Colossians 1:

v6: The phrase “in all the world” is believed by many commentators to mean “the inhabited earth” (this would not mean the literal whole world). Others would say “the known world” (which would probably leave out the Americas, southern Africa, Australia and many islands, etc.). Still others say it means the “land of Israel.”

v13: We have been delivered from the domain (or authority) of darkness. Sometimes the longer we are in Christ, the more we forget how strong the power of darkness is. When we witness to people, we can pray against this power on their behalf.

v15: This does not mean that He is a created being aas the Jehovah witnesses claim. The idea is that Jesus has preeminence over all creation. The word translated, “firstborn” can refer to preeminence in rank or preeminence in time (as v18 suggests).

v16: “For by Him (Jesus) were all things created….” Good support for the deity of Christ.

v17: “…and in Him all things consist (or hold together).” Scientists still do not quite understand the force that holds atoms together. Even magnetic power is not completely understood – much like light and gravity – we use it, we know some of its properties and laws, but we do not understand it all. Most scientists would be shocked to discover that it is Christ Himself that holds all matter together. Science may have great discoveries over the years, but is still limited in what it can tell us.

v19: “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him (Jesus).” More support for the deity of Christ.

Colossians 2:

v3: All knowledge and wisdom are hidden in Jesus. This is one reason why people of high intellect need to submit their minds to the Holy Spirit and to His Word rather than trying to understand this world apart from Him. Remember, Jesus did not do or say anything unless the Father told Him to do so. He was utterly dependent on God for wisdom and knowledge. It matters not whether our profession is laborer, scientist, educator, machinist, law enforcer, chemist, medical doctor, politician, or lawyer. We all need this “connective dependence” (John 15:5) in order to be right and do God’s will, and have the power to pull it off.

v4 & v8-9: A warning against being fooled by persuasive arguments. God knew that the devil would deceive via philosophy of men and empty deception brought about by the traditions of men and the spirit of this world (Satan). And just what doctrine of Truth is emphasized right after this warning? The deity of Christ. v9 = “For in Jesus all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” Every cult that claims to be Christian will deny the Deity of Christ…and they have “persuasive arguments” lined up and ready to spew out. I have heard them all and they can easily be proven wrong with Scriptures. Hebrews Chapter 1 is the most common passage that seems to stump the cults. It refers to Jesus not being just angel, and that God commands angels to worship Him (Jesus, the Son). If Jesus is not God, then God told the angels to sin for only God is to be worshiped. But this is just one of many verses that indicate the deity of Christ.

v10: Continues to assert the deity of Christ by stating, “He is the head over all rule and authority.” This statement can only be true for God.

v14: Describes our sinful plight and all the hostility that comes with accusations of sin (decrees against us) as a “certificate of debt.” Jesus has nailed this to the cross thereby taking it away from us. This is truly an amazing message that no other religion offers.

v15: Jesus has completely disarmed the “rulers and authorities” (Satan and his demons – Ephesians 6:12). Jesus did this publicly via the cross. He defeated our four enemies: Satan, sin, self, and death. This is total disarmament and He has given His children power over these beings.

v16-23: So we no longer need to regard or celebrate religious holy days, including Sabbaths since these were all mere shadows of Christ who was to come. Even self-abasement (going out of our way to be humble and making it obvious to others) or worship of angels is not appropriate. We can’t even trust people who claim to have visions if they are arrogant (of a fleshly mind). Warns against being a slave to man’s religious rules such as don’t taste/touch which is man-made religion, not the real Christ. God’s Word says that these things do not help us fight off selfish or sinful indulgence. It’s kind of like the alcoholic who gives up drinking for a month or so (in order to prove he/she does not have a drinking problem) only to totally indulge in drinking when the time limit is over. Or, people who give up certain foods for a time period thinking that it somehow earns favor with God, yet when the “fast” is over, they resort back to being their same selves. This is religion that Jesus did not die for. Fasting food or certain foods according to God’s Word has one purpose – more power in prayer to move demonic strongholds, not to impress others or some temporary self denial for the sake of achieving something “good.” Religion deceives and binds us while relationship with the real Jesus liberates us and empowers us with Truth.

Colossians 3 – This chapter maps out how we are supposed to live. First, we need to set our minds on “things above” (God’s perspective and Kingdom Laws) rather than earthly things. Then all the great things we’ve allowed Him to do in us and through us will eventually be revealed when Christ comes for us at the end of this age. There are two “selves” in us. One is the “old” man who loves what this temporary world offers. The other is the “new” man who wants to please God and has the eternal perspective. We must feed the “new” man so that it grows bigger and stronger than the “old” man. If we keep our priorities on Jesus, read His Word, worship Him, and hang out with strong believers, we feed the “new” man and the “old man” withers and dies. If we do not do these three things, we slide backward and allow the “old” man to rule again.

Regarding reading the Bible – v16 says to “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” To me, this means we marry ourselves to His Word, the Bible. This entails knowing it, loving it, meditating upon it, obeying it, and being able to defend it. I see these actions as the only way to have His Word dwell RICHLY within us. Finally, whatever we do, do it unto the Lord knowing that He sees all and rewards us even though people do not realize all that we do.

v23: When we work, we need to work well for God who we know is watching. this way, whether or not the the boss is watching, we will work well. So it’s a win-win for us! God is pleased and the boss will never catch us being lazy.

Also there is an abundant promotion of love.

Colossians 4: Biblical Slavery vs. Black Slavery

v1: A little glimpse into the Biblical type of slavery that had nothing to do with the horror of African-American slavery from United States’ history. This issue causes uninformed critics to deride the Holy Scriptures unfairly. Biblical slavery was “manservanthood.” These were people who owed money and they worked off their debt and were freed later. Like any power situation with fallen man, there are abuses, but the Bible states what proper behavior is for both the “slave” and the “master.”

The 1787 Constitution’s treatment of slaves is clearly unbiblical. For example, notice how it bars runaway slaves from being legally emancipated if they escape to a free state:

“No person [slave or servant] held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged [emancipated] from such Service of Labour, but shall be delivered up [involuntarily returned] on Claim of the Party [slave-owner or master] to whom such Service or Labour may be due.”

Now compare how the preceding constitutional mandate for the return of runaway slaves blatantly contradicts Scripture:

“Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee; he shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best; thou shalt not oppress him.” (Deuteronomy 23:15-16)

So have this defense ready when people put down the Bible regarding this issue.

v3: Speaks of the concept of “an open door” in order to speak the mystery of the Gospel of Christ to others. Pray for these “windows of opportunity.” This reflects the Satanic hold on earth – the fact that we need “a crack” in it in order to have people respond favorably to Jesus. Logic tells me that every person should flock to the offer of eternal life without having to earn it via good works. But since this is not happening, it indicates the presence of something dark and powerful preventing it.

v4-6: Ask God to give you clear speech and know how to make the most out of opportunities that you have prayed for. We need to be spiritually sensitive to each person to whom we share the News about Jesus. We need to depend on the Spirit to do all these things because we cannot do all these things apart from Him.

v11: A reminder that most early Christians were Jews. People today sometimes erroneously think that a person cannot be both Christian and Jew.

v14: Reveals that Luke (the Gospel writer), who traveled much with Paul, was a doctor.