Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary On

Colossians chapters three and four

written by
Kraig J. Rice


A Look At Chapter Three
A Look At Chapter Four

Taking A Look At Chapter Three

"...where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God..."
(Colossians 3:1 Living Bible).

This is where Christ is. Why is it significant? Because it proves that Christ is God. The false teachers were saying that Christ was not God so Paul proves them wrong. Paul, before his conversion to Christ, was present at the stoning of Stephen
(Acts 8:1) and I am sure that he heard Stephen cry out:

"Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God's right hand"
(Acts 7:56).

"Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth..."
(Colossians 3:2).

This is a memory verse. Let us stay focused on Jesus all of the time.

"For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God..."
(Colossians 3:3).

Inside of the true believer, "the miracle of regeneration" has taken place. Since this has truly happened to you and I, it means that we have been "born again" or "converted to Christ," or that we have been "saved." These are all words or expressions for the same wonderful experience that describes what happens after Christ has come into your heart and has literally changed your inner nature. This experience may turn your world upside down. It happened that way with the Apostle Paul and it happened that way with me. Then we are alive to God but dead to the evil world system (the world) and its mode of life that is hostile to God.

  • Some articles on Salvation

    "When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory"
    (Colossians 3:4).

    When is that going to happen? We will be with Him in His second advent (when He comes the second time to rule from Jerusalem).

  • The second coming of Christ (under construction)

    "Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him"
    (Colossians 3:5-10).

    What is the mortification of the flesh? "Mortification" is just a big word that means to "put to death." How does that apply to us? We are to "put down" or "stomp down" our old unregenerate nature or crucify our self life on a daily basis. We have to keep it under control (under our feet) and not let it get away us. This is how we take up our cross daily and follow the Lord
    (Luke 9:23). This is part of the teaching on sanctification or our daily walk in holiness. We are not to allow our flesh or self-life, that is in opposition by nature to Christ, to have its own way. We cannot do this by our own power or force of will but we need to rely on the power of Christ to help us do this. In other words, it is a refusal to yield to our body's carnal appetites. Why do we do this? Because it helps us live a life of holiness that is in submission to Christ.

    Paul had this to say in his letter to the Romans:
    "Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God"
    (Romans 6:13).
    "Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is"
    (Romans 12:2).

    Paul had this to say in his letter to the Ephesians:
    "...throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness- righteous, holy, and true"
    (Ephesians 4:22-24).

  • Sanctification, holiness, and Christian living

  • Articles on Holiness Sanctification

    "...where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all"
    (Colossians 3:11).

    There should be no skin color, race barriers, economic class status, or any other barriers amongst true Christians. Christ makes us all brothers and sisters in the faith. God is no respecter of persons and we are all equal in His sight. Let's live right, help each other, and treat each other with love and respect.

    Paul had this to say in his letter to the Galatians:
    "So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians- you are one in Christ Jesus"
    (Galatians 3:26-28).

    Taking A Look At Chapter Four

    "Epaphras, from your city, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident of the whole will of God. I can assure you that he has agonized for you and also for the Christians in Laodicea and Hierapolis"
    (Colossians 4:12-13).

    Church tradition reveals that Epaphras was the bishop of the church at Colossae (the Colossian church). He was as active there as was Timothy at Ephesus and Titus at Crete.

    "Now when this letter (epistle) is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea"
    (Colossians 4:16).

    The letters from Paul were meant to be copied and circulated from church to church. These letters were eventually placed in our New Testament and are read and studied in nearly every church today- this was the Apostle Paul's wish. Copied letters (epistles) in those days are called manuscripts today.

    Church folk met in house churches in those days. So, which letter from Paul did the Laodiceans have? They probably had his letter to the Ephesians. Paul also reminds the Colossians to copy and read his letter and then to share it with the Laodiceans. The Laodiceans may have wanted to keep Paul's letters for their church library and not distribute them to other churches. Churches should not be in rivalry with one another but this is not always the case.

    "Here is my greeting in my own handwriting- Paul. Remember my chains. May the grace of God be with you"
    (Colossians 4:18).

    The expression "remember my chains or bonds" simply means to "pray for me here in prison."

    Some Additional Thoughts

    If I was to do a recapping of all of the truths in this letter from Paul, I think I would stress:
    Chapters 1 and 2 teach us about the preeminence of Christ- we know who Christ is. Jesus Christ is God and a member of the Holy Trinity. He is very Man of very Man and He is very God of very God. He is preeminent in creation because He is the Creator. He is preeminent in redemption for He is the Redeemer. He is preeminent in the church because He is the One who gave Himself for the church. In chapter 3 we see that He must have preemince in our lives do to the respect and love that we have for Him because of what He has done for us. And because of Who He is. Christ is the fullness of God and is poured out in life through believers- that is the only way that He can be poured out. The Christian life is to live out the life of Christ. We are to identify with Christ as walking in His shoes. In other words, we are His legs, His arms, and His mouth. A gospel starved world, hungry for love, is waiting for you and I to share Him with them.

  • Here is a link to poem that is titled: Christ All In All

    Some Sermon and Teaching Ideas:

    Here is some sermon material you might find interesting:

    Divine Descriptions of Christ:
    Christ is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15)
    Christ is the First-born of all creation (Heir to the created universe) (Colossians 1:15)
    All things were and are created through Christ (Colossians 1:16)
    Christ is before all things (Colossians 1:17)
    Christ is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18)
    Christ is the beginning (Colossians 1:18)
    Christ is the first-born from the dead (Colossians 1:15)
    In Christ all fulness dwells (Colossians 1:19)
    Through Christ all things are reconciled (Colossians 1:20)
    Christ in you is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)
    In Christ are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:1-3)
    In Christ dwells all the fulness of the God-head bodily (Colossians 1:19)
    In Christ you are made full or brought to perfection (Colossians 2:10)
    Christ is the head of all "principality and power" (Colossians 2:10)

    How we are to apply these traits to our lives:

    Person to person with Christ:
    In Christ we have redemption and forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14)
    We are reconciled back to God by means of the cross of Christ (Colossians 1:20)
    Christ is your hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)
    Walk in Him (Colossians 1:9)
    Be rooted in Him (Colossians 2:7)
    In Christ are wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:1-3)
    Remain built up in Him (Colossians 2:6-7)
    We are brought to perfection in Him (Colossians 2:10)
    We died with Him (Colossians 2:20)
    We were raised with Him (Colossians 3:1)
    Your life is hid with Him in God (Colossians 3:3)

    Christ is the Head of the physical universe and also our personal universe. We can approach Him directly- we do not have to go through angels to approach Him. Christ Himself is all truth- we do not need philosophy, circumcision, or Old Testament legalism and rules to understand Who He is. We need Christ in us as our Wisdom to become our life and our hope of glory. Lets love Him, obey Him, worship Him, and live in Him.

    Christ's Relationships (build your sermon from this brief outline):
    1) Christ's relationship to God the Father (Colossians 1:15)
    2) Christ's relationship to His creation (Colossians 1:16-17)
    3) Christ's relationship to His church (Colossians 1:18-19)
    4) Christ's relationship to His cross (Colossians 1:20)

    A brief sermon outline:
    Faith, Love, and Hope:
    Faith in Christ
    Love towards the saints
    Hope of Heaven

    The 4 beautiful prayers of the Apostle Paul:
    Colossians 1:9-12
    Ephesians 1:16-19
    Ephesians 3:14-19
    Philippians 1:9-11

    God's Simple Plan of Salvation:

    You may ask the question: how come my life is such a mess? Why do I need a Savior? The answer is that sin has made a wreck of each of us. Sin is invisible- but it is real. Sin divides and destroys and rates number one on Satan's weapons list. We need God's help to rebuild our lives. We need to be forgiven, cleansed, and spiritually re-created or converted. The great author of the plan of salvation is God, who through Christ, made provision for our free and full salvation. Why did He do it? He did it because of His great love and mercy that He has for each of us
    (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4; Ezekiel 33:11). In return for this great gift of His Son, we can respond with love for Him and others, give Him our obedience, and show forth His righteousness and true holiness by the way we live our lives
    (Ephesians 4:24).

    What is God's simple plan of salvation? I list it in 5 steps:

    1) Each of us must know that we have a problem. If we do not know that we have a problem then we will not look for a solution to our problem. What is our problem? Our problem is that you and I are sinners- each of us has sinned against God. Our sins separate us from God. In other words, we are lost and separated from Him without a Savior
    (Romans 3:23, 6:23; Isaiah 1:5-6; Genesis 6:5; Matthew 15:18-19; John 3:17).

    2) We cannot save ourselves. It is "not by works of righteousness which we have done"
    (Titus 3:4-7).

    3) The answer to our sin problem is a Person. That Person is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The bible says: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved..."
    (Acts 16:31). You and I must believe that Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead to save sinners. He took "our sins in His own body on the cross"
    (1 Peter 2:24). Each of us must trust Him for salvation
    (John 1:12). How do we do that?

    4) We must pray. Prayer is simply talking to Jesus. He stands at the door of our heart knocking and asking for entrance
    (Revelation 3:20). You and I must invite Him to come and live inside of our heart- we must become God possessed. He will come to live in your heart and in my heart. We must accept Him by faith. Christ is a wonderful Person for you to know intimately and I recommend Him to you. The salvation experience is a wonderful experience and I also recommend this experience to you
    (1 John 1:9, 5:11-13; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

    5) We must forsake our sins. We must repent of them. To repent means to forsake or turn away from. He will give us power to do this
    (2 Corinthians 7:10; Acts 3:19).

    If you have not accepted Christ as your savior yet then I invite you to do so now. Pray, repent of your sins, and ask Him to come and live in your heart. You will be glad that you did because He is the treasure of the universe.

  • Click here if you want more information on how to be saved

    Colossians Commentary Index

    Celebrate Christ's Resurrection

    Colossians chapters 1 - 2

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