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 Colossians Intoduction

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PostSubject: Colossians Intoduction   Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:57 am

This letter was written by Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ (1:1). Though he did not personally know the recipients, Paul was acquainted with them through Epaphras. Epaphras probably planted the church in Colossae, judging from the fact that the believers there first learned the gospel from him (1:7). Afterwards he served as their minister and informed the apostle of their conversion (1:7-Cool.

Colossians was likely penned, as were Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon, during Paul’s first imprisonment at Rome (1:24; 4:18). The numerous parallels of vocabulary and matters discussed in Ephesians and Colossians link these epistles together. Also, there are many personal references common to Philemon and Colossians.

The letter is addressed to the church at Colossae (1:2), a town in Asia Minor about one hundred miles east of Ephesus and 12 miles south of Laodicea and Hierapolis. Colossae had once been a thriving trade center, but its commercial influence was waning in Paul’s day. From Ephesians 6:21 and Colossians 4:7 it seems that Tychicus delivered both of these epistles to their respective destinations.

The Colossian Christians had been led to Christ by Epaphras (1:7). The majority was Gentiles (2:13) who were progressing in their new faith. Paul rejoiced over their good spiritual condition (2:5), but the Colossian church was being exposed to a local heresy that threatened to deprive them of their spiritual blessings (2:8, 18).
Epaphras either visited Paul in Rome or was imprisoned there with him (Philemon 23). In either case, he informed Paul of the dangerous theological error circulating in the churches of Colossae and Laodicea. In response to Epaphras’s plea for help, Paul writes this epistle to the Colossians, which is also to be read in the church at Laodicea (4:16), in an attempt to check the heresy’s influence.
The heresy was syncretistic, that is, it was composed of elements drawn from paganism, Judaism and Christianity. The pagan element espoused a false philosophy (2:Cool that appears to have been an early form of Gnosticism. This movement viewed matter as evil, denied the divine creation of the universe, held to many angelic beings or spiritual intermediaries existing between God and men, advocated the worship of these angelic beings (2:18), and stressed secret “knowledge” (received when initiated into their cult) as the means of attaining salvation.

The Jewish element was legalistic in nature, retained the Mosaic Law (2:14), imposed circumcision (2:11), followed dietary restrictions and calendar observations (2:16), and advocated asceticism (2:21-23). The heresy’s Christian component did not deny Christ, but dethroned Him. He was not regarded as divine or as Creator of the universe, and His death was thus deprived of any saving merit.

The letter’s aim was to refute the Colossian heresy, to demonstrate the preeminence of Christ, and to confirm the addressees in the Christian faith.

The supremacy and adequacy of Christ is stressed throughout. He is presented as fully God (2:9), AS Creator (1:16), as preeminent over the universe and church (1:17-18), and as Savior (1:20-21). Because Christ is over all, the Colossians are “complete in Him” (2:10), that is, He is more than adequate in that He alone – rather than any angelic being – can meet all their spiritual needs. The Colossians, the, should worship God the Father through Him alone and depend on Him only for salvation, refusing to rely on vain philosophy, secret knowledge, or legalism in an attempt to secure divine favor.

The letter to the church at Colossae was written about A.D. 60 or 61.

In one form or another, approximately 75 of the 105 verses in Colossians can be found in Ephesians: Colossians mentions that the church is the body of Christ (1:18); this doctrine is then further developed in the sister epistle of Ephesians. Colossians stresses Jesus as Head, which Ephesians emphasizes the church as His body.
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