The Colossians, having by the ministry of some faithful teachers and especially of Epaphras
, had embraced the Gospel of CHRIST. Others came into that congregation, and into some congregations close to it, namely, of Laodicea and Hierapolis, Col. 4:13
, who sought to mingle the simplicity of the doctrine of the Gospel with the teachings of Greek philosophy, and with certain ceremonial observations of the law. Wherefore the apostle Paul
, now prisoner at Rome, being warned by Epaphras
, (as may be collected from the eighth verse of the first, and the twelfth verse of the fourth chapter) found good to write this epistle unto them, and to send Tychicus
unto them to instruct them of all things, and to confirm them in the received doctrine against all errors. In this epistle, after the introduction which continues to the twelfth verse of the first chapter, the apostle, in a very lofty style, briefly propounds the principal points of the doctrines of the Gospel, especially concerning the excellence of the Person, office and benefits of CHRIST, and testifies that in Him alone all perfection is to be found, which he does to the twenty-third verse of the first chapter. From this point to the end of the chapter, he exhorts them to continue steadfast in this doctrine, and declares that therefore he also suffered the tribulations of CHRIST, and that he was called by CHRIST to be an apostle for the proclamation of this mystery. In the second chapter he warns them against the aforementioned errors, of the Platonic philosophy for invocating of angels, as well as the observation of circumcision and the difference of days and meats, unto the end of the chapter. Afterward in the third chapter he begins to exhort them to a christian walk or conduct, which exhortation continues to the sixth verse of the fourth chapter. And first of all he exhorts them in general about the putting off of the old man with all his vices, and to putting on of the new man with all his spiritual virtues, which he does from the beginning to the seventeenth verse of the third chapter; and comes afterwards to exhortations unto particular duties, namely, of wives and husbands in the married state, of children and fathers, and of servants and masters, unto the second verse of the fourth chapter. In the second verse of the fourth chapter unto the seventh verse he exhorts them to prayer, both in general for himself as also to walk circumspectly amongst them who are without. So that this epistle thus far, has almost the same content as the epistle to the Ephesians, but that the same doctrines are here somewhat more concentrated. From the seventh verse to the end of the chapter he concludes the epistle, first with a declaration that he sends Tychicus
to them to inform them more fully of his affairs, unto the ninth verse, afterwards with several salutations to and again unto the sixteenth verse, and finally with an exhortation that they would cause this epistle to be read also to them of Laodicea, and that Archippus
is faithful in his ministry, and that they should remember his bonds.