Tracing Out a Single Strand in Paul’s Letter
I. The Colossians’ Position in Christ
- The Colossians have faith and love (1:4).
- They heard the gospel and fully understood and recognized (ἐπιγινώσκω) the grace of God in truth (1:6).
- They learned this true gospel from Epaphras, a faithful minister of Christ (1:7).
- They are no longer estranged (1:21) but are now reconciled and will be presented by God holy, blameless, and irreproachable before him (1:22),
- IF they continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel they heard (1:23) (and again in 2:6).
- They currently have good order and firmness of faith in Christ (2:5).
A. As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live (walk) in him (2:6) (Having come full circle–inclusio–this verse repeats 1:23).
- How? (2:7)
- rooted in Christ
- built up in Christ
- established in the faith (as you were taught in the gospel by Epaphras)
- overflowing with thanksgiving
B. Don’t do this:
- Don’t let others deceive and draw you astray into their cul-de-sac of false belief (2:8),
- Because you don’t need them:
- Christ is everything (2:9)
- and you have been:
- You are debt free (2:14)
- Your creditors have been defeated and publicly shamed by God through Christ (2:15)
C. Don’t let this happen:
- That anyone should pass judgment on you in regard to food, drink, festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths (2:16).
D. But do this:
- Seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (3:1).
- Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (3:2).
III. Paul Continues Explaining in Detail How the Colossians Should Live (3:5-4:6)