This past week at The Village Church began a new sermon series on the book of Colossians. As we immerse ourselves in the text over the next few weeks/months/years, it is helpful to remember that Colossians is a book primarily concerned with Christ. It contains some of the clearest revelation of Christology in the entire New Testament. Consider the lofty language of 1:15-20:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians reveals Christ: His supremacy and incomparability (1:13-20), His atoning death (1:20-22; 2:13-15), the treasures of wisdom and knowledge found in Him (2:3), and the life we have in Him (3:1-4). As 3:11 states, “Christ is all and in all.”
In order to help those individuals or groups who might want to dig a little more deeply into the book, we thought it might be helpful to provide some direction:
- Readers of Colossians should note its profound relationship with the book of Ephesians. In order to understand one, it is helpful to also read and understand the other.
- Members or groups at The Village in particular should utilize the study notes which Matt provides each week. They should be accessible from our sermons page on the website and are typically quite robust in better explaining material which Matt was unable to cover in the service itself.
- I highly recommend consulting the ESV Study Bible for its vast study notes. This is an invaluable resource for all evangelicals and I could not more highly encourage you to consume its various helps.
- Peter O’Brien’s commentary is widely regarded as the best available commentary on the Colossians.
- N.T. Wright’s Colossians and Philemon: An Introduction and Commentary might be also be helpful. This is a qualified recommendation of this particular work and not Wright in general as there are a few aspects of his theology that we would certainly not want to endorse. For those familiar with the recent evangelical debate involving N.T. Wright’s controversial views on justification, it is important to note that the dikaios root (from which we get the words righteous, righteousness, justify, and justification) is not found in the book of Colossians and thus we feel more freedom to recommend this resource.1
- There is also an available study guide for Wright’s commentary. For Village homegroups or Bible studies that desire to use this particular study guide, please contact your groups pastor for his thoughts and recommendation.