Author: Ron Graham
When we read between the lines of Paul's letter to the Colossians, we see that a heresy was developing in Colosse.
The heresy evidently denied or undermined certain truths concerning Jesus Christ. Paul strongly counters the heresy by teaching at least seven truths about Jesus Christ...
Paul makes a string of statements that show that Jesus is God (Colossians 1:13-19). It may be that a doctrine was creeping in that Jesus was a created being of high place, but not not the eternal God.
Paul shows that redemption and reconciliation were accomplished by Jesus in his fleshly body and by the blood he shed on the cross. It may be that a doctrine was creeping in that flesh and blood are evil, hence Paul's emphasis on the flesh and blood of Christ as the means of atonement (Colossians 1:14,20-22).
Paul emphasises that the faith and hope of Christians rests in the gospel to which Paul's ministry was dedicated, the original gospel that had been proclaimed in all the world. It may be that a doctrine was creeping in that true knowledge was for a priveleged few and that there is a secret knowledge superior to that revealed in the gospel. Note the following terms that Paul uses...
Paul made his ministry to "every man" (Colossians 1:28). Paul frowned upon distinctions and said that "Christ is all and in all" (Colossians 3:11). Christ "forgave us all" (Colossians 2:13).
Paul exhorted everyone to clothe themselves with a Christ-like "heart of compassion, kindness, humility..." (Colossians 3:12). It may be that an attitude of eletism was creeping in that made some feel superior and to look down on others.
Paul stresses that Jesus created not only material things but powers and authorities (Colossians 1:16). He also "disarmed the rulers and authorities" (Colossians 2:15).
Paul condemned the "worship of angels" (Colossians 2:18). It may be that false practices were creeping in that gave honour to powers and beings other than Jesus Christ.
We note Paul's criticism of rules, regulations, and taboos that were commandments of men and not the law of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:20-23). It may be that "self made religion" was beginning to supplant the pure Christian religion.
We conclude with a lyrical passage (Colossians 3:1-4) in which Paul calls us to seek nothing but Christ and his glory in whom our lives are hidden. It may be that false teachers were beginning to distract people from this simplicity by claiming to have secret and hidden knowledge.