.)
27 To whom God desired to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ among you, the hope of the glory: (If you've seen the Son, you've seen the Father. If the Son has touched you, the Father has touched you.)

28 Whom we preach, admonishing every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (mature. Don't hold back, but never be afraid to admit that you don't know something) in Christ Jesus:
29 To which I labor also, striving (contending, fighting) according to His working, which work in me by might. (Has He worked in you mightily? Ask Him to use you.. See Isa. 65)

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