Colossians – An Overview

One of my personal Bible study habits is that anytime I write a scripture reference in my journal, it get’s underlined there, then in my Bible, out in the margin beside that reference, I will write the journal date, so that for all my future reading of that passage, I can connect the two and go back and see what God has spoken to me through it in the past.

This morning I was reading through Colossians. It is by far one of my favorite books in the New Testament and God never fails to speak new things through it, but as I was looking back into my journal, I found an old journal entry covering the whole book, and thought it was worth sharing publicly, and hopefully it will be a benefit for your own Bible study. Here’s that journal entry

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Outline of  Colossians

I think there is an interesting layout to this book. Paul starts chapter 1 by telling the church everything he hope and prays for them regularly as they mature in Christianity. He hopes:

  • that they would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will
  • for spiritual wisdom and understanding
  • for their bearing fruit
  • that they would walk worthily of Christ
  • that they would be strengthened with God’s power (from 1:9-13)

Then, after telling them all this, beginning in verse 15, he steps all the way back to the gospel foundation and for the rest of the book, he walks them through the spiritual process for living the lives defined by these things he hopes and prays for them.

  • He explains again who Jesus is — 1:15-20
  • He then walks them through who we are in Him — 1:21-2:15
    • (2:9-10 particularly caught my interest based on what God has shown me from 1:27, which led to this blog I wrote saying that because Christ is in us and it is the hope for the world, then our lives should be leaking Christ as we go along. Christ was filled with all deity and we are filled with Christ, therefore we walk in His authority. This changes how we should see ourselves.)
  • If there is real identity change, then we shouldn’t be deceived with spiritual looking actions because they don’t carry real spiritual power. — 2:16-23
  • Instead, realize that your life is in Christ who dwells in Heaven, sitting on the throne that is above all thrones. Since we are in Christ, then to pray, “on earth as it is in heaven” means that we recognize that our lives are lived FROM Heaven, TO earth, not the other way around. — 3:1-4
  • The natural outflow of this realization is to put to death what is earthly ins us and to put on the heavenly nature we have in Him. — 3:5-17
    • This isn’t moralism or dead religion! It truly is discovering that we live a new, abundant, and spiritually overcoming life as Christ lives through us. This is where we begin to live out Paul’s hopes listed above.
  • Paul then gives some daily examples for living out this new life within your community and family. — 3:16-4:6
  • He closes with his usual greetings. — 4:7-18

(One thing that especially stuck out to me in this reading was 4:17 as he tells Archipus to “see that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” It reminded me of 2 Timothy 6-7, “fan into flame the gift of God that is in you…” If we leak Christ, and learn to walk in His authority, fulfilling His calling, how do we fan into flame the sparks of revival that come with that? Certainly by prayer, but is there more?)

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That’s it. Simple and straightforward. I hope it’s helpful to you.

If you take to reading through Colossians, I would love to hear your thoughts and insights into this book as a whole, or any passage that stuck out to you in the comments.