The Apostle Paul was the primary writer of the Book of Colossians (Colossians 1:13). Timothy is also given some credit (Colossians 1:1).
Date of Writing: The Book of Colossians was likely written between 58-62 A.D.
Purpose of Writing: The Book of Colossians is a mini-ethics course, addressing every area of Christian life. Paul progresses from the individual life to the home and family; from work to way we should treat others. The entire theme of this book is the sufficiency of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in meeting our needs in every area.
Key Verses: Colossians 1:15-16, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him."
Colossians 2:8, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
Colossians 3:12-13, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Colossians 4:5-6, "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
Brief Summary: Colossians was written explicitly to defeat heresy that had arisen in Colosse, which endangered the existence of the church. While we do not know what was told Paul, this epistle is his response.
We can surmise based on Paul’s response that he was dealing with a defective view of Christ. (His real and true humanity and further not accepting His full deity.) Paul appears also to dispute the “Jewish” emphasis on circumcision and traditions (Colossians 2:8-11; 3:11). The heresy addressed appears to be either a Jewish-Gnosticism or a mix between Jewish asceticism and Greek (Stoic?) philosophy. He does a remarkable job in pointing us to the sufficiency of Christ.
Practical Application: Although Paul addresses many areas, the basic application for us today is the total and complete sufficiency of Christ for our lives, our sanctification and our salvation. We must know and understand the Gospel so as not to be lead astray by subtle forms of legalism and heresy. We must be on guard for any deviation that would diminish Christ’s centrality as Lord and Savior. Any “religion” that tries to equate themselves using books that supposedly stand on equal authority of the Bible, or combine human efforts in reaching for God’s favor or freedom from sin must be avoided. Other religions cannot be combined, mixed in or added to Christianity. Christ gives us absolute standards of moral conduct. Christianity is a family, a way of life, a relationship not a religion. Good deeds, astrology, occultism and horoscopes do not show us God’s ways, but Christ does. His will is revealed in His word, His love letter to you and I, we must get to know it!