Summary: Overview of Colossians
"One Of A Kind!"
A verse by verse study of The Book of Colossians
History holds the names of world-changers. Men and women whose efforts have left an indelible mark upon those of us who remain. They have forever affected society -- some for good, others for ill. They came from different circumstances. Their lives ended in various ways. Their mark remains whether we recognize their names or not. Some inspire us. Others revile us. Moses the Deliverer. Alexander the Great, conqueror of the known world. Joan of Arc the defender of France. Mohammed, the Founder of the Islamic religion. Harriet Tubman, the engineer of the Underground Railroad. Gotama Buddha, the architect of the Noble 8 Fold Path. George Washington, the father of our country. William Wilberforce, God's tool in England to break the shackles of slavery. Adolf Hitler, the madman destroyer. Vladimir Lenin, the organizer of the Communist Party. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose "Dream" moves us to this day. Jim Jones, just the mention of his name evokes images of death and destruction. The list goes on and on recording the names of those who have left their mark for good or ill. Throughout history there have been the notable and the notorious, but there has never been one life to bring such constant change to each new generation as the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Transcending the ages with His timeless message of forgiveness and salvation for all that would trust in Him. He was and remains...One of a kind.
The city was divided. No national army had invaded and erected walls keeping people apart. They were unseen barriers that divided the masses. The walls of ideas, thoughts, and lifestyles were enslaving and entrenching young and old alike into their respective camps.
Some camps were built around religious ideas of superiority and purity. There were many that refused to be tainted by foul foods or lack of respect for "high holy days." They were convinced that their power rested in the recognition of the power of the angels, the power of purification, and the power of putting all of their thoughts in order. They knew better than to mingle with the masses of polluted people since they had received knowledge from on high.
There were others who had no use for religion at all. They were fast-paced businessmen who peddled their wares downtown. Since the city had a port they had the opportunity to send and receive goods via the water routes circling the globe. All of the talk of religion and theology bored and distracted them from attending to what was truly important. Alongside of these camps existed the "welcoming committee" of the city. They weren't officially appointed, but their lifestyles reflected such attitudes as they welcomed every new idea that floated into the city with open arms. Theirs was a strange mix of various religious ideas, self-improvement, cultish commitments, and an endless search for significance amidst the maddening rush of the city.
In the middle of the division and deluge of thoughts of what makes life count was a little church of unassuming folks who received a letter of encouragement and counsel. A man penned a letter who had never visited the diverse city, but who had heard of the faith of the few and wanted to offer his support and suggestions for holding fast to the Truth.
So it was in Colossae more than 1900 years ago when the Apostle Paul sent his letter to the church. Sound familiar? It was a confusing day for folks. Just as confusing as today is for so many of us who are constantly bombarded by intriguing ideas vying for our allegiance. There were many questions about what was "right" and what was "wrong." There was a battle raging for the minds and souls of the people of the city and Paul wanted to offer his encouragement to those who had trusted in Jesus.
As it was in Colossae so it is in Oklahoma City and around the United States today. We live in a confusing day as more and more new ideas continue to come to the forefront concerning what makes life worth living how to find peace, and how to rise above the heartache and disappointments of living day-to-day.
I have been studying Paul's letter to the church in Colossae this past week in preparing to share with you. While studying I was constantly reminded of the war that continues to rage for the minds, hearts, and souls of people today. There are so many conflicting ideas warring against one another that many don't know who to believe. Let me give you a sample of the salesmen that have pitched their offers to me just this week through the television, radio, magazines, and over the Internet.