Over the next several days I’ll be posting an exegetical study of Colossians 3:12-17. I’ll address the historical and biblical contexts of the passage, but the focus will be on the word/grammar study of the verses. Sooner or later I’ll work the essay into a more laid-back devotional.
Why study this passage? Christians struggle with the process of maturing in Christ while facing problems within the church and the local community. Individuals experience a variety of internal and external pressures. Fellow Christians grate on one another and cause offense, and false teachers pursue with complicated alternative philosophies. Paul exhorted the church in Colossae to hold doctrine accountable to the true identity and superiority of Christ and to cast off the sinful qualities of their former selves. Thus corrected, Paul desired to guide them in the healthy qualities of a mature Christian life. Those qualities addressed the interplay of personal and relational issues that affect the unity of the church. The fluidity of the internal and external Christ-centered existence expressed in Colossians 3:12-17 is Paul’s articulation of how Christians are to knit themselves together in defense against false teaching.