Colossians: Christ is Supreme

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Christ is Supreme

What Christ did for us, What Christ does thru us.

Background: Paul writes to the Colossian church from a Roman jail around 60-61 AD
Theme: Christ is supreme and His salvation is complete
Outline: What Christ did for us and what Christ does through us
Key Verse: "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority." (Col 2:9-10, NIV)

Colossians Chapter Index


These notes use and refer to the Bible Knowledge Commentary (Vol 2, New Testament).

I. Deeper Life in Christ (1:1-2:7)

1:7 Epaphras: Possibly the founder of the church in Colosse.

1:9 Paul continued in prayer when he received good news! We pray when we receive bad news (and we should). However, when God is blessing and good news is received we should not stop praying, but continue to pray and give thanks.

1:22 Some heretics later taught (a) that Christ was a spirit that descended on Jesus at His baptism and departed before His death, or (b) that Jesus Christ was not a physical man but a spiritual appearance that 'seemed' to be physical. These verses agree with historical fact and proper theology in stating that Jesus Christ physically died on the cross.

II. Higher Life in Christ (2:8-23)

2:15-17 It is very important to read this paragraph carefully. Mr. Geisler, BKC, is saying that the Ten Commandments, as given by God to Moses and Israel, have passed away. We obey nine of them as they are given in the New Testament. But, Sunday is not the Sabbath and Sabbath regulations do not apply. We do worship on Sundays, the day of the Lord's resurrection, after the practice of the early church.

III. Inner Life in Christ (3:1-17)

3:2 BKC: Read this paragraph carefully. Spirituality is not escaping from the body but living in the body for Christ. Unlike many false teaching of past and present, physical and bodily things are not bad in themselves. It is putting our possessions and bodies to work for Jesus that matters.

3:11 Accordingly, there is no place for racial prejudice within the body of Christ. All Christians, from whatever race, culture, or nation, are one in the body of Christ.

3:12 The church is described "as God's chosen people". This is significant because only Israelites were considered God's chosen people in the Old Testament.

3:13 "As the Lord forgave" also reveals the extent to which we must forgive. Perhaps we feel that a sin was so severe that we cannot forgive ... Christ Jesus forgave all.

[Chad Woodburn, Disciple's Institute of Biblical Studies} Also, let me add some points about forgiveness which are not commonly held in the evangelical community. Remember that we are told to forgive as Christ forgave us, which was conditional on our acknowledging of our sin. We are told by Christ to rebuke our brother when he sins and to forgive him if our brother repents. Unilateral forgiveness is to be practiced when the sinning person "knows not what he does". But when the sin was willful, and there is no confession, neither does God forgive us no are we told to forgive others. To forgive unilaterally under such circumstances truncates the convicting and disciplinary work of God in their lives. Also, I would contend that as long as a sin is taken into account in dealing with someone, true forgiveness has not taken place. If someone has sinned against me, and I say I have forgiven him, but do not trust him in that area because of what he did, I have not forgiven him. Most people confuse their willingness to drop their bad feelings toward someone as forgiveness. But forgiveness is primarily judicial, and feelings will properly follow.

IV. Outer Life in Christ (3:18-4:18)

3:18 I agree with Mr. Geisler, BKC, here. For instance, a wife is not obligated to submit to physical or verbal abuse, or to allow a husband to abuse their children.

[Chad Woodburn, Disciple's Institute of Biblical Studies] Also note, while the Bible does command wives to submit to the leadership of their husbands, nowhere does the Bible tell husbands to place their wives in submission. In terms of the husbands rights and authority, the submission of the wife is "voluntary", that is, it is between her and the Lord. The perspective of the husband toward the wife is not to be one of dominance, but of love (Eph. 5:25) and respect as equals (1 Peter 3:7, "grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life").

4:13 Hierapolis: Only mentioned here in the Bible, a city near Colossi and Laodicea noted for it's medicinal hot baths.

4:17 Archippus: Possibly a member of Philemon's family. According to tradition, one of Jesus' seventy disciples and a martyr.


New Testament Survey by Merrill Tenney : Highly recommend this book for a good background to the life of Jesus and the New Testament. The first half covers background, what the world was like under Roman rule and what the conditions of the Jews were. The second half gives background, outline, and introductions to each of the New Testament books (including Acts).

Bible Background Commentary (New Testament) by Craig S. Keener : Printed by InterVarsity Press, this is an excellent one-volume resource for understanding the customs and background (history, language, and geography) behind the verses of the New Testament. It is not an interpretation of the New Testament as are most commentaries, its purpose is to give background information. I highly recommend this to the serious student of Scripture, who already has a good grasp of the meaning and application of the New Testament.

Bible Knowledge Commentary (New Testament, Volume II) by the Staff of Dallas Theological Seminary : Admittedly a 'dispensational' interpretation, meaning that the authors take the book of Revelation very literally and teach that Jesus will take the Church out of the world before the 'Tribulation Period'. Although I do not agree totally with their opinions, I have found this to be a fair commentary, also explaining the views of others which the authors do not hold. If you use my notes you will receive some insight as to where the points of disagreement are. Highly recommended as the best short commentary on the market. I am easily in agreement with 98% of what this commentary teaches, and who knows if I am right about the other 2%??

Updated March 2012
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