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Chuck Smith :: Study Guide for Colossians

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COLOSSIANS 1: FAITH, LOVE, AND HOPE

v. 1 Paul had never visited the Colossian church, but he had probably directed its establishment during his three years in Ephesus. "Apostle" means "one who is sent". God makes men into apostles, it's not something a man chooses for himself.

v. 2 Paul again uses "grace and peace" as a greeting.

v. 3 Paul had a rich, full prayer life. Though he was a prisoner of Rome, he touched the world for God through his prayers. He went to the heart of a problem when he prayed (Acts 9:11).

v. 4-5 This epistle is concerned with faith, love, and hope.

v. 6 It was a sad day when the Church decided it no longer needed the help of the Holy Spirit in the spreading of the Gospel. The Church is reaching less people with the Gospel today than it reached in Paul's time. The Gospel brings forth the fruit of freedom wherever it goes.

v. 7 Epaphras was a minister in Colosse. He had told Paul all about the church there.

v. 9-11 Paul prayed that the Colossians would:

(1) know God's will for their lives,

(2) walk worthy of the Lord,

(3) be fruitful in good works,

(4) increase in the knowledge of God,

(5) be strengthened by His power.

v. 12-14 Paul gave three reasons to give thanks:

(1) God has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the saints.

(2) He has brought us out of darkness into His kingdom.

(3) He has redeemed us through the blood of Christ and forgiven our sins.

v. 15 The word "image" comes from the Greek word eikon, a document that described a person in photographic detail. Jesus was the "image" or manifestation of God. The word "firstborn" comes from the Greek word prototokos and signifies "preeminence" rather than first in order of birth. "The Creator, First, Beginning of every creation" would be a correct translation.

v. 16 This verse describes Jesus as the Creator and the object of creation.

v. 17 Christ is also the sustainer of creation. "Consist" means "held together" (similar to "cohesion").

v. 18 "Firstborn" again means first in eminence, not first chronologically.

v. 20-21 "Reconcile" means "to change thoroughly from." We've been thoroughly changed from sinners to saints by Him.

v. 22-23 We can be confident that God will accept us when Christ presents us to Him, as long as we continue in the faith.

v. 26-27 The mystery that God has shown His saints is that Christ is in us, our hope of glory.

v. 28 "Perfect" means "complete."

COLOSSIANS 2: THE LAW IS REPLACED

v. 1-2 "Conflict" means "care". Paul's prayer was that the hearts of the believers would be knit together in love and that they'd have a full assurance of Christ in them as the hope of glory.

v. 3 In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

v. 5-7 Paul, who had become a part of their fellowship through prayer, was rejoicing in the order and strength of their faith.

v. 8 "Rudiments" means "elements."

v. 9 In Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead.

v. 10 "Head" means "authority." "Principality and power" refers to the highest rankings of angelic beings.

v. 11 The "circumcision of Christ" is the spiritual work of Christ within us.

v. 12 Paul used the rituals of circumcision and baptism to demonstrate that it is Christ's work in us not our own works, that gives us salvation.

v. 13 "Trespasses" means "willful disobedience."

v. 14 The handwriting of ordinances against us is the law. The law condemned us but Jesus blotted it out by His death on the Cross (Romans 7:9).

v. 15 These principalities and powers are the rankings of demons and fallen angels in the satanic realm. Jesus triumphed over Satan through the Cross.

v. 18 The Gnostics taught that we need an intermediary to communicate with God and that angels serve this function. They believed that Jesus was one of many angels who acted as an intermediary.

v. 20-22 If we're dead with Christ to the things of the flesh then the law has no power over us.

COLOSSIANS 3: THE NEW MAN

v. 2-3 Since we reckon the old man to be dead, our flesh shouldn't be able to entangle us in sin.

v. 4 Matthew 24:30; Revelation 19:14.

v. 5-10 These things of the flesh should be put to death (mortified) in us.

v. 12-17 The ancients thought that the pit of the stomach ("bowels") was the area of deepest emotion. These are the deeds and emotions we should seek to encourage in ourselves.

v. 18-19 Ephesians 5:22-23. The wife is to submit to her husband as the husband is in submission to Christ.

v. 23-24 These verses give us a beautiful rule for life.

COLOSSIANS 4: PAUL'S REQUEST

v. 3 Paul was chained to a Roman guard day and night during the writing of this letter.

v. 5 "Without" refers to those who are outside the Body of Christ.

v. 6 Our speech should be tasteful.

v. 9 Onesimus was once a runaway slave belonging to Philemon.

v. 11 "Jesus" was a popular name in the days of Paul; it is "Joshua" in Hebrew.

v. 12-13 Epaphras labored fervently in prayer for the Colossians, for he dearly loved them. "Zeal" means "love."

v. 14 Luke, author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, was a physician.

v. 18 Paul probably reminded the Colossians of his chains, because he had difficulty signing his name clearly with the shackles on his arms.


Used With Permission

© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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