The Book of Colossians was written to the brethren at Colossae and to the brethren of Laodicea; it is therefore a direct message to the Church of God groups today; who are for the most part the latter day Laodiceans.
Before we start, it would be a good idea to remember that Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. Everywhere he went; he spoke first to the Jews and was usually rejected by most of them and then went to speak to the Gentiles.
Paul greets those who are faithful to follow Christ.
Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace [mercy] be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul pronounces a blessing of forgiveness and peace with God for their sincere repentance and dedicated love of God and love of keeping God’s Word; then he lets them know that he and his companions are praying for them.
1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 1:4 Since we heard of your faith [and the works of faith] in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
Paul points out that they have been faithful to the truth of the way to salvation that was preached to them, and mentions that they will receive a rich spiritual reward for their diligence to learn godliness. They are informed that Paul knows of their diligence because Epaphras has reported to Paul of their zeal and faithfulness to God.
1:5 For the hope [reward of eternal life] which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace [mercy] of God in truth: 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Paul and his companions pray for the spiritual growth of God’s true called out to Christ; that they may be filled with the whole Word of God, and strengthened by God’s Spirit.
1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord [live by every Word of God] unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work [Keeping the whole Word of God], and increasing in the knowledge of God; 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Paul now begins to get into doctrine
1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [called us and delivered us] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Those who are zealous for the keeping of God’s Word are actually being zealous to keep the constitution and laws of God’s Kingdom. Although that Kingdom has not yet come to rule over the earth, in a spiritual sense the faithful are internalizing the nature of the Head of that kingdom, God the Father, and by obeying his Word are a spiritual foretaste of God’s Kingdom.
1:14 In whom [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood [sacrifice], even the forgiveness of [sincerely repented PAST] sins:
Paul proclaims that Christ was the Creator and is a member of the family of God right under God the Father; and that Christ is the HEAD of the true Ekklesia.
1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he [Christ might be preeminent over all; under God the Father] might have the preeminence.
1:19 for it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross [ Christ’s sacrificial death], by him to reconcile all things unto himself [God the Father]; by him [by Christ], I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Jesus Christ has atoned for all sincerely repented PAST sins, and has reconciled the repentant who commit to sin no more and to live by every Word of God; to God the Father.
1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he [Christ] reconciled [us to God the Father]
Jesus Christ the Creator God made flesh, gave up his physical life in the flesh; to die and atone for all who will stop sinning and turn to live by every Word of God. If we therefore endure and continue in zealously keeping the whole Word of God, without any compromise or any hint of turning aside; we shall become holy as God is holy.
1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to [Christ died so that he could present us to the Father unblameable (sinless and keeping the whole Word of God) before God the Father] present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
1:23 If ye continue in the faith [and the works of faith; which is living by every Word of God] grounded and settled [on the sound doctrine of the whole Word of God; the apostles and prophets who wrote the scripture], and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel [not be moved away from any part of the whole Word of God which is the hope of salvation], which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Jesus, Paul and all of God’s servants, endure persecutions and afflictions so that we may rejoice over the deliverance of humanity.
1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his [Christ’s] body’s sake, which is the church: 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
The mystery of the plan of God for the salvation of man, both Jew and Gentile, is contained in the scriptures and has been made known to the truly called to Christ
1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
The mystery of the ages is the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God for the sins of the world, AND that God will dwell in each of his people through the agency of the Holy Spirit; empowering and enabling them to live by every Word of God as Christ did. Enabling those who follow God’s Spirit with a passionate love of the truth, to overcome and endure as Jesus Christ overcame all sin and was blameless before God the Father!
1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
We sinned through the breaking of God the Father’s Word which is living contrary to the nature and Spirit of God. We are reconciled to God by sincere repentance, a commitment to STOP sinning, and the application of the sacrifice of Christ, and then being washed clean by learning and keeping the whole Word of God.
Why then would we go back into the spiritual Egypt of bondage to sin and such offenses against the nature and Spirit of God the Father, in the name of some false fantasy of our own imaginations about the nature of love, the nature of God [for God IS love]; doing what we think is right, instead of doing what God says is right?
Yes, the ways of God are the ways of love: and those ways, that love; is defined by the Law and Word of God. Therefore any compromise with any part of the Word of God is a compromise with the love and nature of God!
Watch out for the heresy which teaches tolerance for lawlessness in the name of a false concept of love, or in the name of organizational unity. Our unity is to be unity and oneness with God the Father, as Christ was united with God the Father in every way.
Jesus Christ did NOT sacrifice his unity with God the Father for organizational unity with the religious establishment of his day: and neither should we!
Jesus Christ kept all of his Father’s Word in both letter and spirit, WITHOUT COMPROMISE: If WE are to be like Christ and his Father; we MUST do likewise!
Sincere repentance and the sacrificial death of the physical body of Christ atones for our PAST sincerely repented sins and purifies us so that we can be presented to God the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach in his sight: IF we remain in a faithful relationship with God through a passionate love that reveals itself in our zeal for all that pertains to him; including the diligently living by every Word of God: Then we will do nothing for which God will need rebuke us.
Yet, if we turn back into the bondage to sin and compromise with the Will and Word of God the Father, we shall indeed be rebuked, as those who wanted to turn back into Egypt were destroyed from before the Eternal in the wilderness.
We must STOP sinning and we must continue in the ways of God and not depart from them, nor compromise with them, even to the point of suffering and death.