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This is yet another letter from Paul to a group of people. According to the wikipedia article, there is some debate about authorship, many think it is an early follower rather than Paul himself, although apparently it is also argued very strongly to be genuine.
Greeting (v. 1-2)
Just a quick greeting, not much to see here.
Thanksgiving and Prayer (v. 3-14)
Paul says he is happy that the Collossians are adopting the faith and he has prayed that they will continue to improve and bear the fruit of the spirit.
Not much to see here either
The Preeminence of Christ (v. 15-23)
Everything was created for Jesus, who is the image of God.
How strange, I thought everything was created for us.
You were once alienated, hostile and evil, but now he has sacrificed himself so you could be presented as holy and blameless, if of course you hold steady to the faith.
Here we have the often repeated theme that non-christians are evil. In all fairness, the wording here isn't as bad as it could be, it has been worse elsewhere, but it still is not great. It doesn't quite say that you are evil because you are non-christian, a very generous reading could say that you are both things and following Christ had the benefit of also curing you of your evil ways, but honestly I don't think that is the intention. I think the intention is to couple those 2 ideas, that being non-Christian and evil are the same, that being Christian and good are the same.
The second part of this is that Jesus made you better by sacrificing himself, which if you think about it very hard really doesn't make sense. How does Jesus dying make me any less evil.
Paul's Ministry to the Church (v. 24-29)
I wasn't sure where to stop here, the section seems to extend up to verse 5 of chapter 2, but it looks to me more like the beginning of chapter 2 should have gotten another section name and it didn't. I think it makes the most sense this time to stop at the chapter break rather than the section break.
I rejoice in suffering for your sake.
Why is suffering something to rejoice in?
I am a minister in the church for God. We have been given knowledge of God which has been hidden for ages and now is revealed to the saints.
For the God that typically is described by Christians, this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why would he keep this knowledge secret and then suddenly decide to reveal it now? It seems more likely that these guys are just making it up or they are deluded.
To Paul and the saints God chose to reveal the mystery to everyone can see how great Christ is. They proclaim the glory of God and give warnings so that everyone might mature in Christ. For this end, God works is power through me.
This seems very self-aggrandizing. In all honestly, this reads to me like a very self-centered person who has managed to convince himself of these things.
For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation)
1:21-22 You are evil without God and blameless with him
"And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him"
1:24 More glorification of suffering
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake..."