Tonight we start our study of Colossians. Instead of reading a chapter a day, we will be digging in deeper. Colossians is one of the prison letters, along with Ephesians, Philippians, and Philemon, traditionally understood to have been written from Rome around 60 AD to 62 AD or shortly before Paul was executed around 64 AD. That would make these 4 letters among the last of Paul’s writings, with 2nd Timothy being the last letter Paul wrote.
Colosse was located in the Lycus River valley in western Asia Minor, in today’s world that would be in Turkey. Colosse was located about 120 miles east of Ephesus and 10 miles east of Laodicea. Colosse was an important commercial center on the main Roman road in its region, so the church would have been exposed to ideas from many religions and philosophies. These ideas started influencing on what the church was teaching. These teachings did not regard Jesus Christ as the center and origin of all religious experience. Paul’s letter to the Colossians was to refute all the false teachings. Folks, the church in Colosse sounds like the church in America. Remember, any teaching or philosophy that fails to keep Jesus Christ at the center of all things is heresy.
As we look at verse 1 and 2, Paul follows the normal pattern of ancient Greek letters. He begins by a few words about Himself followed by greetings. He expands this pattern in a Christian way by referring to his divine calling as an apostle, by describing his recipients as God’s holy people and as faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, and by his invocation of grace and peace. As in most of Paul’s letters, he invokes God’s grace and peace on those whom he is writing. Folks, God’s grace is undeserved blessings that come from His kindness. God’s peace is a sense of well-being and contentedness rooted in the gospel and brought about the Holy Spirit. Both are gifts from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow we will look at verses 3 through 14.
I’ll leave you with the words of Paul…..
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace!