Study @ Home: Colossians Lesson 1

Study @ Home: Colossians Lesson 1

COLOSSIANS    Lesson 1

Read: Colossians 1: 1-14


Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Colossians 1:12-14

Colosse in the first century was an ancient but declining commercial center some hundred miles eastward from Ephesus, was situated in the Lycus Valley caravan route, near the cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis. 1

Jews had been resident in this province of Phrygia for two centuries (Antiquities 12. 147). Evidently less than orthodox, according to the Talmud: “The wines and baths of Phrygia had separated the ten tribes from their brethren” (Shabbath, 147b). The accommodation to Gentile practices left its mark on Jews embracing Christianity, threatening them with the danger of a Jewish-Hellenistic religious syncretism- that is mixing Greek philosophy, and Jewish religion with Christianity. Therefore this letter was God inspired to be sent to them, and kept for us. 2

1. Use a Bible map to locate Colosse in the country of Phrygia in Asia Minor. 

2. From verse one- Who wrote this letter to the Colossians? 

3. What gives him the authority to write this letter? verse 1,
‘Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

NOTE: “Apostle” is primarily a legal term, signifying authorized representation. As in the modern law of agency, the one sent was held as equivalent to the sender himself. To dishonor the king’s ambassador was to dishonor the king.

“And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.”
II Samuel 10:1-4;

And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: and thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased. 10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. I Samuel 25:5-10.

4. Who is the letter addressed to? verse 2
‘to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: 

5. What greeting was given to the Christians? verse 2
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.’

NOTE: He wishes them grace (the free favor of God) and peace (the blessed fruit of God’s grace).

6. To whom does Paul give thinks?  verse 3
‘We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you’

NOTE: God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ( in and through whom all good comes to us), as well as our Father. In all our addresses to God we find encouragement as we look to him as Christ’s Father, and our Father.4

7. What are three things that he has heard concerning the Christians at Colosse, does Paul always give thanks to the Lord for?  verses 3-5
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;’

8. Use a dictionary to define “faith.” 

9. Use the following Scriptures to help us understand “faith in Christ.”

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:3, 5

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:11-17

10. Besides the general love which is due all men, there is a particular love owing to these saints, or those who are of the Christian brotherhood.  Use the following Scriptures to  explain this response of Christian to Christian.

and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:5

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 1 John 3:14

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. I John 3:16-18

11. What is the “hope” that Paul is thankful that these believers possess? verse 5 ‘for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;’

‘looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;’ Titus 2:13

‘to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:‘ Colossians 1:27  

‘and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.’ I Corinthians 15:14-20 

12. What is revealed to us by the truth of the gospel? ‘Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.’ 2 Timothy 2:10

13. When this gospel is preached what occurs? verse 6 ‘which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: .’

14. What is the “fruit brought forth” that is spoken of in verse 6. ‘For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 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? 15 and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.’ Romans 10:11-18

15. Who is the minister by whom these people believed in the gospel?  verse 7 ‘as ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.’ 

1,2 Wycliffe Bible Commentary. Moody Publishers. pg. 779 Edited By: Charles F. Pfeiffer, Everett F. Harrison. By: Charles F. Pfeiffer & Everett F. Harrison, eds. 1962.

Wycliffe Bible Commentary. Moody Publishers. pg. 783 Edited By: Charles F. Pfeiffer, Everett F. Harrison. By: Charles F. Pfeiffer & Everett F. Harrison, eds. 1962.

Wycliffe Bible Commentary. Moody Publishers. pg. 783 Edited By: Charles F. Pfeiffer, Everett F. Harrison. By: Charles F. Pfeiffer & Everett F. Harrison, eds. 1962.