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by Frederick Brotherton Meyer
Outline of the Epistle to the Colossians
“Christ in You the Hope of Glory”
Salutation, Philippians 1:1-2
I. The Faith and the Experience of the Colossians,Philippians 1:3-30; Philippians 1:3-30 ; Philippians 2:1-5
1. Thanksgiving for the Faith of the Colossians , Philippians 1:3-7
2. Prayer for Their Growth in Knowledge and Grace , Philippians 1:8-11
3. The Pre-eminence of Christ , Philippians 1:12-20
4. The Experience of Redemption , Philippians 1:21-23
5. The Ministry of Redemption , Philippians 1:24-30 ; Philippians 2:1-5
II. the Character and Conduct of the Christian, Philippians 2:6-30 ; Philippians 3:1-21 ; Philippians 4:1-8
1. False Philosophies to be Rejected , Philippians 2:6-15
2. False Practices to be Avoided , Philippians 2:16-23
3. The Risen Life and the Old Life in Contrast , Philippians 3:1-4
4. The Scope of Christian Obligation , Philippians 3:5-21 ; Philippians 4:1-6
5. Personal Matters , Philippians 4:7-17
Conclusion, Philippians 4:18
Colosse was an important city in Asia Minor, not far from Laodicea and Hierapolis. The church there had been planted by Epaphras, perhaps during Paul’s residence at Ephesus. The Apostle, apparently, had not visited it himself, Philippians 2:1 , but was deeply interested in it through the report of his friend.
This Epistle was written during Paul’s imprisonment at Rome, Philippians 1:24 ; Philippians 4:18 , and apparently about the same time as those to the Ephesians and Philemon; for the three letters were sent by the hands of the same persons, Tychicus and Onesimus, Philippians 4:7 ; Philippians 4:9 ; Ephesians 6:21-22 . The Church was suffering from the teaching of a false philosophy which combined Oriental mysticism with Jewish ritualism, and turned the disciples from simple faith in Christ. The object of this Epistle, therefore, is to set forth the majesty and glory of our Lord’s person and character.
e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of Collossians in the printed edition
Review Questions on the Epistle to the Colossians
( a ) What does the Epistle teach about Christ’s preeminence?
( b ) What about the life of Christ’s followers?
( c ) By whom had the church at Colosse been established?
( d ) When was this Epistle written? What other Epistles were written about the same time?
( e ) What serious situation in the Colossian church did the Apostle seek to remedy?
Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .
1. What report had Paul received concerning the church at Colosse? To whom was he indebted for this?
2. In what ways is the pre-eminence of Christ manifested?
3. How could Paul rejoice in his sufferings?
4. Against what dangers does he warn the Colossians?
5. How does the work of Christ free us from the reproach of human judgment?
6. What qualities are incompatible with the Christian life?
7. What is the character of the new man in Christ Jesus?
8. How does Christ determine all our social and family relations?
9. What does Paul earnestly desire of the Colossians?
10. From whom and to whom are Christian greetings expressed in the closing section?
the Fifth Week after Epiphany