Colossians 1

John Chiarello
9 min readJan 24


Colossians 1

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: Col. 1

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Colossians 1 videos-!Aocp2PkNEAGMhSmqhD0320axIBaD

.Introduction to Colossians
.Brief history of Colosse
.Jesus- the Firstborn- what does this mean?
.A radio message on cassette ‘Legalism spoils rotten’- probably the first message I preached at the Old Hospital in Kingsville
.The prison epistles
.The Logos and the act of creation
.Christology in the first 3 centuries of Christianity
.Arius- Athanasius
.Constantine in the 4th century
.The official split between east and west [Catholic and eastern orthodox] was in 1054 ad- but the division started long before
.Trinity- eternal fellowship in the God head itself [Himself]
.What is the renewing of the mind- how is this accomplished?

Intro- This letter is one of the prison Epistles of Paul [the other 3 are Ephesians- Philippians- Philemon].
He probably wrote it while in prison at Rome- between ad 60–62. I covered this in my Acts study [Chapter 28- ].

Its too easy to label what exact heresy Paul was fighting in his various letters.
We do know that the rise of Gnosticism was a real threat to the early church [1st John] as well as Legalism [Galatians]- so I think its better to say that Paul was basically doing the same thing in all of his letters.

Exalting Christ- showing how our relationship with Christ by faith unites us with him.
Teaching that the law [and ceremony] were only shadows of the real thing to come- which is Christ.
Yes- he follows this basic theme in most of his letters.

But we usually say that the apostle was fighting asceticism in this letter [true as far as it goes].
Asceticism was the belief that extreme self denial produces holiness.
In my view this is simply another form of legalism- attempting to make ourselves right in the sight of God thru self effort.

Whether that be thru the works of the law- or any other religious practice.
Paul also warns against the worship of angels and teaches the preeminence of Christ.

Colossae [or Colosse] Like some of the other cities I covered in my Acts study — was an area not at its ‘best’ at the time Paul wrote to the church there.
A few hundred years before Paul the city was a leading city in Asia Minor [Turkey] but in the 1st century it was more of a market town and other regions had greater influence- economically speaking.

In Acts 19 we read that during Paul’s stay at Ephesus- the converts to Christ spread the word of the Lord to Asia-
Acts 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
In this letter Paul seems to identify the person who brought the gospel to Colosse- Epaphras-
Colossians 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Ok- that’s a brief introduction before we get into the letter itself.

Chapter 1-

Paul first of all thanks God for those who believed the message of Christ-
Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Leaders- ‘apostles’- those who are striving to do the work of God- we often read the bible looking for keys to effective ministry-
We just saw one of them.
praying always for you,
Prayer- pray for the people you preach to- pray for the work of God- the work of grace- to continue in the churches you hope to build- pray.

Pray this-
Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
It is thru the people that the work of the ministry is carried out-
Leaders- preach- teach- and when the word is planted in the people- you will have times to keep silent-

1 Thessalonians 1:8
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

It is by the power of the gospel- yes- the death of Jesus- bodily- and his Blood being shed- that brings us into the kingdom now-
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Now- we see exactly who this Jesus is- for the first 3 centuries of the church- the debates were primarily about ‘Christology’- trying to define the person of Christ-
This passage below has been seen by some to say that Jesus had a beginning point-
Lets look it at-
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
How is Jesus the firstborn?
I have taught on the relationship of the Logos [Word] and God [The Father]-
When God created all things- He Spoke.
The Word of God brought all things into existence.
This Word- the Logos- was always with the Father- yet we did not see the activity of creation until God chose to speak it into existence.
The early church settled this question of the deity of Christ- and one of the key passages they used was from John’s gospel-
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Jesus is the firstborn- has the preeminence because everything else came forth from Him-
He is not the ‘firstborn’ meaning he too was born- or created- but the first in God’s creative act.
Truly this Logos became flesh- and that’s why we identify him as the only begotten Son of God.
When the word was made flesh- the Logos [Word] took on a human Body.
But he was with the Father from all eternity- as the passage from John states.
The New Testament also states that Jesus was the first to rise from the dead- to die no more-
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
All the fullness of God dwelt [dwells] in him-
Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
And because of this- his death for us brings peace-

The process of all things being brought back to God has now begun.

Ok- look at the next verse-
Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Much has been written and spoken about the need for the Christian to have a renewed mind.
Paul himself speaks about the importance of this-
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Yet look at this passage-
‘alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled- In the body of his flesh through death’
It is actually the work of Christ- the gospel- that accomplishes this renewed mind.
In this letter Paul will refute ‘self holiness’- he will argue against extreme self denial.
Yet many teach that we are ‘saved by grace’ true- then will sort of say ‘but the renewing of the mind is hard work’.
I realize these men mean well- but I think this view is a legalistic way to look it it.
The renewal of the mind is primarily being focused on the work of the Cross itself- seeing how the death and resurrection of Christ has actually ‘reconciled’ our minds- not simply a work that saved our souls.

The apostle gives us another key to effective ministry-
Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Not just to suffer- but to embrace it as a gift from God.
When we as Christians speak about bearing our Cross- I don’t think we fully grasp what this means.
The Cross was indeed the redemptive purpose of God.
We have already seen this in the first chapter of this short letter.
And Paul saw his sufferings as a key part of his ministry.
He is penning this letter from prison- his body is ‘captive’ but the Word of the Lord has free course.
In our Ephesians study- we talked about the mystery that God revealed- it was the mystery [hidden until the time God revealed it] of both Jew and Gentile being one body.
Here we see another mystery-
Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
What is the mystery?
That Christ himself- by the Spirit- actually lives inside the believer-
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Yes- he is speaking of the Gentiles here- and this of course fits with the mystery seen in Ephesians-
But yet- this was still unknown until the time of Christ.
That thru the Spirit of God dwelling in us- we have the power to overcome the world.
1 John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

We end the chapter with the apostle once again giving us a key-
Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Paul was carrying out his mission-
The declaration of the Word of God-
to fulfil the word of God; Verse 25.
He had many struggles in the journey- we saw in our Acts study how he was beaten at times- some think he was actually killed at one point- and God raised him up.

Yet thru all of this- he saw it was God himself doing the work- it was ‘his working’ which was working in him in a mighty way.

He was not ‘working the Word’ for material gain- but the Word- even the word of the Cross was working in him.

The apostle of Grace understood that all that was happening- all the great churches that Paul planted-
all the suffering he went thru- was simply God working in and thru him-
Amen [Some sites see here ]