The church in the Turkish city of Colosse seems to have been planted by Epaphras, a dedicated co-worker of Paul. Perhaps Paul had earlier sent Epaphras to Colosse from Ephesus, about 100 miles away. But at the time of this letter, Epaphras was in Rome, with Paul.
Paul wrote two letters from prison in Rome to Colosse – one for the entire church there, and one for a specific member of the Colossian church.
In many regards, Paul’s letter to the Colossians was, like his letter to the Ephesians, intended for their general instruction, revelation & encouragement. But this letter was also aimed at countering false teaching in the Colossian church.
Paul begins by thanking God for the believers in Colosse (321) — especially for their faith, love & hope:
- Faith was the key to beginning & sustaining their relationships with God.
- Love for God’s people is how they were showing their love for God.
- Hope kept them focused on heaven & the life with God to come.
Then Paul offers an extended proclamation of the supremacy of Jesus.
- Jesus shares, with the Father & the Holy Spirit, the everlasting nature of God. He has always existed, and He always will.
- Jesus created the universe from nothing.
- Jesus walked on this earth, as a man, for a brief time, but then He returned to heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father in everlasting glory.
- Jesus holds together everything in all creation.
- Jesus is the head of the church, the body of Christ, displaying God’s glory on earth.
- Jesus is the leader of all who will rise from the dead.
- Jesus is the only way for men to find peace with God.
Paul was happy to share in the sufferings of Christ. Once we have received the spirit of Christ & the hope of glory, and once our daily life is filled with doing our job for Jesus, then suffering or even dying is no longer such a big deal.
(321) Colossians 1:1-2:15