Literary Context: Colossians
Paul wrote the book of Colossians to the church at Colosse for to refute the heresy that was going on. Also, Paul wrote to encourage the Colossians to stay true in their faith.
Now the Paul went about refuting the heresies was to exalt Christ’s image as God. This is where the passage chapter one fifteen through twenty (1:15-20) comes into play. The main focus in theses verses exalting Jesus as God. For example, Paul wrote, “He is the image of the invisible God,” “the firstborn over all creation,” “For everything was created by him on heaven and earth,” and many more lines such as these. To write this, he first had to set it up; so seeing as it was in the first chapter the main focus of the verses before was to greet the Colossians. So like Paul starts all of his books he blesses them and thanks them and tells them how grateful he is for them. Then he just starts talking about God’s grace and praying that they have faithfulness. The way he writes flows perfectly into verses fifteen and twenty. If one weren’t doing a study on those exact verses he would never feel a change of pace or subject at all. Paul then uses verses fifteen and twenty to set up the rest of the chapter. By exalting Jesus as Lord and saying how great and amazing he is, he steps perfectly into the next verses. Once Paul has stopped exalting Jesus he goes into how terrible and bad off they were before they heard the gospel. He explains that now that they know the gospel and believe in him they will be saved and that they have hope in the Lord.
David, King of Jews, possessed every weakness and sin that “a man of blood” is capable and yet God still showered and bestowed him with abundant blessings. He was the adulterer of Bathsheba whom he forced to go with him to bed and convinced to lie about her pregnancy to her husband Uriah. He was the murderer of his friend Uriah whom he sent in front of the battlefield if only to own Bathsheba. He ...
In conclusion, the passage chapter one fifteen through twenty (1:15-20) is set up nicely, and it sets up the rest of the chapter as well. Moreover, this passage sits beautifully within the flow of the whole book of Colossians because the whole point of Paul writing it is basically summarized in those few verses.
Barker, Kenneth L., and Donald W. Burdick. Zondervan NIV Study Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002. Print.