COLOSSIANS - Christ, Pre-eminent in All Things.
The Apostle Paul also wrote this letter to the believers in Colosse, while he was in prison. Epaphras, a faithful minister to the believers at Colosse, had come to tell Paul of the heresies that were creeping into the church there.
These heresies had broken out among the younger believers, misleading them and calling for the worship of angels and a strict observance of Jewish ceremonies. This heresy was a mixture of Jewish, Greek and Oriental religions. Paul warns -
`Beware lest anyone should cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world,...
Let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths....
Let no one defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels.....` (Col. 2: 8, 16 & 18)
The failure of the Colossians was at this very point, “not holding fast to the Head.” (Col. 2: 19) Some thought that Jesus was but a man, and Christ the divine Spirit which came at baptism and left Him at the cross. This meant that Christ did not die but simply Jesus died.
These false teachings had sought to dethrone Christ in people`s minds. They denied His headship of the Church. To help answer them, Paul sends this letter back by Epaphras. He specifically writes on the pre-eminence and the deity of Christ.
`He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether throne or dominions or principalities or powers,
All things were created through Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
And He is the Head of the Body, the Church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.` (Col. 1: 15 - 18)
Paul encourages the Colossians, saying, that we are complete in Christ. We are rooted and built up, we are grounded and settled. Paul lays the facts of this building up process in the four chapters of the letter -
The deeper life, the higher life, the inner life and the outer life.