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2023-04-08 | In Him in You PART I | Colossians 1:1-8Introduction to Colossians
Paul was in Rome awaiting his upcoming trial before Caesar. As a Roman citizen, he had appealed to Caesar, to have his case heard in Rome, because of the onslaught of false accusations and the increasing demand he be executed because of them (Acts 25:11-12). Paul had not personally visited Colossae in his capacity as a minister of the Gospel, but they knew his position (as an Apostle). Paul did know Epaphras from Ephesus who we see mentioned here in the first Chapter. Epaphras was originally from Colossae, which was about 100 miles east of Ephesus. Paul commissioned him to bring the good news to Colossae, as well as Laodicea and Hierapolis. As always, Paul writes to teach, correct, direct, and commission, once again to a city mostly consisting of Gentile converts.

It was not uncommon for bad doctrine to creep in to affect those who came out of paganism into Christianity, because it is men’s propensity to seek followers for themselves, and much like in Galatia there was some legalism present. The letter to the Colossians, in part, serves to correct those wrong doctrines, although not in the way most traditional scholars present it—mostly because legalism is poorly understood. Legalism is not correctly defined by belief in the great importance of God’s laws as found in the Torah, for Christians. It should be more accurately understood as the granting of the same weight of authority to traditions of men as to the Laws of God (the Torah), and then demanding those traditions be adhered to in order to be in right standing with God. Requiring anything other than grace through faith as a means of redemption is legalism (Ephesians 2:4-10).

As expected, Paul, the Torah scholar who spent 14 years (Galatians 2:1) sorting out how the Spirit and the Law work together and compliment each another, does a masterful job setting the record straight.