The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or
authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, Colossians 1:15-19
Paul the apostle wrote Colossians while he was in prison in Rome in A.D. 62 or A.D. 63.
Paul wrote this letter to combat false teachings, which were beginning to corrupt the churches in Asia. More specifically, it was written to combat concepts that later grew into a heretical movement known as Gnosticism. That name comes from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis, for the cult claimed to possess a special, secret knowledge not available to simple Christians. Only through their secret knowledge could a person enter into the full experience of spiritual reality.
The threat to the church lay in a syncretistic* approach to faith, which included ideas drawn from Judaism, from pagan philosophy and from the mystery religions. These were used to interpret and distort foundational Christian doctrines.
* Syncretism: The union or attempted merging of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought. e.g. ‘interfaith dialogue can easily slip into syncretism’
Today, too, many Christians are eager for a fulfilling Christian experience. Some seek fulfillment through an ecstatic experience, some through “digging deeper” into the Bible to extract “hidden meanings,” some through ritual observance or even through embracing other religions.
But the unmasked secret of spirituality is shared in Colossians. Paul teaches us the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ as being the only way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Jesus is the center of the believer’s spiritual life. True spirituality means simply to meet the common events of our life with that servant attitude, lived out by Jesus before us.