Key Verses and Themes in Colossians and Philemon

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project
Key verses colossians philemon



Col. 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Jesus made everything in the world.

Col. 1:19-20 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Jesus came to redeem the world, including the work world.

Col. 1:9-10 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. [with allusion to bearing fruit and multiplying in Genesis 1:26-28]

We work as image-bearers of God in Christ.

Col. 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.

Depend on Christ’s transforming power, not on self-help or human tradition.

Col. 3:2-5 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).

Do not accommodate to culture in conflict with God’s desires.

Col. 3:8-10 But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.

Rid yourself of greed, anger, lying and gossip in the workplace.

Col. 3:12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Work for the benefit of others.

Col. 3:13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Put up with each other.

Col. 3:17, 23 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him...Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters.

Work as for the Lord, and not merely for people

Col. 3:22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.

Subordinates must do their work with obedience and sincerity.

Col. 4:1 Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Superiors must do what is right and fair for workers, not merely what is legal or culturally acceptable.