When I was growing up, I thought that the terms “disciples,” “apostles,” and “the Twelve” all referred to the same group of twelve men who followed Jesus around between his baptism and his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.
During my detailed studies, going through the book verse by verse, I continually compared what I was finding with my outline. Now, I need to consider making any necessary changes to the outline, because the outline will help me decide how to teach Colossians.
The final section of Colossians (Colossians 4:7-18) can be divided into three parts: 1) Travel plans – or introduction (Colossians 4:7-9), 2) greetings (Colossians 4:10-17), and 3) final exhortations/closing (Colossians 4:18).
This passage can be divided into two parts: 1) exhortations concerning prayer and 2) exhortations concerning outsiders. Remember with that these instructions, Paul continues to describe what it means to walk in Christ (or to live in him).
In this passage, Paul again warns the Colossians against trusting human traditions, even those that appear to promote some type of wisdom. In our terms, this human wisdom and philosophy would seem to be rational and logical and even religious. However, Paul says to stay away from these things and only trust Christ.
This then leads into a discussion of the Son of God, and specifically, the preeminence of the Son of God over both creation and the church (with the church in general and the church in Colossae specifically in view).
The next part of the letter consists of the prayer. The prayer easily divides into two parts: Part 1 (Colossians 1:3-8) and Part 2 (Colossians 1:9-14). I’ve already discussed the first part of the prayer, so this post concerns the second part.
While praying for the Colossians, Paul and Timothy thank God because they have heard two things about them: 1) They heard about their faith (trust) in Jesus Christ, and 2) they heard about their love for all of God’s children.