Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study

The Book of Colossians

Colossians is one of Paul's Epistles. Epistles are letters that Paul wrote to Christians in the early churches.


Colossae was located in the present day country of Turkey. The city of Colossae was famous for the beautiful red cloth that was made there. The cloth was called colossinum. An important person in Colossae was Philemon, a man who owned slaves. Bible scholars believe that one of Philemon's slaves, Onesimus, escaped and went to Rome. He then met Paul and became a Christian. Paul then sent Onesimus back to Philemon with a letter that later become the book of Philemon.   

The church in Colossae was started by Epaphras.

Paul wrote the letter to Colossae when he was in prison in Rome. When Paul wrote his letter to the church in Colossae, he had never visited there.

Summary of the Book of Colossians from The Bible Project.

Paul wrote the letter because of the people in the church at Colossae were starting to have some pagan and Jewish beliefs. Paul wanted to warn them. He also wanted to remind them about the saving power of Jesus.

Paul also wrote about becoming new people in Christ.  Christians lose their old ways and become new people.

He also wrote about how members of families should treat each other.


Colossians 1 - 4

Paul reminds the Colossians about the power of Christ.
People become new and behave well after they accept Christ.
Christians lose their old sinful ways.
Family members should treat each other well.
Paul talks about some of the people who help his ministry.

Colossians 1

Paul reminds the Colossians about the power of Christ.

This letter is from Paul  I am an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. Timotheus, our brother, is here, too.

[1] Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

I am writing to the saints and faithful followers of Christ who live in Colossae.  I ask our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to give you grace and peace.
[2] To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and pray for you always.

[3] We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all of Christ's followers. You have hopes for heaven since you heard the truth of the gospel.

[4] Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
[5] For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

You heard the gospel, and it is spreading around the world. People are hearing it and believing in Jesus. Like you, they know the truth about the grace of God.

[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 of God in truth:

You learned the gospel from our faithful minister of Christ, Epaphras. He has told us about your love in the Spirit.

[7] As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
[8] Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

Since the day we heard about your love, we have not stopped praying for you.  We hope you will be filled with the knowlege of God's will and will have wisdom and understanding.

[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;

People become new and behave well after they accept Christ.

We hope you will behave like a follower of the Lord.  Treat everyone well and do good things for people. Continue to learn more about God.

[10] That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

God's glorious power will make you strong.  You will face your suffering with patience and joy.

[11] Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

You will give thanks to the Father who has made us to live forever like the saints. He has saved us from the power of darkness. He has brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son. He saved us with his blood and forgave our sins.

[12] Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
[13] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
[14] In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

His Son Jesus is like God who is invisbile. He is the firstborn of every living thing.  He made everything in heaven and on earth. He made everything invisible and visible.  He made the weak and the strong and powerful. Everything was created by Him and for Him.

[15] Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
[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:

Jesus lived before everything else.  He created all things.

[17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

He is the head of the church. He is the beginning. He was the first to be resurrected from the dead. He is over all things.
[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 might have the preeminence.

God is happy that He lives fully in His son.

[19] For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

God is happy that Jesus made peace by giving His blood on the cross. That made everyone who believes in Him clean. That is everyone in earth and everyone in heaven.

[20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Christians lose their old sinful ways.

You were sometimes separated from God. You did sinful things and thought wicked thoughts.  Now, Jesus has saved you.

[21] And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

He sacrificed His earthly body so that you would be clean and holy to God.

[22] In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

You will be holy if you continue to have faith in God. Do not move away from the gospel which gives you hope.  You have heard the gospel that has been preached to every creature under heaven.  I, Paul, am a minister of the gospel.

[23] If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

I suffer because I bring you the gospel. My body suffers for the church, just as Christ suffered. I am happy that I suffer for the gospel of Christ.

[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 body's sake, which is the church:

It was God's plan that I become a minister of the gospel.  I bring the gospel to you to fulfill the prophecy of God.

[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 had been hidden for a long time.  Now, everyone can learn about God.

[26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

God gave the knowledge of His mystery of Christ to the Gentiles. They now can hope in the glory of Christ.

[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:

We preach to warn every man. We teach every man the wisdom. We want every man to be perfect in Christ Jesus. This is why I work. I try to do the work that He gave for me to do.

[28] Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
[29] Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Colossians 2

I want you to know how hard I work for you. It is not easy. I also work for the people in Laodicea and for people who have never met me.
[1] For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

I want them to be comforted and to be together in love. I want them to be rich with the promise and understanding of God the Father and of Christ. This is the treasure of wisdom and knowledge.

[2] That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
[3] In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I am telling you this so that no one can lie to you and confuse you.

[4] And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

I am not there with you in person. But, I am there with you in the spirit. I am happy and joyful about how you continue to have faith in Christ.

[5] For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

You have received Christ Jesus the Lord, and you behave like His followers.

[6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Follow what Jesus said.  You have been taught how to live. Always be grateful and show thankfulness.

[7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

I am warning you to be careful so that no one destroys your faith with lies and wrong philosophy. They only follow the world, and they don't follow Christ.

[8] Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

The body of the Godhead totally lives in Christ.

[9] For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

You are missing nothing when you have Christ.  He is the head of every nation and has all power.

[10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Circumcision took flesh off your bodies. In the same way, Christ has taken away your earthly sins and desires.

[11] In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

When you were baptized, it was like being buried.  Then, it was like you were raised from the dead. You are raised because you have faith in God who raised Jesus from the dead.

[12] Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

You were dead in your sins, and your flesh was not circumcised. But, He forgave your sins and put you back together again.

[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Jesus' death destroys the laws that were made against us.  The laws were nailed to the cross of Jesus.

[14] Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

He showed to everyone that He is more powerful than any earthly leader.

[15] And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

No one should tell you what to eat or drink. No one should tell you what you should do on holy days, when the moon is new, or on the sabbath days.

[16] Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Those laws were only shadows of what was to come. But the body of Christ is real and true.

[17] Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Don't let anyone fool you by pretending that they are humble and worship angels. They pretend to have visions and brag about how good they are.

[18] Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

They are not seeing God as the head that holds all parts together.

[19] And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

So, if you are dead to the world through Christ, why should you obey rules like, "Don't touch this, and don't eat that
or you will die." These are men's rules.
[20] Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
[21] (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
[22] Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

These rules make you look smart and like you obey God. But they do not make you honor God.

[23] Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Colossians 3

If you live in Christ, keep your mind on things of heaven. Christ sits on God's right hand in heaven.
[1] If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Love things that are heavenly and not things on earth.

[2] Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Your earthly body will be dead, and your life is now with Christ in God.

[3] For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

When Christ comes back in glory, you will also be with Him in glory.

[4] When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Kill the evil desires in your earthly body: immoral sex, uncleanness, lying, dishonesty, greed (which is a type of idolatry). These things make God very angry.

[5] Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
[6] For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

This is how you acted when you lived like the world.

[7] In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

But now you don't do these bad things: get angry at people, do bad things to people, talk bad about God, say filthy words.

[8] But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Don't tell lies to each other now that you are a new man. You have taken off the old man and his sinful actions.  The new man is made in the image of God who created him.

[9] Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
[10] And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Everyone who is in Christ is the same. There is no Greek or Jew, circumcised person or uncircumcised person, Barbarian, Scythian (uncivilized people), slave or free.
[11] Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Now, you are God's chosen people. You should be merciful, kind, humble, quiet, and patient.

[12] Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

You should forgive each other and be patient with each other. If anyone is mean to you, you should forgive him the same as Christ forgave you.

[13] Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

More than anything else, you should love other people. It bonds or holds everything together.

[14] And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Let the peace of God rule your hearts. You are each part of the body. Be thankful.

[15] And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Let the word of Christ live in you and make you wise. Use God's scripture and words to teach and correct each other. Sing to the Lord with grace in your hearts.

[16] Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

And whatever you do or say, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to God and the Father by Him.

[17] And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Family members should treat each other well.

Wives, you should obey your husbands as it is the Lord's will.

[18] Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

Husbands, you should love your wives and not be angry with them.

[19] Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

Children, you should obey your parents about everything. This makes the Lord happy.

[20] Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Fathers, do not make your children angry. It will cause them to be discouraged.

[21] Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Servants, obey your masters. Don't just pretend to obey them when they are looking at you. Obey them out of respect to God.

[22] Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart like you are working for the Lord and not men on earth.

[23] And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

You will receive your reward from the Lord. 

[24] Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

The person who does wrong will be punished no matter who they are.

[25] But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Colossians 4

Masters, be fair to your servants. Treat them equally. Remember that you have a Master in heaven.

[1] Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

Continue to pray and be thankful.

[2] Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Keep praying for us. I am in jail for spreading the word of Christ. Pray that God will open a door for us to continue to witness. Pray that I can tell everyone clearly about the mystery of Christ. 
[3] Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
[4] That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

When you are with unbelievers, be wise and use your time well. Have good behavior and say the right things.  Use the right words with everyone.

[5] Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
[6] Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

About some of the other Christians with Paul.

Tychicus is one of my Christian brothers. He is a faithful worker for Jesus. He will let you know how I'm doing.
[7] All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:

I'm sending him to you because I want him to find out how you're doing. He can encourage you and cheer you up. 

[8] Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;

Tychicus is traveling with Onesimus. He is one of you.  He is a faithful and beloved brother in Christ. They will tell you everything about our work here.

[9] With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

One of the prisoners with me is named Aristarchus. He says hello to you. There is also Marcus. He is Barnabas' sister's son. If he comes to see you, please make him feel welcome.

[10] Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

There is Jesus who is also called Justus. These three have been circumcised. These are the people who help me work for the kingdom of God. They have been a big help to me.

[11] And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

Laodicea and Hierapolis were 2 cities that Paul wrote about in his letter.

Laodicea was a city near the Lycus River. It was in the country that is now Turkey.

Hierapolis was close to Laodicea.  It was famous for its hot springs. People used to travel there to bathe in the springs.

One of your neighbors, Epaphras, is working for Christ, too. He says hello to you. He prays very hard for you. He prays that you will follow the will of God completely. I can tell you for sure that he is very interested in you and the people who live in Laodicea and Hierapolis.

[12] Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
[13] For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

Luke, the beloved doctor, and Demas also say hello to you.

[14] Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

Say hello to the believers who live in Laodicea. We send regards to the woman named Nymphas and the people of the church that meets in her house.
[15] Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

When this letter is read, be sure to read it also to the church in Laodicea. Also, read the letter that I sent to the people in Laodicea.

[16] And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

Please tell Archippus to do the good work that God has given him to do.

[17] And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

I, Paul, send you this letter. I pray for Grace to be with you. Amen.

[18] The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

Our Bible Study is an ongoing "work in progress".  We add a new section approximately every 2-3 weeks.


Back to the previous chapters To the next chapters

Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

Workers For Jesus Main Page