Colossae was an ancient Phrygian city in the southwest of modern day Turkey. It sat on the banks of the Lycus River, just upstream for Laodicea and Hierapolis.
1:3-8 A fruit-bearing Gospel
Paul is thankful because the Gospel came to the Colossians and brought forth fruit. Real faith is a hope that bears fruit. And the Colossians had begun to live out this hope in such a way that Paul could hear about it from prison in Rome.
1:9-12 The Power of a Message
Now note something about how this fruitful hope comes about. It comes from hearing and believing the Gospel. We have a promise from God, delivered to us in the Bible, that creates this kind of faith in us. This is why it behooves us to spend time unpacking this word. The more we do so, the more it creates in us this fruitful hope that Paul describes.
1:13-23 Who Immanuel Is and What He Has Done
This is a very straightforward declaration of the doctrine of the incarnation, that in Jesus, God became man. In Jesus we have Immanuel. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
He has created all things in heaven and earth, delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into his kingdom, redeemed us with his blood, forgiven our sins, reconciled all things to himself, and presented you holy, blameless, and above reproach.
1:24-29 The Mystery
This Christ is the one that is in you. And he is the hope of glory. And just as the whole world waited for 4000 years for the coming of the second Adam, waiting for that mystery to be revealed, now you wait for the glory that is to come. You wait in hope for the glory that Paul just described that is still to come. You have seen the beginning, but you haven’t seen the end. Hope is what reaches out to that end while you are still sitting here. But you have Christ in you. And that is the hope of a great glory, a glory still unimaginable.