1-2: This letter was from Paul and Timothy to the church in Colossae during Paul's imprisonment.

3-8: Paul and Timothy continually prayed for the new believers there who received the message of the Gospel from their mutual friend Epaphras. 

9-10: They prayed the believers in Colassae would be filled with the knowledge of God's will so that they may live in a way that pleases God by bearing fruit and increasing in their knowledge of God.

11-12: Paul switches from his prayer requests to a benediction that they would be strengthened by God's power for "endurance and patience with joy" and that they would give thanks for their salvation. Verse 12 makes it clear that God qualifies us for salvation, it is not something we earn.

13-14: This is a very condensed, precise description of the Gospel. It is God the Father who delivers us from the darkness of our condemned state through Jesus, who redeemed us on the cross.

15: Paul begins to address the heresy in Colossae that denied the deity of Christ. Jesus is God in human form and is referred to as the "Firstborn over all creation". The word Firstborn (πρῶτος {pro'-tos}) is defined in the Greek as: "foremost (in time, place, order or importance): before, beginning, best, chief(-est), first (of all), former". In scripture it is usually used as a title reflecting the order of importance rather than order of birth, as in the case of King David who was the youngest of his siblings yet was referred to as the firstborn. Also, it makes sense as a title when you consider the entirety of what scripture says about Jesus and the historical context of the word. 

16-17: As part of the Trinity, Jesus has always existed. He created both spiritual and physical realms and sustains them.

18: Jesus controls and directs the Church as a head does the body. Paul regularly uses the body as a metaphor for the Church. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead, meaning not only is he preeminent, he was the first to be resurrected, never to die again. While others have been brought back to life (such as Lazarus) they won't be resurrected the way Jesus was until judgement day, when everyone is resurrected.

19-20: Jesus, even in his human body, was fully God and possessed all the power, authority, and attributes of the Father. It is through Jesus that we are reconciled to God by His payment for our sins on the cross. Sin no longer separates us and we can have peace and fellowship with the Father as if we've never sinned.

21-23: Humans, by nature, are sinful and hostile to God. It is only through Jesus' death and resurrection that we can be presented as Holy and blameless before Him. If someone is truly reconciled to God they will persevere in the faith without straying from the Gospel.

24-25: Paul was in prison for preaching the Gospel, yet he counted it as joy to suffer because others were getting saved and being built up as a result. The way he ministers to the church is to make God's word "fully known" to them. Preachers today should follow Paul's example of exegetically teaching through the Bible.

26-27: The mystery hidden for ages is God incarnate dwelling among us and living in us. The Old Testament had many prophecies about these things but they weren't clear until the coming of Christ. For example, it says that Gentiles would share in the promise of salvation but didn't explain exactly how this would happen.

28-29: Paul, along with others like Timothy and Epaphras, worked hard to educate Christians so they might understand God's word and become mature Christians. He humbly recognizes that it's God working through him, providing him with the strength he needs for his task.


1-2: Paul struggled to ensure that the Laodiceans and Colossians grew in spiritual maturity, understanding of Jesus, and strong community. He probably struggled in prayer and communication with them since he was stuck in prison so far away.

3: We cannot know God without Jesus who is the "Image of the invisible God". All the knowledge about God in the old a New Testament only makes sense in light of Christ. 

4: Paul encouraged them to grow in knowledge and assurance so they wouldn't be fooled by the many false teachings that were already circulating.

5: Paul couldn't be with them physically but they were always on his mind.

6-7: After we receive Christ we must follow him. "Being rooted in him" means that he is the foundation of our life and salvation.

8: We must guard ourselves from empty, worldly philosophies that deny Christ. Part of guarding yourself from a philosophy is to learn it so you can discover it's flaws.

9-10: Christ is fully God and indwells us with the Holy Spirt.

11-12: Just as circumcision was an a outward sign of sins cleansed through faith in God, baptism is a sign for the New Testament believer who has died to his sin and put his trust in Christ's substitutionary atonement.

13-15: God made us alive by forgiving us through Jesus' work on the cross. Jesus paid for our sins canceling the legal demands for our debt. We are alive spiritually in Him through the resurrection. 

16-17: All the ceremonial laws in the Old Testament found their fulfillment in Jesus. For example, sabbath rest pointed to the rest from works we would one day have in Jesus. Since we are no longer under the old covenant system, we don't have to listen to those who try to condemn us for not practicing those laws. They were mere shadows of their fulfillment in Jesus.

18-19: There are also legalistic, prideful teachers that add rules to what God requires. These 'religious' teachings and visions do not come from God, but from their ”sensuous minds".

20-23: Paul challenges his readers by asking why they obey man made regulations. Asceticism and severity to the body can be powerful in promoting false religion because people sometimes falsely determine what's true on the basis of sincerity. However, this behavior is of no value in abstaining from sin.


1-4: We should set our on minds on Christ rather than earthly pleasures. The following verses give a few examples of sins we must put to death. 

5-10: This command to repent gives a list of specific sins and reasons to put them to death. These sins are the cause of God's wrath. We once lived for sin but God purified us through Jesus and is now sanctifying His followers. 

11: Our identity in Christ means we no longer classify ourselves or others by race or social status. There is no hierarchy of people; we are all sinners who need to be redeemed by Jesus. 

12-13: Not only should we "put off" sinful desires, we must also "put on" good things such as compassion, humility, patience, and forgiveness. God's forgiveness toward us is our example of how we should treat others who wrong us. 

14: Love is the most important attribute we should strive for because the prior list is a natural outpouring of it. If we love our neighbor we will treat him with patience, humility, and kindness.

15: The "peace of Christ" is the peace we now have with the father because Jesus satisfied God's wrath toward us. We let it "rule in our hearts" and have a thankful attitude by reminding ourselves of the Gospel. 

16: God's word should be studied, memorized, and taught. It is God's message to us and it should impact our lives. Worship should also be significant in the believer's life.

17: The Christian's life is an offering to God because Jesus redeemed us when we were spiritually dead. Everything we have is His and we should glorify God in our bodies. 

18-19: In a marriage that serves it's purpose of illustrating the Gospel, wives are to submit to their husbands while husbands are commanded to love their wives in a self-sacrificial way (Ephesians 5:25). Because secular marriage is usually self-focused, the idea of Biblical marriage (which places the focus on your spouse rather than yourself) sounds ridiculous to non-Christians. The wife's submission does not make her a slave to be selfishly exploited by her husband. Rather, by having an attitude of submission the wife shows she trusts her husband will not abuse his authority. Ephesians, 1Timothy and 1 Peter do not allow for him to use her for selfish gain. Husbands are commanded to love their wives self sacrificially (as Christ loved the Church). Although the wife submits to her husband, he puts her interests above his own, just as Jesus did with the Church.

20-21: Children should obey the authority of their parents and parents should treat their children love, not provoking them to anger. 

22- 4:1: Everyone in a work situation should serve their master/boss with their very best work, as a service to the Lord. Masters are commanded to treat their slaves justly and fairly: they are accountable to God and will be judged for how they treat them. This passage does not promote or command slavery, it just says how Christians must behave if they find themselves in a slave/master or employee/boss situation, which was prevalent in their culture when this was written. Masters do not own their slaves as property. The bible is clear that everyone is made in the image of God and slaves are no less human than their masters (Colossians 3:11). The command for masters to "treat their slaves fairly and justly" leaves no room for abuse, overwork, kidnapping or forced labor. Illicit forms of slavery such as the African slave trade would not have been possible if the early Americans obeyed Biblical teaching.


2: Not only should we pray, we should watch for the answers to prayer so we can thank God for what he has done for us. 

3-4: Paul requested their prayers that God would give him an opportunity to share the Gospel as he was in prison. 

5-6: Christians should be wise in how we interact with unbelievers and make the best use of our time, seeking opportunities to share the Gospel and respond to questions about God. 

7-9: Tychicus was Paul's messenger and delivered several of his letters to the churches. Upon delivery he would encourage the believers and give them an update on Paul. Onesimus, the slave in the book of Philemon, accompanied Tychicus in delivering Paul's message to the Colosians. 

10-15: Paul's fellow Jewish believers in prison also sent their greetings to the Christians in Colossae. 

16-17: Most of the content in Paul's letters are applicable to all Christians, so he had them exchange letters with the Laodecians, who Paul wrote to earlier. 

18: Because Paul's letters were dictated, he felt it necessary to authenticate them by closing with a hand written greeting and signature.