When Paul spent 3 years at Ephesus (Acts 20), the Gospel
spread inland to such towns as Laodicea and Colossae. Colossae,
the city which gives this letter its name, was in the Roman
province of Asia.
Paul never visited Colossae (2:1) but he went near there
on his 2nd missionary journey. The Apostle Paul was in prison
in Rome, awaiting trial, when he wrote the Epistle (letter)
to the Colossians.
While Paul was a prisoner in Rome he learned from Epaphroditus
(1:7) of problems which had arisen among the believers at
Colossae. The letter contains warnings not to be led astray
by "philosophy" or other empty and false ideas.
Paul also denounced the worship of angels which was common
in the area at that time.
Judaism - insisting on keeping the Law of Moses - was another
problem in the church.
The letter underlines the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ:
there are no other intermediaries between God and man. God
had made His Son the head of all things, the centre of His
purpose (1:16). He is the "head of the body" (the
ecclesia) and the first of a new creation (1:18).
We can only be saved through association with Christ. The
process begins with belief and by being "buried with
him in baptism" (2:12). Christians are people who have
been "buried" with Christ by baptism (putting to
death old ideas and ways) and are "raised" to a
new kind of life (2:12-14). In chapters 3-4 Paul gives advice
about living this new kind of life.