Analysis of the Letter to the Colossians

Paul makes it very clear why he is writing this letter to the Colossians (2:1-8). He wanted to make absolutely certain that they had a full understanding of what Christ had accomplished for them and at the same time warn them against the false teachers that were creeping into the church.

Those who claimed to have special knowledge and hidden wisdom (Gnostics) had invaded the church at Colosse. These false teachers tried to prove that their doctrines were superior to the teachings of the apostles. Without being initiated into their cult no one could truly know God and salvation. They rejected the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. They taught a system of self-denial and mysticism as the only way to God. (2:16-23).

Paul opposed these false teachers by revealing the glory and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of the church. He declared that Christ’s work on the cross alone brought a man salvation.(2:8, 1:14-22).In chapters 2 – 3 Paul speaks of the completeness we have in Christ. The philosophy of the false teachers was simply vanity. (2:18).Paul believed that the best way to deal with the false teachers was to make the Colossians fully aware of all they had been given by Christ.

He told the Colossians that living for Jesus by faith (evidenced by appropriate conduct as believers) was sufficient proof that they were saved.(1:27, 3:1-4:1). They did not need to add the world’s wisdom or some secret to be a real believer. For true believers Jesus Christ is the Creator, Sustainer, and Reconciler of all things in heaven and earth. (1:15, 2:9). The only wisdom we need is the perfect wisdom of Christ. (1:13-2:23).