Colossians Commentary: Christ’s Dominion & Discipleship

Colossians Commentary

The book of Colossians is an important letter from the Apostle Paul, offering a deep look into the nature and role of Christ in the universe and the Church. Addressing the Colossian believers, this letter guides them to understand and embrace the fullness of life in Christ, free from the constraints of human traditions.

Through its chapters, Colossians presents a compelling vision of Jesus as the center of all things and encourages a transformational way of living that reflects this truth.

Colossians Chapter 1, The Supremacy of Christ

The first chapter of Colossians sets the foundation, presenting Christ as the center of all creation and the Church.

Paul, writing from imprisonment, greets the Colossian believers with prayers of thanksgiving and petitions for their spiritual wisdom and understanding. He emphasizes the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ, declaring Him as the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:15-16, ESV

As he delves deeper, Paul elaborates on the reconciliation brought through Christ’s sacrifice, stressing that through Him, God reconciled everything to Himself. This reconciliation includes the Colossians, who were once alienated but now are presented holy through Christ’s bodily sacrifice.

In a burst of doxology, Paul shifts to discuss his ministry. He talks about his suffering for the church’s sake and his role in dispensing the mystery hidden for ages but now revealed to the saints. This mystery is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Colossians 1:27-28, ESV

Colossians Chapter 2, Fullness and Freedom in Christ

Chapter 2 warns against deceptive philosophies and traditions that detract from Christ. Paul’s concern is noticeable as he urges the believers to continue living in Christ, rooted and built up in Him. He tackles the legalistic practices and mystical elements that were threatening to undermine the gospel’s simplicity.

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

Colossians 2:9-10, ESV

The chapter portrays the spiritual circumcision done by Christ, contrasting it with the physical circumcision of the Old Testament. The believers are reminded of their resurrection with Christ and encouraged to live in the freedom of their new, forgiven life.

Then, Paul challenges the Colossian church to question the rules and regulations imposed on them. He insists these are mere shadows of what is to come; the substance, however, is found in Christ.

Colossians Chapter 3, Christian Living

Transitioning to practical application, Chapter 3 encourages believers to seek things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

This pursuit is a call to a transformed life, shedding the old self with its practices and embracing the new self, renewed in the image of its Creator.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:12-14, ESV

This chapter is rich with instructions for Christian living, encompassing personal behavior, family relationships, and work ethics. Paul doesn’t just list virtues but interweaves them with the rationale grounded in the believers’ new identity in Christ. Forgiveness, love, and peace are not just ethical choices but the very essence of the new life.

As the community of believers is reimagined, Paul emphasizes the word of Christ dwelling richly among them, teaching and admonishing one another in wisdom, and whatever they do, in word or deed, doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Colossians Chapter 4, Final Instructions and Greetings

The final chapter serves as a concluding note, with Paul providing specific instructions and greetings, urging the believers to continue steadfastly in prayer and to walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Colossians 4:5-6, ESV

Paul’s personal notes and greetings reveal the diverse nature of the early church, with mentions of both Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slaves and free people working together for the gospel.

It’s a testament to the unifying power of Christ.

As the letter closes, Paul’s final exhortations and heartfelt greetings leave the Colossians with a sense of belonging to a larger, diverse family of believers, all committed to the cause of Christ.