Paul’s Letter to Christians in Colossae
Author: The apostle Paul
Paul is writing to a group of Christians in Colossae (which was located in what’s now Turkey) with his friend and co-author, Timothy. The Colossian church consisted of mostly Gentile converts.
Purpose: To Combat False Teachings
The theme of Colossians is the complete adequacy of Christ meeting our needs in every area.
Paul combatted false teachings, which had infiltrated the Colossian church. The Christians who lived there had begun to listen to false teachers. Paul was worried that the Christians would turn away from the true gospel. The letter was written in response to a false teaching that was developing within the church, which denied the total sufficiency of Jesus for salvation.
Jewish and Gentile beliefs and practices were being combined, creating a sort of religion that no longer resembled true Christianity.
Christ had made them free from rules that placed too much emphasis on ritual circumcision, dietary laws, and the observance of holy days. Paul then went on to teach the Christians how to live this new life.
Colossians Chapter 1
Paul starts out by thanking God for the Colossians. They know the truth about Jesus and they’re living good Christian lives because of it.
Colossians Chapter 2
Spiritual Fullness in Christ
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
Freedom From Human Rules
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence