One of four epistles commonly called the Prison Epistles (other three are Ephesians, Philemon, and Philippians).
Strong emphasis in these epistles on the person and work of Christ.
We do know this: Paul had to deal with an error in thinking and teaching which led to an error in living.
This error made God remote and undermined the person of Christ.
The overemphasis by some on self-denial and ascetism produced a reaction of moral looseness on the part of others.
Although we are not able to pinpoint the exact sources of the heresy, the elements of the false teaching included: (1) an inadequate view of Christ; (2) improper emphasis on ceremony; (3) some form of angel worship; (4) an extreme and unnecessary form of self-denial; (5) overemphasis on tradition; and (6) tolerance of immorality.
The key word is influence.
An array of ideas corrupted the simple teaching of the gospel and our Lord Jesus Christ.
So the problem was maligned truth.
The stage was set for Paul to write a letter to reassert the truth.
The elaboration of truth will dispel error.
In Homer’s mythical take The Odyssey, The Sirens were mythological half-woman, half-bird creatures who lived on an island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Their beautiful songs and voiced were so enchanting that passing sailors would stray from their course and crash their ships on the rocky shoreline.
False teaching is much like the Sirens.
It is purposely made to sound sweet.
It is dangerous.
“Your love for all the saints” - We have a tendency to love those like us, or those who are the easiest to love - this is a love for all of God’s people.
Before he takes on the false teachers, Paul begins by telling the truth about the Gospel and its positive effects in the lives of the Colossians.
Verse 3 - Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
This is the starting point of your Christian walk.
Verse 6 - The Gospel is bearing fruit.
The Gospel should do for us what it did for the Colossians.
In verses 4-5, Paul points out three fundamental traits of Christian character that ought to be evident in the life of those in whom the gospel seed has taken root: faith, hope, and love.
Verse 4 - A faith that is being talked about.
Verse 5 -
Also in verse 4: “love for the saints” - this is a love for all of God’s people.
Verse 5: “Hope laid up for you in heaven”