I like to study the Bible in a book-by-book manner. It seems that things become clearer as you study through the Bible in context and the message often is far more meaningful that it is when we just pick a verse or two out for study. I’ve also been spending a good bit of time recently in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and his second letter to Timothy, so when I received the opportunity to review Christ All Sufficient: An Exposition of Colossians, I was delighted to get the chance to dive into another one of Paul’s letters.
In this book, Brian G. Hedges takes a verse-by-verse approach to work through Colossians. His overarching goal in this approach is to expose the danger of looking to anything or anyone other than Jesus for salvation, wisdom and anything else in our spiritual lives. In this approach, Hedges breaks into ten chapters to capture the changes of topic and/or theme that Paul goes through as he writes the text of Colossians. Throughout the way, Hedges develops points, using an excellent sense of homiletics, word study and example.
Despite the verse-by-verse expository approach, this does not read like a dry commentary. This book is more analogous with a series of sermons that you might be reading or listening to on a podcast. The language is slightly more condensed, and there are more word and context studies, with less examples and applications, but I think that the feel is still very pastoral. There is a lot to be gained from this book, and there are benefits to reading it slowly and meditatively.
I actually decided after I started reading this book to write out the book of Colossians in a notebook so that I could add study notes and pages as I read the book. It’s been a real blessing to go through slowly and consider such words as telos (mature) and think about my personal growth as well as the growth of the body of Christ. Or to think about the fruit of the gospel and how much of that focuses on the virtues of faith, hope and love. This book is a pleasure, and it is a pleasure to be savored.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.