v1-2 - Paul's familiar introduction that we've seen in other epistles.
v3-14 - It can be so easy to say to a person "I'm praying for you..." Paul goes a step beyond and tells the Colossians exactly why he's praying for them and what he's praying for:
WHY he's praying: to give thanks because he's heard about:
Their faith and love;
How they are bearing fruit as they grow in the gospel;
That God has rescued us from darkness and brought us into the kingdom of Christ, since we have redemption and forgiveness of sins in Him.
WHAT he's praying (continually) for:
That God will fill you with knowledge through the wisdom the Spirit gives;
...so that: you will live a live worthy of the Lord and will please Him in every way.
v15-23 - This passage is like a sidebar to the main passage reminding us once again who Jesus is and what He did.
Jesus is the image of God and the firstborn of creation, through whom all things have been made.
He has reconciled all things to Himself. In other words, He bought all that there is and paid with His blood which was shed on the cross.
Because you were bought by Christ, and the fullness of God dwells in Christ, you have been reconciled with God!
This is the Gospel message:
You are included in Christ. In Him, you've died to sin and have been raised to new life.
Therefore, He now presents you holy and blameless to the Father.
v24-20 - Paul has dedicated his life to preaching this gospel, and has endured significant suffering in doing so.
Yet Paul doesn't see the need to delve into the details of his suffering, as he right away begins praising the newly revealed mystery of the gospel.
The call to respond to God's grace is not something we are to do once in a while when we go to church or when we get a break in our busy schedules.
Instead, we must emulate the attitude and effort that Paul had:
I'm working as hard as possible with the energy that Christ has so powerfully energized me with (literal paraphrase of v29)
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Genesis 1:28 reminds us that God's blessing always comes with an obligation to serve Him:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Paul mentioned his fellow servant who taught the gospel to the Colossians. What was his name? (See verse 7.)
Re-write Genesis 1:28 using phrases and ideas from Colossians 1. Use the comment box below.
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God our Father (v2), the one who rules all things through our Lord Jesus Christ (v15-20)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom the Spirit gives (v9).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: