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