Kofi Adu-Boahen: Colossians

Kofi Adu-Boahen returns this episode to discuss the theology of the Book of Colossians. He is a seminarian, and interning at Bear Creek Church in Medford, Oregon; teaching the book of Colossians for their adult Sunday School class. We briefly discuss the Galatian Heresy, and then get into the Colossian Heresy within the theology of Paul’s letter to the Colossians.

An Outline of the Discussion
  • The Colossians faced many issues that still linger in the Church to this day.
  • Historical context:
    • Colossae is a city in the Lycos valley of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey.) Other prominent cities nearby include Laodicea and Hieropolis.
    • Paul didn’t start the church in Colossae.
    • Paul sought to correct a church heading toward heresy. (It seems the heresy hadn’t quite taken hold yet.)
  • The first half of the letter deals with the Colossian heresy (the indicative), and the last half deals with Christian living (the imperative.)
  • The Galatian heresy was a form of Judaising; the idea that one had to become Jew and obey the Laws of Moses (such as circumcision) before he could become a Christian.
  • The Colossian heresy isn’t as clear-cut as the Galatian, but the issues can be summed up in the acronym PALM:
    • P: Philosophy – they were caught up with philosophy and wisdom. It seemed to be a form of proto-gnosticism.
    • A: Asceticism – False humility, self-abasement, harsh treatment of the body, etc.
    • L: Legalism – An emphasis on the Law of Moses again.
    • M: Mysticism – A worship of angels & other false worship.

    These four elements came together to form a local sort of folk religion.

  • The Colossian heresy resembles a modern Christian-flavor of New Agism.
  • The “information age” of our day has made it much easier for heresy to flourish.
  • The best way to spot the counterfeit is to understand the genuine article very well.
  • “The way in is the way along.” “We’re not saved by Christ to be sanctified by Moses.”
  • In Colossians, Paul gives us a pastoral model for dealing with false teaching.
  • We must lay the foundation of knowing who we are in Christ (the indicative), before getting to how we are to live (the imperative.)
  • In Colossians 3:12, Paul gives us three characteristics of the Christian: Chosen, holy, and beloved. These are indicatives. We put on the following attitudes because of who we are in Christ, not to become what Christ wants us to be.
  • What unites Christians is our shared union with Christ, that He is all, and in all (Col 3:11).
Scriptures Referenced
  • Acts 19
  • Colossians 1:7
  • Colossians 4:12-13
  • Colossians 2:20-23
  • 1 Timothy 4:1-4
  • Colossians 2:4-7
  • Colossians 3:4
  • Colossians 3:12
  • Colossians 3:10-11
  • Philippians 4:2
Additional Resources
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