Notes on the Book of Colossians

I continue my study of the epistles with Paul (and Timothy)’s letter to the Colossians. This letter discusses aspects of the nature of Christ and warns against false doctrines, amongst other things.

Notes on the Book of Colossians

  • To please the Lord we must have the full knowledge of his will, which is a spiritual knowledge as the Lord is a spirit. (Colossians 1:9)
  • We should seek to bear fruit in every good work, increase in the knowledge of the Lord and be strengthened with his power, having in ourselves endurance and patience accompanied with joy and thanksgiving. (Colossians 1:10-12)
  • Christ is the medium of all things, it is with him they were created, be they things in heaven or things on earth, he is in all. (Colossian 1:16-17)
  • Christ is the first of all things, including those raised from the dead. (Colossians 1:19)
  • Christ is the reconciliation of all things and their peace by his blood. (Colossians 1:20)
  • We are reconciled to the Father through the death of the Son. (Colossians 1:21)
  • Christ will provide us the energy we need (and by implication all things) for the work to which we have been called. (Colossians 1:29)
  • Paul specifically warns the Colossians not be deluded by “plausible arguments.” (Colossians 2:4 English Standard Version). I think this is worth noting as something may sound plausible and yet still confuse and lead away from the truth, this is why we must have spiritual discernment and not just rely on rational thinking.
  • See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 ESV)
  • [L]et no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind…” (Colossians 2:16-18 ESV)
  • Beware those things that have the “appearance” of knowledge but really are “promoting self-made religion” such as asceticisms or punishments inflicted on the body, for all of these methods cannot conquer the flesh. (Colossians 2:23 ESV)
  • Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3 ESV). It is very important that we get a handle on our thought life as much evil can come from fixating on earthly things. Some denominations and sects practice the concept of “constant prayer” by trying to fill their mind with prayers so as to focus on godly things. This is something I have tried to implement recently (with varied success) but I have found it helpful.
  • The new self (in Christ) has no race, ethnicity or other worldly identity “but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:11 ESV)
  • We must clothe ourselves in love above all else and with that “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and…forgiving each other.” (Colossians 3:12-13 ESV)
  • Forgiveness is essential. (Colossians 3:13)
  • We should let ourselves be ruled by the peace of Christ, indwelled with his word and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15-16)
  • And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 ESV)
  • Husbands should love their wives and wives should be submissive to their husbands with children obeying their parents. (Colossians 3:19-20)
  • Don’t be a people-pleaser but be sincere in your service to your employer. (Colossians 3:22)
  • Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:23-25 ESV). This quote confirms that sloth and laziness is a sin. We may be able to get away with slacking off with our employers but the Lord knows the intent of the heart.
  • Be steadfast in your prayers and then be watchful unto them so that when they are answered you can be thankful. (Colossians 4:2)
  • Be wise around nonbelievers “making the best use of the time.” (Colossians 4:5 ESV). I surveyed some commentary because I wasn’t sure what it meant to make “the best use of the time.” Opinion is somewhat mixed but I think the general idea is that you should make the best use of the opportunity you have with outsiders to represent Christianity well, understanding that they may be hostile (and perhaps even a danger to you). Therefore, “[l]et your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6 ESV)

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