Sunday, February 5, 2012

Scripture Sunday: The Book of Colossians

The book of Colossians is another of Paul's letters to the many churches of his day, and this one focuses a lot of its attention on Christ and on how he must be central to a believer's life.

Chapter 1 dives right into some serious doctrine related to God's son: "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  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:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (1:15-17).  This passage kind of goes over my head the first time I read it. I'm not used to thinking of Jesus in this way, as someone powerful and preeminent, though scripture clearly shows that he is these's just easier for me to think of the Lord in his humble and sacrificial mode.

The next couple of verses show that Jesus' power, both in heaven and in earth, has been approved and set up by God the Father: "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 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" (1:19-20). It is because Jesus has this God-given power and authority that he is able to provide forgiveness of sins.

Paul talks to the Colossians one-on-one a little more in chapter 2. It seems that, unlike several other  churches, Paul has never physically visited the Colossians or their neighbors the Laodiceans, so he's all the more invested in communicating with them and providing them with some helpful doctrine. In chapters 3 and 4, Paul's counsel is mainly of a practical nature, telling the Colossians the sort of attitudes and actions they should avoid, then telling them the sort of behaviors they should embrace: "And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." (3:14-15). Charity means "love", so Paul is saying that loving others is the very essence of a righteous attitude. I also like the phrase "let the peace of God rule in your hearts", because it's so easy to let your heart be taken over by worries instead of letting the peace that the Lord provides sink in.


  1. I like Chapter 1 because it talks about sharing God's love with others which has changed so many lives for the better. Even if people don't accept it at first (or at all) it's nice to share something with others that has given you such hope. It's a nice feeling. I also like how Paul talks about praying for current believers in God. Just because we follow God doesn't mean we don't need prayer too. We aren't put together and perfect. We still have faults and failures. We still have weak moments and I think that's important for others to understand. Some Christians have a "holier than thou" outlook on the world's population, but most of us are just as messed up as everyone else, and we need prayer and support as well.

    I don't know what version you have, but I have NIV and my translation of 2:20-23 says, (20)"You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, (21)'Don't handle! Don't taste! Don't touch!'? (22)Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. (23) These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person's evil desires." To me that's important for other believers to understand because I know a lot of them that avoid things like smoking and drinking because they think they have to in order to be a good believer. It's okay to stay away from that environment if you feel like it will hinder your faith, but how else are you supposed to minister to those with the most need? That's just my opinion on that. I feel confident in my interpretation of those verses because of 4:5-6 as well. Again, my translation, (5)"Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. (6)Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone." It seems to sound a lot like what I believe. Avoiding those places/people will do no good in the end. If you want to reach them then you have to reach OUT to them.

    Colossians 3 spoke to me quite a lot. It talks about not worrying about earthly things. That's a problem I have. I let earthly troubles drag me down, and I know I shouldn't do that. But I like verse 11 very, very much. I think it essentially says that we all have Christ inside of us if we let him. It doesn't matter our background or how we were raised. What's important is letting Him in.


    1. Love you, Kim! I like your mentions of how we should pray for other believers and how we should reach out to others instead of shunning them. Jesus spent time with the "lowlifes" of his day, and he loved them and showed them salvation, so we're definitely not supposed to look at others with disgust.