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COLOSSE was a city of the Greater Phrygia, not far from Laodicea and Hierapolis. Though St. Paul preached in many parts of Phrygia, yet he never had been at this city. It had received the gospel by the preaching of Epaphras, who was with St. Paul when he wrote this epistle. It seems the Colossians were now in danger of being seduced by those who strove to blend Judaism, or heathen superstitions, with Christianity; pretending that God, because of his great majesty, was not to be approached but by the mediation of angels; and that they were certain rites and observances, chiefly borrowed from the law, whereby these angels might be made our friends. In opposition to them, the apostle,

1. Commends the knowledge of Christ, as more excellent than all other, and so entire and perfect that no other knowledge was necessary for a Christian. He shows,

2. That Christ is above all angels, who are only his servants; and that, being reconciled to God through him, we have free access to him in all our necessities. This epistle contains,

I. The inscription, Chap. i. 1, 2

II. The doctrine, wherein the apostle pathetically explains the mystery of Christ, By thanksgiving for the Colossians, 3-8 By prayers for them, 9-23 With a declaration of his affection for them, 24-29 ii. 1-3

III. The exhortation,

1. General, wherein he excites them to perseverance, and warns them not to be deceived, 4-8 Describes again the mystery of Christ in order, 9-15 And in the same order, draws his admonitions,

1. From Christ the head, 16-19

2. From his death, 20-23

3. From his exaltation, iii. 1-4

2. Particular, 5-9

1. To avoid several vices,

2. To practice several virtues, 10, 11 Especially to love one another, 12-15 And study the scriptures 16, 17

3. To the relative duties of wives and husbands,. 18, 19 Children and parents, 20, 21 Servants and masters, 22-25 iv.1 Final, to prayer, 2-4 to spiritual wisdom 5, 6

V. The conclusion, 7-16


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