This epistle of 4 chapters, 95 verses, and 1,979 words was written around 62 AD when Paul was a prisoner in Rome. While the apostle Paul was preaching in Ephesus, all in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus through his leadership (Acts 19:10). Colosse was in that region, but evidently, Paul himself did not start the church at Colosse (Col 2:1).
It was likely Epaphras, a fellowlabourer of Paul, who started the church at Colosse (Col 1:1-8; 4:12-13; Philemon 23). It was Epaphras who told Paul about the condition of the church which led to him writing this letter by inspiration of God while a prisoner in Rome.
The church at Colosse needed to be corrected because they were in danger of being spoiled and beguiled by false teaching that detracted from the supremacy and all-sufficiency of Christ as Head of the Church and the blessed truth that all the members of His body are complete in Him (Col 2:8-10).
Just as Galatians was written to correct doctrine contrary to that which is presented in Romans, so Colossians is written to correct doctrine contrary to that which is presented in Ephesians. In Ephesians, the emphasis is on the Body of Christ but in Colossians, it is on the Head of that Body. The work of the Holy Spirit is mentioned throughout Ephesians (every chapter), but He is only mentioned once in Colossians (Col 1:8). Philippians is a letter of reproof for not holding the members of the Body in the right regard, but Colossians is a letter of correction for not holding the Head of the Body (Col 2:19).
In chapter 2 Paul warns about different kinds of false teaching:
Philosophy (Col 2:8) — the love of worldly wisdom
Legalism (Col 2:16-17) — trying to be made righteous by the works of the law
Mysticism (Col 2:18-19) — pursuit of higher and hidden knowledge in the spirit realm
Asceticism (Col 2:20-23) — severe self-discipline and denial of the flesh for religious purposes
The bottom line is that all false teaching denies the deity of Christ and/or His sufficiency to make us complete. All false teaching exalts the works of the flesh over the perfect work of Christ.
I. The Preeminence of Christ (1)
Il. Our Position in Christ (2)
Ill. Our Practical Walk in Christ (3-4)