Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary On

Colossians chapters one and two

written by
Kraig J. Rice


   An Introduction to this Bible book of Colossians
 1) A Look At Chapter One
 2) A Look At Chapter Two

An Introduction

Who wrote this book?
The Apostle Paul wrote the bible book of Colossians as a letter to the Christians in the Colossian church.

What are some things that we know about the city of Colossae?
There was a group of 3 cities in the Lycus Valley of Asia Minor in what is today the nation of Turkey. The 3 cities were Colossae, Hierapolis, and Laodicea. Laodicea was about 20 kilometers (10 miles) away from Colossae. "In Asia all heard the Gospel message"
(Acts 19:10). The city of Colossae lies in ruins today. Of these 3 churches, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Colossians while the Apostle John wrote a letter to the Laodiceans admonishing them to stop being spiritually indifferent and lukewarm
(Revelation 3:14-22). What does it mean to be spiritually lukewarm? A simple answer might be when an individual or group loses sight of the Person of Christ. To keep this from happening to you or I, lets keep the gospel fire burning hot in our hearts, lets study God's word daily, pray to God daily, and be about fulfilling His Great Commission
(Mark 16:15). Lets share His word with others. That way we will not spiritually lose sight of Christ or spiritually leave our first love.

When and where was this book written?
This letter was written when Paul was in prison in Rome about 61-63 A.D.

Why was this book written?
There was false doctrine being taught in the Colossian church and Paul wanted to stop that kind of teaching dead in its tracks. He also wanted the Colossians to know the truth about Jesus Christ.

What was the historical setting in those days when this book was written?
Paul was in prison in Rome for his faith. The letter to the Colossians is one of the four prison letters (epistles) of Paul that include Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. They are called prison letters because Paul wrote them from prison.

What are the prison letters (epistles) about? In brief:
Colossians is about the deity and greatness of Christ, the Head of the church.
Ephesians is about the unity and greatness of the church, the body of Christ.
Philemon is about how Christianity is to be lived in the midst of a pagan society.
Philippians is about Christian living.

Did Paul personally start the church in the city of Colossae? There is no record of it if he ever did. It is generally accepted that Paul did send Epaphras to that city to start a church there. Why didn't Paul go there personally? We really are not sure, but we do know that Paul spent a total of 3 years in Ephesus, 2 years teaching in the school of Tyrannus. This might have consumed his time, treasure, and talents to the fullest as he had to work hard as a tent maker to support himself.

The theme of this book: Jesus Christ Our Life.

The chapters of this Bible book:

The Bible book of Colossians has four chapters:
1) Chapter 1 The Person and Work of Christ
2) Chapter 2 A warning against false teaching
3) Chapter 3 Follow Christ in your life
4) Chapter 4 A Heavenly walk and Christian fellowship

Taking A Look At Chapter One

" you also learned from Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ"
(Colossians 1:7). Quoted from the Living Bible.

What does the word "servant" mean? It simply means to help people. In the service of Christ it can also mean "the Lord's love slave."

"So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what He wants to do in your lives, and we ask Him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom"
(Colossians 1:9).

The word wisdom is used 6 times in this letter. Why? Because Paul wants the Colossians to have excellent knowledge of God that can only come through sound teaching and wisdom. For what purpose? Paul wants the Colossians to know, with all understanding and wisdom, how to live a Christ-like life.

We are encouraged to walk worthy in Christ. In other words, we are to be as much like Christ as we can. We are to think like He did (have the mind of Christ), and follow His example. Given our depraved nature and the resistance to us by Satan, this is not an easy job
(Romans chapter 7), however, we must try to please Him, not just with our proper actions, but also by who we are.

"We also pray that you will be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God's holy people, who live in the light. For He has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. God has purchased our freedom with His blood and has forgiven all our sins"
(Colossians 1:11-14).

Paul's teaching on Christ and the believer's union with Him make these some of the most precious words in the holy bible.

"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation"
(Colossians 1:15).

Christ is God. He has always been God, He is God now, and He will always be God. This is Paul's simple message of the deity of Christ. But he goes on to ask and explain:
How is Christ the visible image of the invisible God? When Christ became a man, He clothed Himself with human flesh. In other words, He became a man child or became a human being. But when He became a human being He did not stop being God. We refer to this as Him being fully God and fully Man at the same time. To us, it is one of the mysteries of His incarnation. In other words, Christ came from Heaven and took upon Himself our humanity. But, because He was born of a virgin and God was His Father in His incarnation, He did not have the original sin nature from Adam. He was sinless and pure. He was a Lamb without spot or blemish, ready to be sacrificed for our sins.

Christ is eternally existent. What does that mean? You and I have a beginning and an ending to our earthly life- we are born and we die. Christ does not. Why? Because He is spiritual in His existence, having no beginning and no ending. He is the Alpha and Omega, Greek words for beginning and ending. When used in connection with Christ, they mean that He has no beginning and no ending because He is eternally existent.

"For by Him all things were created"
(Colossians 1:16).

Christ is the creator of all. That proves that Christ is God because only God can create everything. The writer of the bible book of Hebrews said this:

"But now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He made the universe and everything in it"
(Hebrews 1:2).

"He existed before everything else began, and He holds all creation together"
(Colossians 1:17).

Christ existed throughout eternity before He was born in His incarnation. He still is eternally existent. He does not have a beginning and an ending like humans do on this earth. This proves that He is God because only God is eternally existent.

"Christ is the head of the church, which is His body. He is the first of all who rose from the dead, so He is first in everything. For it has pleased (the Father) that all the divine fullness should dwell in Him permanently"
(Colossians 1:18-19).

How can Christ be the fullness of God? What does that mean? In English, the word fullness means "having all of the distinguishing characteristics." The Greek word for fullness is "pleroma." This word means "the completion of God." Christ was separate from the Father in His incarnation because He had a human body. Did that make Him less God? No, not at all. Rather, in Christ we see that God the Father was totally completed in Christ. How? In Who Christ was and in what Christ did. How can that be? Because Christ continually did the will of the Father. Christ said that the Father and I are one
(John 10:30). We can see the wonderful union of the Holy Trinity even in Christ's incarnation.

The Son is supreme in creation and in the church because it was God's plan that all fullness should dwell in Christ. Christ's supremacy stems from the fact that the incarnate Son is fully divine. Christ is, therefore, a very unique divine-human Person and is the visible expression of the good pleasure of God.

Because the Son is the dwelling-place of the fullness of God, He is able to be the sacrificial Lamb for the atonement for our sins. In other words, this reconciliation was accomplished through the blood of the Lamb on the cross of Calvary. Christ suffered (His passion) a violent and painful death by the shedding of His blood. To put it simply, the sacrificial death of Christ is the means of our reconciliation to God.

He died in my place and your place on a cruel Roman cross. In theology this is called "substitution." Christ was our substitute on the cross. His death was accepted by God as the means for you and I to become friends with God- this is what is meant by Paul when he mentions "the fellowship of His sufferings." The Old Testament sacrifices of the shedding of the blood of animals for an atonement for sin pointed to Christ's ultimate sacrifice where He shed His blood for the remission of our sins. This is the simple message of Christ Himself and all of the Lord's apostles and faithful servants. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin
(1 John 1:7). Why should you and I be washed in His blood? So, He can cleanse us from all of our sins. So we can be reconciled to Him. So each of us can be His friend- a Friend who sticks closer than a brother
(Proverbs 18:24). So we can be made holy to stand in His presence. So we can be adopted into His family and become sons and daughters of the Most High. And there is more...

The Apostle John had this to say:
"...from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness to these things, the First to rise from the dead, and the Commander of all the rulers of the world. All praise to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding His blood for us"
(Revelation 1:5).

"And God purposed that through Him all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in Heaven, as through Him (the Father) made peace by means of the blood of the cross"
(Colossians 1:20).

God's reconciliation is towards mankind. In other words, it is the saved man or woman who is reconciled to God because of our sin that separates us from Him. Redemption is towards God. In other words, God does the redeeming, forgiving us and cleansing us from all sin and shame.

In theology this is called the Doctrine of Reconciliation.

God is saying to each individual: "I am reconciled to you by the life, death, burial, and resurrection of My Son. Now, will you be reconciled to Me?" That is a choice that each individual on this planet must make. Not to make a choice is making a choice against Him by default due to our sin nature and sins. The only way for each of us to be reconciled to God is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins. God will accept nothing else. We must come to Him on His terms. Cain tried to come to God on Cain's terms with a wrong offering and God rejected his offering
(Genesis 4:3-7).

That is why preaching, evangelism, bible study, and missionary work is so important- the message that "Jesus saves" must go forth. God gives some planters (those who plant the gospel seeds in others), some waterers (those who share gospel bread continually with others to keep them saved), and some harvesters (those believers who help others to accept Christ). One definition of evangelism is "one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread."

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?"
(Romans 10:14).

"...yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through His death on the cross in His own human body. As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault"
(Colossians 1:22).

We are sinners so how can God present us blameless and unblameable in His sight? We cannot be saved by our good works or excellent character. We cannot meet the demands of a righteous God by offering Him our sin and depravity. However, Christ is able to present us fault free. How? Because He took our place on the cross of Calvary
(2 Corinthians 5:21). When we accept Christ as our Saviour, God is the One who justifies us because He is the Judge who declares us "not guilty." Then God sees us through the blood of Christ as sinless or without any blame for our sins. In theology this is called justification and propitiation.

"But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed by God to proclaim it"
(Colossians 1:23).

Paul mentions a subtle weapon of Satan here. If Satan can keep us so busy doing worldly pursuits and following our own interests, then we may forget about God and His Great Commission. Then we may just drift away from the faith. How do we know when that happens in our life? We quit reading our bible and going to church. We quit praying- we don't talk to others about God because we do not talk to God. We find worldly pursuits more to our liking than the spiritual pursuit of God and His plan for our life. One may start to drift away and not even be consciously aware of it at first. Paul wanted this Colossian letter read to the Christians in the Laodicean church at that time. Why? Maybe it was because he could see that those folks were starting to become spiritually lukewarm and were beginning to spiritually drift away from the Lord.

I have been told that you can put a frog in a pot of cold water on the stove. Then one can place heat or fire under that pot. The frog never recognizes the danger that he is in. The frog keeps adapting to the rising temperature of the water without the slightest care- until it boils to death. One might say that the frog compromised and adapted with its environment until death came its way. Lot, Abraham's nephew, moved his family into the city of Gomorrah. In the end there was much suffering, death and tragedy that came their way because they allowed themselves to drift spiritually away from their God and from their faith
(Genesis chapter 19). Let us you and I stay connected to the Vine (Jesus) so we will not drift away and be discarded as a withered up branch that has no further value to our Master
(John chapter 15).

"I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am completing what remains of Christ's sufferings for His body, the church"
(Colossians 1:24).

How are you and I to look upon our suffering for Christ? Suffering is not popular. We should rejoice if we see it as part of God's purpose and accept it as a means of fulfilling our part in God's eternal plan. Suffering can be God's plan for the perfecting of each of His children. Our suffering can bring glory to God
(Job 1:8-12). God loves you and He loves me. How much does He love us? There is an old saying that goes something like this: I asked Jesus: "How much do You love me?" "This much," He answered. Then He stretched out His arms and died.

"...the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles- which is Christ in you, the hope of glory"
(Colossians 1:26-27).

Paul explains this mystery. It is Christ, Who is so great that He created the universe and all that is in it, and yet Who is so small that He can live in your heart and my heart at the same time.

Taking A Look At Chapter Two

"I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other friends who have never known me personally. My goal is that they will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have full confidence because they have complete understanding of God's secret plan, which is Christ Himself. In Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"
(Colossians 2:1-3).

There are also treasures of wisdom and knowledge that are hidden in God's Word. These bible truths are like nuggets of gold that have to be mined out of God's Word by Christian leaders and shared with others who want more of God's Word in their lives.

"I am telling you this so that no one will be able to deceive you with persuasive arguments. For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I am very happy because you are living as you should and because of your strong faith in Christ"
(Colossians 2:4-5).

The Apostle Paul said similar words to the Corinthians:
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord"
(1 Corinthians 15:58).

"And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done"
(Colossians 2:6-7).

Thanksgiving to God comes from our hearts of love, praise, and humility for all the wonderful blessings that He continues to give us as we walk through this life on our knees. He holds your hand and He holds my hand and helps us along our journey.

"Do not let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe. When you came to Christ, you were "circumcised," but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure- the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead"
(Colossians 2:8-12).

What is the Godhead? It is the Holy Trinity consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This is another way of expressing that Jesus Christ is God.

Water baptism is an outward symbol of an inward cleansing. The symbol is of one's sinful nature being buried (under the water in submersion) so that one's renewed nature in Christ may arise. Also, we are buried with Christ- as His dead body went into the earth (the tomb), so we go under the water in a symbolic representation of physical death. Then He bodily resurrected from the tomb- and we come up bodily out of the water- a symbolic representation of resurrection. Water baptism is one of the two ordinances of the church (the other being holy communion) that the Assemblies of God church denomination believes in. I was baptized in water about 2 months or so after I got saved.

Here is what the Apostle Paul said about water baptism:
"For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives"
(Romans 6:4).

The Apostle Paul also had something to say about circumcision in his letter to the Galatians:
"It does not make any difference now whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people"
(Galatians 6:15).

When you and I have been set free in Christ (converted or born again), it is not good for us to return to spiritual bondage. This is what legalism will do. It yokes us with rules and regulations that diminishes our freedom in Christ. This is what the false teachers were wanting the Colossian Christians to do- they wanted them to turn to a man-made religious system that would return them to bondage.

Also, godless philosophy may lead a good Christian away from the light of God's Word to the realm of man's intellectual speculation. I knew godless philosophy was dangerous to me when I was in college so I took it, instead, at Bible College where it did not harm my faith. Satan can inhabit the realm of godless philosophy and so twist a person's mind around with distorted truth and twisted logic that he or she may come to doubt the existence of God and the truthfulness of His word. Be careful you do not step on this Satanic land mine- it may kill your faith in Christ.

"You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross of Christ"
(Colossians 2:13-15).

Jesus said this:
"The time of judgment for the world has come, when the prince of this world [Satan] will be cast out. And when I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw everyone to Myself"
(John 12:31-32).

"So do not let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new-moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules were only shadows of the real thing, Christ Himself"
(Colossians 2:16-17).

Why not obey the Law of Moses and mix all of that legalism with the grace of Christ? Because the Law of Moses, as an instrument of condemnation, was nailed to the cross of Christ. The Law of Moses has been cancelled for our salvation and Christian liberty. Also, in his letter to the Galatians, Paul teaches that Christian liberty, for the person who has been delivered from the bondage of sin, does not need to return to a set of rules that will once again put him or her under legalism bondage again. In this age of grace, the Law of Moses is not a binding reality but only a type of reality that leads one to a more fulfilling Christian life. Why? Because a shadow has no permanent reality as the grace of God does. The Law of Moses was only valid for a time for the purpose of salvation- up to the time of John the Baptist
(Matthew 11:13). Today, in the age of grace, it is still used as a measure of righteousness but not the requirement for salvation. Why? Because we have a New High Priest (Jesus Christ) after the order of Melchisedec
(Hebrews 6:20), not after the priesthood of Aaron in the Law of Moses. The Aaronic priesthood is of non-effect today for salvation because the blood of Christ was shed once and for all for the cleansing of all of our sins. Christ is now our all in all. Our salvation is in Christ, our rest is in Christ, our works are in Christ, our destiny is in Christ, our eternal home is in Christ, etcettera.

"Do not let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial. And do not let anyone say you must worship angels, even though they say they have had visions about this. These people claim to be so humble, but their sinful minds have made them proud. But they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For we are joined together in His body by His strong sinews, and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God"
(Colossians 2:18-19).

What were the false teachers teaching at the Colossian church? There has been much speculation on this question. We know they were teaching the worship of angels
(Colossians 2:18)- and it might have been early gnosticism, mysticism, or a combination of all of these combined. My personal opinion is that they were teaching that Christ is not God and that He is not the only way to Heaven.

If they were teaching early humanism then this worldly philosophy was contrary to the Word of God. They may have taught that it was permissible with God for folks to have sex outside of marriage. They may have taught that you can become your own god and be superior to others in knowledge and sinless perfection. They may have been teaching reincarnation, spiritualism, witchcraft, or satanism. There is a lot of this same kind of teaching going around today in many of the world's secular universities.

If you are a Christian young person thinking about going to college, I recommend that you attend a Christian university where Christ is lifted up and where the Bible is taught as the inspired Word of God. The Assemblies of God Church denomination has many fine accredited universities where Christ is taught as God and is the only way to Heaven. Make the right choice in your life and attend one of these.

  • Jesus Christ is God

  • Beware of Religious Deceivers

    "You have died with Christ, and He has set you free from the evil powers of this world. So why do you keep on following rules of the world, such as, "Don't handle, don't eat, don't touch." Such rules are mere human teaching about things that are gone as soon as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, humility, and severe bodily discipline. But they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person's evil thoughts and desires"
    (Colossians 2:20-23).

    If we are in Christ, you and I have spiritually died- to our self or flesh nature. Since Christ entered into the throne of our hearts, we are not to return to pre-cross living. Let's put on the "new man" every day and live life as Christ lived. If someone reminds you of sins that you did before you came to Christ, just say all that was B.C. (before Christ) and now you live your life as unto the Lord.

    Colossians chapters 3 & 4

    Celebrate Christ's Resurrection

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