Solution to All Human Problems (Colossians 1:1-2)
You would not have included a Roman prison in a travelogue. The very confined, trepidacious conditions of Paul, chained to a Roman guard, would have kept most people from visiting from just across town, let alone the 1000 to 1300 miles Epaphras had to journey to Rome from Colossae in c. AD 60 out of concern for his own church, a congregation not even started by Paul that we know of. It was God’s church at Colossae after all, and so very important—the doctrinal and practical issues were not a waste of time. He knew that. Whatever the problems that motivated this visit, they were serious enough for Epaphras to take the time out at great expense, energy, and danger to get some specialized instruction from Paul about what to do.
The apostle would offer authoritative words that could be counted upon for solutions. Epaphras brought an encouraging report of his people, but the false teachings were a perilous threat to the budding assembly. The contents of the epistle brought back to Colossae from Paul tell us that the problems he faced there involved confusing undermining of the identity and nature of the Lord Jesus Himself. The faith that saves and keeps every church centers on Jesus, so Epaphras thought it was worth the trip, that what he was witnessing threatened the very future of the work there.
The solution for every difficulty in life is found in Jesus Christ. He is All in All (Col 3:11). Satan has always centered his attack on the seed of (Gen 3:15) or child of (Rev12:1-6) the woman. He targets the foundation of the church (Mt 16:12-16). Without Jesus we have no true knowledge, no success, no absolutes, no life, no meaningful relationships, no authority, no fulfillment, and no hope.
Christ loved the church. Paul and his companion Timothy loved it too. Like Epaphras, Paul and Timothy didn’t want to see this church suffering under such cataclysmic, destructive influences, so he sent back this inspired letter to buoy that church and others against the corrupt teaching about Jesus Christ. In so doing, we continue today all the more enriched and established by Paul’s master portrait of our Lord.