Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus is essential as we navigate life's ups and downs, and that's exactly the focus of the Book of Colossians, a New Testament text written by the Apostle Paul.
Colossians 1 offers us some thought-provoking advice for how we are to build and sustain our faith, with truths we can apply today as we navigate an ever-secularized culture.
Some of the most well-known verses are Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:16 and Colossians 1:27, as we will explore in this Colossians 1 commentary. Let's dive right in:
Book of Colossians: The Intro
Colossians 1 opens with Paul writing to Christians in Colossae about thankfulness and prayer. The Book of Colossians goes on to quickly note that Paul heard that believers in Colossae were faithful to Jesus.
Beyond that, Paul writes in Colossians 1 about how the Christian faith at the time was spreading throughout the globe as well as in Colossae.
Paul proclaims that he had been praying for the Christians in Colossae — and what he says about these invocations is worth taking into account as we pray today for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Colossians 1 Commentary: Our Deepest Prayers
It is this invocation aspect of Colossians 1 that is worthy of deeper exploration, as Paul discusses the importance of asking God for wisdom so that we can live the lives God wants us to live.
With this knowledge, Paul also offers prayer as an avenue to help people grow in their endurance, patience, joy and thanks.
"We have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
Book of Colossians: We Have Been Rescued
This idea of being "rescued" is essential to understanding the gospel. Many of us struggle in our lives to find hope, perseverance and healing, yet we are reminded in these verses that God has "rescued us from the dominion of darkness" and that Jesus has redeemed and forgiven us.
And in Colossians 1:15 (NIV) we are told in simple terms that Christ offers us a powerful lens into the father. Colossians 1:15 reads, "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
If this isn't powerful enough, the next verse — Colossians 1:16 — goes on to tell us more about our Rescuer and his role in creation itself. Colossians 1:16 reads:
"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him."
And the scriptures continue from there, with Paul telling us that Jesus holds all things together, that he is the head of the church and that God's "fullness" dwells in Christ. It is through Jesus, Paul says, that God chose to "reconcile to himself all things ... making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
As we see in this Colossians 1 commentary, it was Jesus' selfless and loving act of sacrifice that we were redeemed.
Colossians 1: Be Servants
Colossians 1 tells us much about Christ and his importance to every aspect of our existence. With that in mind, it's interesting to see Paul briefly mention his own devotion to the Christian cause. In fact, he describes himself as a "servant" to the church.
Considering all that Paul sacrificed and his total devotion to Jesus, Colossians 1 might cause us to self-reflect and ponder, "What am I sacrificing or doing for Jesus and the church?" The answer to this question can be telling, convicting and affirming.
But after Paul spent so much time describing the essential nature of Christ to creation, not posing this question does a disservice not only to ourselves but to our fellow believers and non-believers alike. After all, if a message is that essential, mustn't we act on it?
Colossians 1:27: Embracing the Mystery
As this Colossians 1 commentary comes to an end, there's one more key verse — Colossians 1:27 — that is worthy of exploration.
Leading up to this verse, Paul discusses the word of God "in its fullness" as a mystery that was hidden for generations, but is now disclosed to "the Lord's people." Colossians 1:27 (NIV) then reads: "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
It is this hope that we can cling to no matter what we face in this life. When we struggle, we can turn to God in prayer to ask for wisdom, strength and the courage to carry on.