Summary: This is a series through the book of Colossians. A letter of Paul to encouraging the church to take a stand on one key truth, Christ is all we need to put our faith, trust, and hope in. He is enough, there is no room for any gospel.
• Author: Clearly, this letter is written by Paul, while in prison (4:18), around 60-62 AD
• City: The city of Colosse was an ancient city, in Asia Minor (present day Turkey), around 100 miles east of Ephesus. At one time it was the crossroads for east and west traffic, but in Paul’s day, the city was in decline because the main route of travel had been moved north to Laodicea. This city had both a large Gentile and Jewish presence, probably the majority in this church were Gentiles.
• Theme: Colossians 1:18 – Christ is all you need, period. Christ stands alone. John Calvin sates – “This epistle distinguishes the true Christ from the fictional one.”
• It would seem that Epaphras (pastor and founder of this church) has come to Paul giving him a report of the struggles these Christians are facing. It would seem that this culture/church was being battered by all sort of false teaching at ideas; as a result, supremacy and glory of Christ was being diminished and the church was being robbed of her security in Jesus Christ alone.
o Three attack fronts: Gnosticism (special knowledge); Legalism (Jewish), Eastern philosophy (pagan). The danger was that they were not denying Christ all together, but rather they were dethroning Him and robbing Him of His rightful place of preeminence.
o Question Paul wants to answer the church at Colosse and to our church today is this: In a world of compromise and deception, how can we continue to be faithful and keep Jesus Christ in his rightful place in our lives - #1?
o Read 1:1-8; these six verses make up one long sentence in the Greek.
I. Christ is All You Need To Believe In. (key verse – 1:18)
(This church was afraid that they were missing some information…Paul wrote to encourage this church that they had real salvation despite what others were teaching)
A. You Gotta Have Faith in the Gospel (1:3-8) (Paul points out four signs of being a real Christian)
1. The Gospel Must First Be Heard. (5b)
• Faith comes by hearing. (Romans 10:17) What are we hearing?
• Gospel = Good news (6). What is so good about this news?
a) It is a message that centers around one person, Jesus Christ. He is the only name worthy of worship and devotion.
b) It is a message of God’s grace. (Unmerited favor)
c) It is the word of truth. So many groups claim to have the truth, but the message without Jesus is void of truth.
d) It is a message for all men. Luke 2:20, Universal gospel
2. The Hearer Must Believe in Jesus Christ. (1:4)
• Believing in belief is not enough. "The demons believe and tremble..." James 2:19
• Saving faith is going “all in” with Jesus Christ. (committed)
• Paul explains to this church that true faith is one that not only embraces Jesus Christ alone, but is displayed and seen.
3. The Believer Desires to Learn & Grow. (1:7)
• Epaphras seems to be the founder of this church. Most think that he was saved under the ministry of Paul in Ephesus,