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Colossians-Detailed Outline
A. Introduction
Colossians 1:1-14 Introduction: Paul’s standard opening associates his name with that of Timothy, who may have visited Colosse. He does not mean to differentiate between the saints and the faithful. They are the same people. Paul gives thanks directly to “God…the Father.” Paul links the trinity of graces for believers: Faith-past. Love-present. Hope-future. “Fruit” is produced in those who believe. “Love” is the fruit of the Spirit.
Colossians 1:9-1:14 Paul’s prayer: Paul put the Colossians on his prayer list. Strength and power come from God and are produced by the Holy Spirit in patience, longsuffering, and joyfulness. God, by His grace, has given us an inheritance with the saints in light. We have been delivered from the kingdom of Satan (Ephesians 2:2) into the kingdom of “the Son of his love” (ASV). This is the present aspect of the kingdom of God. Forgiveness is always associated with the blood of Christ. God does not arbitrarily or sentimentally forgive sin. “Redemption”, means to set free an enslaved people.
B. That You May Be Filled
Colossians 1:15-1:19 Person of Christ: There are nine marks of identification of Christ that make Him different and superior: 1-He could not be the image of God unless He was God. 2- “The first-born of all creation” God is the everlasting Father; the Son is the everlasting Son. His position in the Trinity is that of Son. “First-born” indicates His priority before all creation. Christ is the same in substance, equal in power and glory with the Father. 3- “By him were all things created” clears up any question about Christ being the Creator or not. There are two kinds of creation — “visible and invisible.” There are different gradations of rank in spiritual intelligences: “thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.” 4-He not only created all things, they were created for Him. 5- “He is before all things” 6-He holds all things together. He maintains creation. He directs it. 7- “He is the head of the body, the church”. He is the firstborn from the dead. He is the only One who has been raised in a glorified body. 8-“That in all things he might have the pre-eminence”. The will of Christ must prevail throughout all of God’s creation. 9- The fullness of Jesus. Jesus was totally God
Colossians 1:20-1:23 Objective work of Christ for sinners: Christ “made peace through the blood of his cross” “Enemies in your mind” reminds us that there is mental alienation from God as well as moral alienation. This explains the fierce antagonism to God on the part of some so-called intellectuals. “Body of his flesh” is an explicit declaration, as Gnosticis stated that Christ suffered in appearance but not in a real body. “Unblamable” means without blemish. This was the requirement for a sacrificial animal. “Unreprovable” means unaccusable; unchargeable. “It is God that justifies.” Jesus’ work is not conditional, based on anything in the future.
Colossians 1:24-29 Subjective work of Christ for saints: There are sufferings of Christ that we cannot share: Human suffering; Suffering as the Son of God; Suffering as the sacrifice for the sins of the world. There are sufferings of Christ that we can share: Suffering for righteousness’ sake; Suffering in the measure we identify ourselves with Jesus for the proclamation of the gospel.
“Mystery” mentioned is a sacred secret. This looks forward to the day when we shall be like Him. We are in Christ down here at present. To be “Perfect in Christ Jesus” means to be complete. This should be our goal
Colossians 2:1-2:15 Christ, the answer to philosophy. There were five errors that endangered the Colossian church: Enticing words, Philosophy, Legality, Mysticism, and Asceticism. We may go to Christ for wisdom and knowledge. To “Beguile you” means to victimize you. “Enticing words” are oratory or sweet talk. Paul commends the Colossians for their faithfulness in the face of overwhelming odds against them. They “Received” a person, Jesus Christ. They are to be “Rooted” as a tree, a living thing. “Beware Philosophy”…a true philosopher is a seeker after the truth. Christ is the answer “Tradition of men”…Christ condemned religious rulers for this…Jesus is the fullness of God we are “Complete in him”. Identification with Christ is the meaning of being “buried with him in baptism” It is not the improvement of the old nature, but the impartation of a new nature. Since the Law was given to discipline the old nature, and the believer is given a new nature, the Law as a way of life was removed per se by the cross of Christ. The spiritual victory that Christ won for the believer is of inestimable value.
Colossians 2:16-2:23 Christ, the answer to ritual. A believer is not to observe ordinances that are only ritual and liturgical, as they have no present value. All of the rituals of the Law were pictures of Christ. Now that Christ has come, we have the reality, the person of Christ, and we no longer need pictures. Don’t maintain a loose relationship to Christ…you will not grow spiritually. “Since ye have died (when Christ died), do not return to pre-cross living.” Touch not; Taste not; Handle not; these are part of the passing fashions of the world.
C. Seek Those Things Which Are Above
Colossians 3:1-3:4 Thoughts and affections of believers are heavenly. We are raised with Christ. Think about things above. When Christ died, we died. This is the guarantee for the future. We have died with Him; we have been raised with Him. We are in Christ. When He appears, we appear.
Colossians 3:5-4:6 Living of believers is holy. Put away activities of the old man. Things like “Fornication” refer to physical and spiritual fornication. “Uncleanness” includes thoughts, words, looks, and gestures. “Inordinate affection” is passion lust. “Evil concupiscence” is evil desire. “Covetousness” is must-have-more-ness. God will judge sinners for these sins, and God must judge believers for committing them. This is the condition of believers before they were saved. “Put off the old man” — the old man is not to control the life of the believer. The old man is to be put off, taken off as a garment. “Put on the new man instead. Putting off is not enough; we must live in the new man by the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ is all in all. He is a catalyst that brings together individuals and groups who are separate and makes them one in Christ. As he labeled the things of the old man that were to be put off, here he labels the specifics that go with the wardrobe of the new man. “Tender mercies” may be translated a heart of compassion. These all are the fruit of the Holy Spirit This is the basis on which the believer is to forgive, rather than the legal basis given in the so-called Lord’s Prayer. Put on “Love” and “peace” which are both fruits of the Holy Spirit. Let “The word of Christ” dwell in you. Do everything in the name of Jesus. Relationships within the family described. Christian service is that which is done to please Christ rather than men. For this he will receive a reward. If the believer attempts to please men, there is no reward. Both masters and servants must give an account to the Master in heaven. Persevere in prayer. Like breathing, inhale (prayer), and exhale (thanksgiving). Pray for the preaching of the gospel. “Walk in wisdom” The public walk is another important factor. “Speech” We should not be boring, but enthusiastic!
D. That He May Know Your Circumstances
Colossians 4:7-4:18 Fellowship of believers is hearty. This section is similar to Romans 16. It is a roster of believers who lived, moved, and had their being in the pagan culture of the Roman Empire. They lived for God in a heathen society. Tychicus was evidently the pastor of the church in. Onesimus was a slave of Philemon in Colosse. He had run away to Rome. Paul led him to Christ and had returned him to Philemon as a brother. Aristarchus was a friend of Paul. Epaphras was the minister at Colosse, but at this timewas in prison. He had now a ministry of prayer. Luke was the beloved physician.

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