Tuesday, May 05, 2009

New Testament survey (12): Colossians

Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:27-28)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:16-17)


[1] Colossians, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee © with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3)

The Water of Life is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Christ is to live in you. He is to walk down the street where you live. Christianity is Christ down where we live, Christ in the nitty–gritty of life, down where the rubber meets the road.

There has always been the danger of adding something to or subtracting something from Christ—the oldest heresy is also the newest heresy, by the way. Christianity is not a mathematical problem of adding or subtracting: Christianity is Christ. This is what Paul teaches in this epistle: “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9)—in Him dwelleth all the pleroma. All you need is to be found in Christ Jesus. (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Colossians, from gotquestions.org (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
Colossians was written explicitly to the defeat heresy that had arisen in Colosse, which endangered the existence of the church. While we do not know what was told to Paul, this letter is his response.

We can surmise based on Paul’s response that he was dealing with a defective view of Christ. (His real and true humanity and not accepting His full deity.) Paul appears also to dispute the “Jewish” emphasis on circumcision and traditions (Colossians 2:8-11; 3:11). The heresy addressed appears to be either a Jewish-Gnosticism or a mix between Jewish asceticism and Greek (Stoic?) philosophy. He does a remarkable job in pointing us to the sufficiency of Christ.

The book of Colossians contains doctrinal instruction about the deity of Christ and false philosophies (Colossians 1:15-2:23), as well as practical exhortations regarding Christian conduct, including friends and speech (Colossians 3:1-4:18). (Read the complete article)
[3] Complete In Christ … Christ + Nothing = The Key to Spirituality, A Devotional Commentary on the Book of Colossians, by Paul G. Apple
The key to spirituality is living out our union with the supreme and sufficient Christ (understanding that we are complete in him). (Read the complete article)
[4] Colossians, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
WRITER: The Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:1)

DATE: Colossians was sent by the same messenger who bore Ephesians and Philemon, and was probably written at the same time.

THEME: Epaphras, who laboured in the Word in the assembly at Colosse, was Paul’s fellow-prisoner at Rome. Doubtless from him Paul learned the state of that church. As to fundamentals that state was excellent (Colossians 1:3-8), but in a subtle way two forms of error were at work: The first was legality in its Alexandrian form of asceticism, “touch not, taste not,” with a trace of the Judaic observance of “days"; the object of which was the mortification of the body (cf Romans 8:13). The second form of error was false mysticism, “intruding into those things which he hath not seen”--the result of philosophic speculation. Because these are ever present perils, Colossians was written, not for that day only, but for the warning of the church in all days.

The Epistle is in seven divisions:

1. Introduction, Colossians 1:1-8
2. The apostolic prayer, Colossians 1:9-14
3. The exaltation of Christ, Creator, Redeemer, Indweller, Colossians 1:15-29
4. The Godhead incarnate in Christ, in whom the believer is complete. Colossians 2:1-23.
5. The believer’s union with Christ in resurrection life and glory, Colossians 3:1-4
6. Christian living, the fruit of union with Christ, Colossians 3:5-4:6
7. Christian fellowship, Colossians 4:7-18

[1] Key verses: Colossians 1:15-16, 24-29; 2:8; 3:12-13; 4:5-6

[2] Paul’s defense of Christ’s deity (Colossians 1:15-20, an early Christian hymn)
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For 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: all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.
Please review our lesson on Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man at the same time.

[4] Redemption, from Easton’s Bible Dictionary
The purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom. The Greek word so rendered is apolutrosis, a word occurring nine times in Scripture, and always with the idea of a ransom or price paid, i.e., redemption by a lutron (see Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).

There are many passages in the New Testament which represent Christ’s sufferings under the idea of a ransom or price, and the result thereby secured is a purchase or redemption (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Galatians 3:13; 4:4,5; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Revelation 5:9). The idea running through all these texts, however various their reference, is that of payment made for our redemption. The debt against us is not viewed as simply cancelled, but is fully paid. Christ's blood or life, which he surrendered for them, is the "ransom" by which the deliverance of his people from the servitude of sin and from its penal consequences is secured.
[5] Scriptures on redemption of our souls:
Psalm 111:9; 130:7; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Luke 2:38; Acts 20:28; Romans 3:24-26; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:20; 7:23; Galatians 1:4; 2:20; 4:4,5; Ephesians 1:7; 5:2; Colossians 1:14, 20-22; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:12, 15; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9,10
[6] The headship of men and the submission of women (Colossians 3:18-19); please read The Myth Of Mutual Submission, by Wayne Grudem, Ph.D.

Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Colossians: Introduction, Argument, Outline, by Daniel B. Wallace, Th.M., Ph.D.

[2] Colossians (audio series, 24 parts), by Kenneth Boa

[3] Paul’s Letter to the Colossians: An Exegetical and Devotional Commentary (series), by J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M.

[4] Studies in Colossians, various authors, from bible.org

[5] The Letter to the Colossians, by Greg Herrick Th.M., Ph.D. (also available in Dutch)

[6] Complete In Christ … Christ + Nothing = The Key to Spirituality, A Devotional Commentary on the Book of Colossians, by Paul G. Apple,

Sermons on Colossians 1:24-29 (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Love Conquers All, by Pastor Jeremy Stephens, Southview Baptist Church

[2] Living Above The Line Introduction, by Rev. Gregory S. Byrd

[3] The Arrival of Hope, by Thomas C. Black

[4] Reasons to Proclaim the Gospel, by Harold D. Markham

[5] The Hope of Glory, by Darold Bigger

[6] Serving the Preeminent Christ, by Tad Wychopen

[7] Christ lives within my heart, by Steven E Bareis

[8] What does Ministry Mean? By Harold D. Markham

[9] God's People Minister - Proclaiming Christ, by Craig Callister

[10] God’s Saving Secret, by Steve Tucker

[11] The Supremacy Declared: The Ministry of Supremacy, by Robin Koshy

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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