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Colossians, Chapter One, Lesson One

PRAYING ALWAYS            Page 2

Praying Always

INVESTIGATE

** Before we start our study of the passage in front of us today, let's start with an introduction to the book of Colossians. We can do that by answering just five questions.

** First of all, who wrote this letter?

The apostle Paul, the letter itself verifies this fact in chapter one, verse one and also in chapter four, verse 18 ("I, Paul, write this greeting...").

** Second, where is Colossae?

Located in Asia, Colossae was approximately 100 miles east of Ephesus and 1000 miles due east of Rome (in a straight line). We are going to want to remember that next week as we study what verse 8 says about Epaphras.

** Third, when was the church established in Colossae?

Approximately 54-56 a.d. when "all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord".
cf. Acts 19:8-10

** Fourth, what is the historical time setting for the writing of this epistle?

As we have learned from our study together in the books of Ephesians and Philippians, this letter is also one of the "prison epistles" penned between 61-63 a.d. from Rome, during Paul's first Roman imprisonment and delivered by Tychicus. cf. Acts 27:1 and 28:16 with Colossians 4:7-9 and Ephesians 6:21-22

** Fifthly, why did Paul write to the Colossians?

1) Perhaps at the request of Epaphras, who was probably the founder of the church. He was a faithful worker for Christ in the Lycus valley (Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis). cf. Colossians 1:7 and Colossians 4:12-13

2) To strengthen the new believers, so that they would not fall back into their old patterns of life by following after the many heresies taught in and around Colossae at that time.

a. Paganism: Colossians 3:5-11
b. False philosophy: Colossians 2:8
c. Judaistic ceremonialism: Colossians 2:11,16,17,3:11
d. Angel worship: Colossians 1:16, 2:18
e. Asceticism (harsh treatment of the body): Colossians 2:20-23 and 3:1-4

Now with that brief back drop to help our understanding, let's get into our text for today.

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