Background of Colossians

What Is the Book of Colossians About?

Time: 5 Minutes

Hey Friend!

Our editorial team wrote this book introduction for you. We hope it helps you find your bearings in the Bible story, and inspires you to open this book of the Bible!

Imagine you’re a new follower of Jesus. You’ve heard and believed the good news about Jesus, and God has radically changed you. You’re excited about your new faith, and you want to continue to grow spiritually. You’ve been a Christian for just long enough that you’re pretty sure that you have a good grasp of the basics, and now you’re wondering, what’s next?  

Perhaps some new practices, spiritual experiences, and novel ideas can help you reach that “next level” of spiritual fullness. At least— that’s what some of the other people in your church have been telling you.  

The Christians in the church of Colossae found themselves in this exact situation.  

Colossae was a small, relatively unimportant town. A local man named Epaphras had heard and believed the good news about Jesus from a man named Paul while traveling in a nearby city called Ephesus. When Epaphras went back to his town, he shared this same message with others, and soon, these new believers formed a church (Colossians 1:7; 4:12; Acts 19). 

However, not long after that, Epaphras became concerned with some of the practices, experiences, and ideas these young Christians were beginning to accept. It seems that, in their quest to mature in their faith, some of the people in Colossae had become enamored with the idea that what they really needed now were new supernatural experiences, mystical visions, and a host of special practices and rituals (Colossians 2:8; 2:16; 2:18; 2:20-23). 

Epaphras knew that something about this situation was wrong and that his church needed help. So, he sought out the one man he knew could help—Paul, the man who had first shared the good news with him. But there was a problem, Paul had been imprisoned in Rome because his message had angered several political and religious leaders (Acts 28:16; Colossians 4:3). Nevertheless, Epaphras traveled to Rome to seek Paul’s help. 

True spiritual maturity comes from knowing Christ and Christ alone.  

When Paul heard from Epaphras about this tiny church, he was grateful for their belief in Jesus, yet also concerned. He worried, like Epaphras, that they were in danger of being deceived and led astray (Colossians 2:4). So Paul wrote a letter to this seemingly insignificant church that he had never even visited to tell them the most significant thing imaginable—true spiritual maturity comes from knowing Christ and Christ alone.  

That’s the idea at the heart of Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae. 

No amount of special practices, mystical experiences, or visions can make Christians more godly. Instead, Christians already have everything they need in Christ to grow in godliness (Colossians 1:28; 2:3, 6-7). 

In this short but rich book, we learn what it looks like to mature in our faith by fixing our eyes on Christ. Have you ever wondered how to live your daily life in light of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for you? Colossians is for you.