Paul: You Colossians Already Have It All

Tracing Out a Single Strand in Paul’s Letter


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His Argument


I. The Colossians’ Position in Christ

Paul's Syllogism

  1. The Colossians have faith and love (1:4).
  2. They heard the gospel and fully understood and recognized (ἐπιγινώσκω) the grace of God in truth (1:6).
  3. They learned this true gospel from Epaphras, a faithful minister of Christ (1:7).
  4. They are no longer estranged (1:21) but are now reconciled and will be presented by God holy, blameless, and irreproachable before him (1:22),
  5. IF they continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel they heard (1:23) (and again in 2:6).
  6. They currently have good order and firmness of faith in Christ (2:5).




II. Exhortations


A. As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live (walk) in him (2:6) (Having come full circle–inclusio–this verse repeats 1:23).

  • How? (2:7)
    • rooted in Christ
    • built up in Christ
    • established in the faith (as you were taught in the gospel by Epaphras)
    • overflowing with thanksgiving


B. Don’t do this:

  • Don’t let others deceive and draw you astray into their cul-de-sac of false belief (2:8),
  • Because you don’t need them:
    • Christ is everything (2:9)
    • and you have been:
      • filled in Christ (he is the presence with which you have been filled)  (he is the agent) (you are located in him) (2:10)
      • spiritually circumcised in Christ(2:11)
      • buried and raised with Christ (2:12)
      • made alive with Christ (2:13)
      • forgiven (2:13)
    • You are debt free (2:14)
    • Your creditors have been defeated and publicly shamed by God through Christ (2:15)


C. Don’t let this happen:

  • That anyone should pass judgment on you in regard to food, drink, festivals, new moons, or Sabbaths (2:16).
  • Because
    • You died with Christ (cf. 2:12) to all these worldly things (2:20)
    • and have been raised with Christ (cf. 2:12) (3:1).


D. But do this:

  • Seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (3:1).
  • Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (3:2).
  • Because
    • you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (3:3) [!!!!!]
    • when Christ our life appears, you will appear with him in glory (3:4).


III. Paul Continues Explaining in Detail How the Colossians Should Live (3:5-4:6)

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