1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will,#1Co 1:1; 2Co 1:1; Eph 1:1; 2Tm 1:1 and Timothy#Ac 16:1; 1Tm 1:2 our brother:
2To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers and sisters.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.#1:2 Other mss add and the Lord Jesus Christ
3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints 5because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the word of truth,#Ps 119:142; Jn 14:6; 2Co 11:10; Eph 1:13; 2Tm 2:15; 3Jn 3 the gospel 6that has come to you. It is bearing fruit#Mk 4:8 and growing all over the world,#Mt 13:38; 24:14; Rm 3:6; 2Pt 2:20 just as it has among you since the day you heard it and came to truly appreciate#2Th 2:10 God’s grace.#1:6 Or and truly recognized God’s grace#2Pt 3:18 7You learned this from Epaphras,#Col 4:12; Phm 23 our dearly loved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ#Mt 1:17; Eph 5:2 on your#1:7 Other mss read our behalf, 8and he has told us about your love in the Spirit.#Ps 51:11; Jn 1:33; Ac 2:4; Rm 8:9; Ti 3:5; Rv 1:10; 3:22
Prayer for Spiritual Growth
9For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking#Jn 14:13; Jms 1:5 that you may be filled with the knowledge#Pr 2:6; Col 3:10 of his will#Eph 1:9 in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,#1:9 Or all spiritual wisdom and understanding 10so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work#2Co 9:8; Gl 3:10 and growing in the knowledge of God,#Pr 2:6; Jn 17:3; 2Pt 1:2; 1Jn 4:8 11being strengthened#Php 4:13 with all power,#Ac 4:33; 2Co 13:4 according to his glorious#Lk 9:32; Jn 17:24; 2Co 3:18; 2Pt 3:18 might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you#1:12 Other mss read us to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.#Ps 36:9; Jn 12:46 13He has rescued#Mt 27:43 us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom#Mt 3:2; Mk 1:15; Ac 20:25 of the Son#Jn 5:19; Heb 1:2 he loves.#Mt 3:17; Jn 3:16; 15:10; 17:26; 1Jn 4:16 14In him we have redemption,#1:14 Other mss add through his blood the forgiveness of sins.
The Centrality of Christ
15He is the image of the invisible God,#Php 2:6
the firstborn over all creation.#Jn 1:3; Rv 3:14
16For everything was created by him,#Gn 1:1; Mk 13:19
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities —
all things have been created through him and for him.#Jn 1:3; Rm 11:36; 1Co 8:6; Eph 1:10,21
17He is before all things,#Jn 1:1-2; 8:58; Heb 1:2-3
and by him all things#Ps 104:24 hold together.
18He is also the head of the body, the church;
he is the beginning,#Gn 1:1; Mk 1:1; Jn 1:1; Ac 26:4
the firstborn from the dead,#Ac 26:23; 1Co 15:20,23; Rv 1:5
so that he might come to have
first place in everything.
19For God was pleased to have
all his fullness#Ps 72:19; Is 6:3; Jr 23:24; Ezk 43:5; 44:4; Jn 1:14,16; Eph 3:19; Php 2:6; Col 2:9 dwell in him,#Dt 12:5
20and through him to reconcile
everything to himself,
whether things on earth or things in heaven,
by making peace#Ac 7:26; Eph 2:14
through his blood,#Heb 9:12 shed on the cross.#1:20 Other mss add through him#Lk 9:23; 23:26
21Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds expressed in your evil actions. 22But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through his death,#Php 2:8 to present you holy, faultless,#Jd 24 and blameless before him#2Co 4:14 — 23if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith#Gl 2:16; Jd 3 and are not shifted away from the hope#1Th 1:3 of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation#Rv 3:14 under heaven,#Rm 10:18; Eph 6:9 and I, Paul,#Ac 13:9 have become a servant of it.
24Now I rejoice in my sufferings#2Co 1:4; Php 1:29; 3:10 for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for his body,#Eph 4:4 that is, the church. 25I have become its servant, according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ#Col 2:2 in you, the hope#1Th 1:3 of glory. 28We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29I labor for this, striving#Jd 3 with his strength that works powerfully in me.#1Co 15:10