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Introduction (Colossians 1:1-2)

March 8, 2010

Sunday School Lesson

Key Verse: Colossians 1:18

Occasion & Purpose: Warning against Jewish law and Greek philosophy (theosophy)

  • The Colossian Heresy
    • Attacked the total adequacy and unique supremacy of Christ – no greater claims ever made for Christ
    • Paul stresses Christ’s part in creation (1:16-17)
    • Paul stresses Christ’s humanity (1:22; 2:9)
    • Astrological element (rudiments, 2:8, 20)
      • Elemental spirits of world – stars and planets
      • Everyone consulted the stars
      • Needed something more than Christ to rid men of this power
    • Made much of demonic powers
      • Principalities and powers (1:16; 2:10, 15)
      • Everything and place had a spirit
      • Needed something more than Christ to defeat these powers
    • Philosophical element (2:8)
    • Tendency to insist on ritual practices and days (2:16)
    • An ascetic element (2:16, 21)
    • An antinomian streak – anti-law (3:5-8)
    • Worship of angels (2:18)
    • Spiritual and intellectual snobbery (1:28)
  • Gnostic Heresy – Colossian errors related to early forms of this (spirit=good, matter=flawed and evil; also, matter is eternal)
    • Effects doctrine of creation
      • This world then created by an emanation so distant from God that he was hostile to God
    • Effects doctrine of Christ’s person
      • Jesus could not have had a flesh and blood body
    • Effects ethics
      • Our bodies are evil
        • Practice rigid asceticism, starve and deny the body, or…
        • Disregard the body. Do whatever it desires, only the spirit matters
    • Effects the simplicity of the gospel
      • Series’ of emanations
      • Higher reaches of religion only open to the “initiated”
      • They were keepers of the mysteries
    • Jewish element – many were sympathetic to Gnostic ideas

Theme: Christ is pre-eminent

  • Over all things – 1:15-20
  • In salvation – 1:21-29 (21-22)
  • In our knowledge – 2:1-9 (3, 9)
  • Over the law – 2:10-23 (14-15)
  • In our desires – 3:1-11 (4, 11)
  • In our practices – 3:12-4:6 (13, 17, 23)

From:

  • Paul
    • Apostle (office=authority and occupation=one sent)
      • Of Jesus Christ (fully qualified to address matters)
      • By will of God – what is God’s will for you?
        • Divine authority
        • Independence of human teaching
        • Disclaimer of personal power
  • and Timothy
    • Not a co-author (look at subsequent we’s – through vs. 9, afterwards singular)
    • Brother (Acts 9:17 – rich meaning for Paul)

To:

  • Saints (relationship to God)
    • “set-apart ones” – all believers were called saints, not just a group within the church
    • One who belongs to God
    • Should reflect God’s character
    • Soldier must act the part, so a saint should act the part
  • Faithful brethren (relationship to others)
    • Brethren
    • At Colossae, in Christ (always two spheres/dimensions for the Christian) – John 16:33
      • Considered the least important city Paul wrote to – one of most important letters
      • Possibly Philemon’s house (4:9)
    • “faithful” – not all believers are faithful
      • No hint of moral sin even with immorality all around
      • Confidence that they will listen to his teaching

Salutation:

  • Grace (Greek greeting) – first, since without there is no peace
    • God giving us what we do not deserve
      • Breath, we lived in rebellion against Him
      • Hope, a hope—our home in heaven
      • Holy Spirit
    • Mercy – God not giving us what we do deserve
      • Combines with God’s love to give us unmerited blessing
  • Peace (Hebrew greeting)
    • Full integration of the believers personality in fellowship with God
    • Spiritual prosperity (well-being)
    • It passes all understanding – Philippians 4:7
    • w/God through the Lord Jesus Christ – no longer at enmity with God
    • Which rules in our hearts and lives – Colossians 3:15
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  1. March 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Is this on sermon audio now? Is it a series?

    • March 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm

      This is the first of my outlines for when I taught through the book in our adult Sunday school class. It is not on SermonAudio.

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