Perspectival outlines of the epistle to the Colossians



THE HOPE THAT SHAPES PROPER CHRISTIAN FAITH back to top

The Object of Christian Faith: Jesus Christ, Firstborn back to top
  • Christ is the image of the invisible God (1:15)
  • Christ is the firstborn over all creation. (1:15)
  • By him, for him, through him all things were created (1:16)
  • He is prior to and the preservation of all things (1:17)
  • He is the beginning and firstborn from among the dead to have supremacy over all things (1:18)
  • He is the head of the church (1:18)
  • God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (1:19)
  • The mystery of God is Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom & knowledge (2:2,3)
  • In Christ, the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form (2:9)
  • The church has been given this fullness of power through Christ who is over all (2:10)

The Hope of Christian Faith: The Work of God in Christ back to top
  • The gospel bearing fruit all over the world (1:6)
  • God has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light (1:12)
  • God has rescued us from darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves (1:13)
  • God reconciled all things to himself, making peace by the blood of Christ (1:20)
  • We have been reconciled through death in order to be free from accusation (1:22)
  • While in the uncircumcision of our sinful nature, God made us alive in Christ (2:13)
  • God cancelled the written code that stood opposed to us (2:14)
  • Christ triumphed over the powers and authorities by the cross (2:15)
  • He disarmed the powers and authorities, making a public spectacle of them, by the cross (2:15)
  • He took the written code and its regulations away by nailing them to the cross (2:15)

The Appropriation of Faith: Hope in the Life Hidden with Christ in Heaven back to top
  • Faith and Love spring from hope stored up in heaven (1:5)
  • The mystery that has been hidden is this: Christ in you, the hope of glory (1:27)
  • Spiritual circumcision of Christ is accomplished through baptism, being buried and raised (2:12)
  • The focus of baptism is faith in the power of God who raises the dead (2:12)
  • Since you died, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (3:1)
  • Since you died, set your minds on things above and not on earthly things (3:2)
  • Your life is now hidden with Christ in God, and will appear when he appears. (3:3,4)
  • New self is renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator (3:10)
  • No distinction is the body, but Christ is all and in all (3:11)
  • Let peace of Christ rule your hearts, you were called to peace (3:15)
  • Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with gratitude (3:16)
  • Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (3:17)
  • Submission and love: Wives, husbands, children, slaves, masters (3:18-4:1)

The Prerequisite of Christian Faith: The End of the Life of Futility back to top
  • We were aliens and enemies in our mind by evil behavior (1:21)
  • Merit on the basis of "religius performance" is a shadow of Christ, not a criterion for judgement (2:16,17)
  • Ascetic regulations are destined to perish because of their traditional, human origin (2:22)
  • Ascetic regulations have the appearance of wisdom, but they lack power in restraining indulgence (2:23)
  • Hollow and deceptive philosophy depends on human tradition and the basic principals of this world (2:8)
  • There is no favoritism for wrongdoers (3:25)
  • Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature, Because of these the wrath of God is coming (3:5,6)

The Goal of Christian Faith: Hope and Perseverence in the Here and Now back to top
  • The condition of blamelessness is faithfulness, not being moved from the hope of the gospel (1:23)
  • Sanctification involves continuing in and be strengthened in faith in Christ (2:6)
  • Clothe yourselves, bear with one another, forgive as forgiven, and put on love (3:12-14)
  • Work at everything with all your heart, with knowledge of your inheritance and proper master (3:23,24)
  • Be devoted to prayer, both vigilent and thankful (4:2-4)
  • Make the most of every opportunity, especially with gracious conversation (4:5,6)

THE COLOSSIAN COMMUNITY: REFOCUSING ON PROPER HERITAGE, WISDOM AND GOAL back to top

The Colossians' Model and Heritage back to top
  • The Gospel Has Born Fruit In The Church At Colossae (1:6)
  • They Heard And Understood The Grace Of God In All Its Truth (1:6)
  • The Colossians Learned From Epaphras a faithful servant (1:7)
  • The Colossians Had Love In The Spirit (1:8)
  • Paul delights in their orderliness and firmness of faith (2:5)
  • Paul is absent in body but present in spirit (2:5)
  • Tychicus sent to tell news about Paul - a dear brother, faithful minister, fellow servant (4:7)
  • Paul sending him to inform and encourage Colossians about his situation (4:8)
  • Onesimus is one of them, a faithful and dear brother (4:9)
  • Various other greetings by Paul's co-workers (4:10-15)
  • Admonishent to read Laodicean letter (4:16)
  • Admonishment for Archippus to finish his labor (4:17)
  • Paul's admonishment to remember his chains (4:18)

The Need For Unity, Submission and Peace in the Body of Christ back to top
  • The Head supports the whole body and causes it to grow as God sees fit (2:19)
  • Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with gratitude (3:16)
  • Let peace of Christ rule your hearts, you were called to peace (3:15)
  • Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (3:17)
  • Clothe yourselves, bear with one another, forgive as forgiven, and put on love (3:12-14)
  • Submission and love: Wives, husbands, children, slaves, masters (3:18-4:1)
  • Clothing: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love (3:12;14)
  • No distinctions in the body, but Christ is all and in all (3:11)

The Need for Being Rooted and Grounded in Christ back to top
  • Faith And Love Spring From Their Hope (1:5)
  • Paul's petition: Their knowledge of God's will through spiritual wisdom & understanding (1:9)
  • Understanding is for the purpose of growing in the knowledge of God (1:10)
  • Understanding is for the purpose of bearing fruit in every good work (1:10)
  • Understanding is for the purpose of living a worthy life (1:10)
  • Paul's petetion: That they will be strengthened with power for endurance and patience (1:11)
  • The church has been given this fullness of power through Christ who is over all (2:10)
  • Paul's purpose is that they might know the mystery of God, namely Christ (2:2)
  • Paul's admonishment: continue in Christ as you have received Him (2:6)
  • Continuing in Christ involves being rooted and strengthened in faith with thankfulness (2:7)
  • Work at everything with all your heart, with knowledge of your inheritance and proper master (3:23,24)

Avoiding the Futile Philosophies of the Hopeless back to top
  • We should not be judged by external restrictions which are shadows of Christ (2:16,17)
  • Paul doesn't want them to be deceived by fine sounding arguments (2:4)
  • Paul's imperative: Don't let some hollow and deceptive philosophy take you captive (2:8)

PUTTING ON THE NEW SELF: CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY back to top

The Futility of the Old Self back to top
  • Deceived by fine sounding arguments (2:4)
  • Judged by external restrictions which are shadows of Christ (2:16,17)
  • Anothers false humility disqualifies from the prize (2:18,19)
  • The one with false "spiritual insight" has lost connection with the Head (2:19)
  • Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature (3:5)
  • Earthly nature: Sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed - which is idolatry (3:5)
  • Former ways: Anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, lieing (3:8,9)
  • There is no favoritism for wrongdoers (3:25)

The New Self and the Hope of Glory: Christ in You, and Your Life Hidden in Christ back to top
  • The mysteryPaul preaches is this: Christ in you, the hope of glory (1:27)
  • Since you died, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (3:1)
  • Since you died, set your minds on things above and not on earthly things (3:2)
  • Your life is now hidden with Christ in God, and will appear when he appears. (3:3,4)
  • New self is renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator (3:10)
  • Clothe yourselves, bear with one another, forgive as forgiven, and put on love (3:12-14)
  • Clothing: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love (3:12;14)
  • Let peace of Christ rule your hearts, you were called to peace (3:15)
  • Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with gratitude (3:16)
  • Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus (3:17)
  • Work at everything with all your heart, with knowledge of your inheritance and proper master (3:23,24)
  • Be devoted to prayer, both vigilent and thankful (4:2-4)
  • Make the most of every opportunity, especially with gracious conversation (4:5,6)

Paul and the Enduring Servants of Christ back to top
  • Paul's Prayer Of Thanksgiving For Colossians (1:3-6)
  • Epaphras, A Dear Fellow Servant & Faithful Minister (1:7,8)
  • Paul is a servant of the gospel of God (1:23)
  • Paul suffers, on behalf of Christ, for the Church (1:24)
  • Paul became a servant by comission of God (1:25)
  • Paul's purpose is to present everyone perfect in Christ (1:28)
  • Paul's proclamation with wisdom & knowledge is Christ (1:28)
  • Paul labors, struggling with Christ's power working in him (1:29)
  • Paul struggling for those he has not met personally (2:1)
  • Paul's purpose is that they might know the mystery of God, namely Christ (2:2)
  • He struggles for them to be encouraged in heart, united in love for the purpose of understanding (2:2)

DIACHRONIC OVERVIEW back to top

The Present Sufficiency of Christ's Reconciliation back to top
  • All over the world the gospel is bearing fruit (1:6)
  • God has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the kingdom of light (1:12)
  • He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and has brought us into kingdom of Son (1:13)
  • In Christ we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (1:14)
  • Christ is before all things and in him all things hold together (1:17)
  • He is the head of the body, the church (1:18)
  • He is the beginning and the first born from among the dead (1:18)
  • All God's fullness dwells in Him (1:19)
  • He has reconciled all things to himself through Christ (1:20)
  • He has made peace through the blood of Christ, shed on the cross (1:20)
  • He has now reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death (1:22)
  • He has reconciled you to present you holy and without blemish - free from accusation (1:22)
  • The mystery is now disclosed to the saints: Christ in you, the hope of glory (1:26,27)
  • Christ is the mystery of God in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom & knowledge (2:3)
  • In Christ, all the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form (2:9)
  • We have been given fullness in Christ, having been circumsized by him in baptism (2:10-12)
  • God has made those who were dead alive (2:13)
  • God forgave all of our sins (2:13)
  • God has cancelled the written code with its regulations, nailing it once for all to the cross (2:14)
  • Religious festivals, New Moons and Sabbath days are shadows to the reality of Christ (2:16)
  • You died with Christ to the basic prinicipals of this world. (4:20)
  • Masters have a master in heaven (4:1)

The Hope Which Shapes the Present Christian Life back to top
  • Hope is stored up in heaven. (1:5)
  • If you continue in your faith, not moved from the hope of the gospel (1:23)
  • Set hearts and minds on things above,Your life is hidden with Christ, your life will also appear (3:1-4)
  • The wrath of God is coming (3:6)
  • The new self is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (3:10)
  • Workers will receive an inheritance from the Lord for their labors (3:24)