Outline for Colossians


Possible Outline of Colossians


Image from eBible Teacher

Image from eBible Teacher

In Colossians, Paul presents Christ as an actual figure in history that has lasting effect both on him and those he’s writing.  It also looks to present lasting effects on anyone who reads and or believes the truth of Christ as presented in the Gospel narratives (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

This is why Paul shares who Christ is, what He did, and how that affects everything and everyone, everything both visible and invisible and everyone visible and invisible.

This Christ, as an actual historical figure, must have lasting effects being who He claimed to be.  Paul in chapters 1-2 presented these facts and then presented a required change in how we related to God and to man in chapters 3-4.

These facts to Paul are just not historical but spiritual as well, making them personal to one’s mind and heart affecting one’s whole person.



I.       Doctrine – chapters 1-2

a.       Prayer, Reasons

b.      What Christ/God has done

II.       Living – chapters 3-4

a.       Relationship with God

b.      Relationship with Man


I.  Introduction (1:1 – 1:14)

a.       Who is writing and who from (Col 1:1)

b.      To whom it is written and greeting (Col 1:1)

c.       Paul’s thankfulness and prayer (Col 1:3-9)

d.      Paul’s reason for prayer (Col 1:10-14)

II.  Paul’s Doctrine on Christ (Col 1:12-23) (Note: could also start from verse 13)

a.       What God the Father has done (Col 1:12-13)

b.      What we have in Christ (Col 1:14)

c.       Who Christ is (Col 1:15 firstborn; Col 1:16 creator; Col 1:17 before all things; Col 1:18 Head of the body)

d.      Purpose of Christ (Col 1:16 rule; Col 1:17 hold all things together)

e.      What Christ has done (Col 1:18-20 shed blood to make peace and reconcile all things)

f.        Christ changed from alienation to restoration (Col 1:21)

g.       Christ freed us from accusation, made us holy and without blemish (Col 1:22)

III.  Paul’s Joy and Commission (Col 1:24-29)

a.       Joyous over suffering (Col 1:24a)

b.      Suffering because of Christ (Col 1:24b)

c.       Paul’s commission by God for the church to present the mystery (Col 1:26-26)

d.      Paul explains this mystery—God in you (Col 1:27)

e.      Paul’s reason to teach (goal) (Col 1:28-29)

IV.  Paul’s Struggle and Reason (Col 2:1-5)

a.       Paul lets them know he is struggling to continue presenting, teaching, admonishing (v.29) everyone “for you”, “those at Laodicea”, and those Paul never met.  Paul feels the responsibility in the apostolic ministry (Col 2:1).

b.      Paul’s purpose for fight: encouragement; unity, complete understanding, and knowing the mystery of Christ  (Col 2:2)

c.       So no one will be deceived (Col 2:4)

d.      Even though not there Paul delights (Col 2:5)

V.  Paul’s Polemic – contention with false teachings (heresies) (Col 2:6-23)

a.       Call for Lordship – which in turn calls for living in Christ containing rootedness, being built, strength resting on/in Christ with thankfulness (Col 2:6)

b.      Statement of heresies that don’t rely on Lordship (Col 2:8)

c.       Heresies not needed due to Deity of Christ, and Fullness in Christ (Col 2:9-10)

d.      Christ does the circumcising not man (a work of man), Died and Rose again by same power (Col 2:11-12)

e.      Forgiveness and Cancellation with results by God (Col 2:13-15)

f.        Human tradition removes results from Christ to a position lower than Headship/Lordship in one’s life (Col 2:16-22)

g.       Traditions appear wise by lack value for true change (Col 2:23)

VI.  Paul’s Call (Col 3-4:1)

a.       Raised with Christ; Call to live differently (compares raising and heavenly things above) (Col 3:1-2)

b.      Christ who is your life, you will be with Him in Glory – alive (Col 3:3-4)

c.       Being in Christ – alive to a new way – Do the same with physical earthly nature…Looking at our individual life with God (3:5-17)

d.      Being in Christ – alive to a new way –Do the same with others in relation to our lordship (Col 3:18-4:1)

VII.  Paul’s prayer request and greetings (Col 4:2-18)

a.       The call to keep our lives centered in the Supreme – Prayer being the great how to live (Col 4:2)

b.      To call to pray for others as well and what to pray for, for Paul (Col 4:3-4)

c.       Reactions/Actions with non-Christians (Col 4:5-6)

d.      Greeting (Col 4:7-18)


Comparison with Ephesians:

  • Ephesians – Our position in the body – in Christ
  • Colossians – Our relation to Christ – Head of all (Supreme therefore Live different)

**Both focus on right living after establishing Relation/Position In Christ

  • Ephesians – Us in Christ
  • Colossians – Christ in Us

**Gives balance –

1.       one gets us focused for relations with body (Ephesians; we are all unified)

2.       and the other gets us focused for relations with Christ (our Head) and how that plays out with us and God, and us and others (Living) (Colossians)


  • Ephesians – Looking right and left – Relationship with People
  • Colossians – Looking Up – Relationship with Christ

***Think of the Cross: left and right, up and down…


  • Ephesians – Becoming a body unified in Christ
  • Colossians – Becoming a Christ centered Body


  • Ephesians – How to create unity – People, Body

1.       Understand who you are “in Christ” – Unified

2.       Understand what you are “in Christ” – Because of Unity

  • Colossians – How to create Unity – Christ, Head

1.       Understand who Christ is “in Us” – Supreme

2.       Understand what we are to do – Because He is Supreme

About Ernest Grogg

First and foremost I am married to Olesya and looking forward to the rest of our lives together. Marriage is a journey and it is interesting and fun. Saved at the age of 25 and while salvation has been a challenge, God has always been faithful.

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