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Summary: Colossians is perhaps the most Christ-centered book in the Bible.

#1~ Col.1:1-8 Colossians Intro. 11-24-13

Key Verses in Colossians is 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

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~Colossians is perhaps the most Christ-centered book in the Bible. In it Paul stresses the preeminence of the person of Christ and the completeness of the salvation He provides, in order to strike down a growing heresy that is threatening the church at Colossae.

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~There are no Old Testament references in this epistle.

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~ Colossae once was a thriving center of commerce, famous for its glossy black wool.

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~The ruins of Colossae were discovered in 1835 by W. J. Hamilton, the site of Colossae still awaits archaeological excavation. -- The city was deserted completely about a.d. 700 -- nothing to indicate a city was ever there.

It was destroyed by an earth Quake in a.d.60.

~ The visitor to the site will likely be disappointed, for not much can be seen of this once important city in the Lycus River valley. -- The paved road to the site passes over the Lycus River. --- On the south side of the river is a low mound, the site of the acropolis (place of defense) of ancient Colossae. --- The mound and its surroundings are now part of a field.

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~The Letter to Philemon is addressed not just to Philemon but also to the entire church that met in his house in Colossae.

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~The ancient city of Colossae is remembered today primarily because one of the letters in the New Testament is addressed to "the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae" (Col 1:2).

Aside from this one reference, the city of Colossae does not appear in the New Testament.

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~Paul had never visited Colossae when he composed his epistle to the church there, but he does imply that Epaphras founded the church, along with those at Laodicea and Hierapolis (Col 1:7-8; 4:12-13). This was probably during Paul's third missionary journey, when he preached in Ephesus for two years.

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~The church at Colossae is not mentioned in the book of Acts, and it was not directly founded by the Apostle Paul.

~The membership was composed largely of Gentiles (1:21, 27; 2:13). Its size is not indicated; it attained no prominence in history, and it soon faded from view.

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~The Epistle to the Colossians is one of the four "Prison Epistles" it was written too the Colossian Christians.

~Paul's 4 prison epistles are-- Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.

The church of Colossi was located in Asia Minor in the Lycus Valley, about one hundred miles east of Ephesus on the main east-west highway.

~ The city was deserted completely about a.d. 700 and today there's hardly a trace.

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~ It was written by the apostle Paul in a.d. 60--63-- while he was a prisoner in Rome awaiting trial before the emperor.

Tychicus was the person that delivered the epistles of Colossians and Ephesians.

~Paul himself had not visited Colossi at this point (2:1), Timothy and Epaphras (1:7) probably had evangelized the city and founded the church during Paul's three-year stay in Ephesus while on his third missionary journey.

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~ Epaphras was the first to preach in the Lycus Valley after his conversion in Ephesus, and he continued to carry the burden of the churches at Colossi, Hierapolis, and Laodicea.

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~ The church at Colossi had a majority of Gentiles in its membership.

-------- THEME: --- to tear down False Teachings that crept into the church at Colosse some six years after its founding.

~Epaphras visits Paul during his imprisonment in Rome and brings with him the alarming news that certain false doctrines and practices threaten the faith of the Colossian Christians, and because of these false teachings the Colossians was in danger of drifting from the gospel (1:23; 2:8).

~~ Therefore that is what causes Paul to combat these false teachings about Christ and to give encouragement for the Christian life.

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~ The Christ centered nature of this epistle is one of its major characteristics.

This is seen in the fact that Paul uses the word "Christ" 26 times and the title "Lord"13 times. This is a large number of occurrences for a short, four-chapter epistle.

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* Ephesians and Colossians: are two companion Prison Epistles compared:

In Ephesians: -- Jesus Christ: Lord of the Church.

In Colossians: -- Jesus Christ: Lord of creation.

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In Ephesians: -- Emphasis on the church as the body of Christ but also affirms Christ as Head of the church.

In Colossians: --Emphasis on Christ as the Head of creation and the church.

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In Ephesians: -- Less personal and probably sent too other church's to be read.

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