Colossians: Outline of Contents

I. Epistolary salutation (1:1–2)

II. Thanksgiving for the Colossians’ past and present fidelity (1:3–8)

III. The need for continued fidelity to the gospel (1:9–4:6)

A. The true way of salvation (1:9–3:4)

1. The author’s basic thesis (1:9–12)

2. Supporting reason: God in Christ has accomplished a complete deliverance (1:13–20)

3. Reiteration of the thesis (1:21–23)

4. Supporting reason: Paul’s fidelity in proclaiming the gospel (1:24–2:3)

5. Counterexample: the infidelity of the new teachers (2:4–23)

6. Reiteration of the thesis (3:1–4)

B. The ethical practices that follow from this (3:5–4:6)

IV. Concluding greetings and instructions (4:7–18)

Courtesy of HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, ed. Mark Allan Powell (New York: HarperCollins, 2011), 142.