Dear friends in Colossae,
1-2My name is Paul and I have been chosen by Jesus Christ to be his apostle, by the calling and destined purpose of God. My colleague, Timothy, and I send this letter to all the holy believers who have been united to Jesus as beloved followers of the Messiah. May God, our true Father, release upon your lives the riches of his kind favor and heavenly peace through the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.
Paul Prays for the Colossians
3Every time we pray for you our hearts overflow with thanksgiving to Father God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we have heard of your devoted lives of faith in Christ Jesus and your tender love toward all his holy believers. 5Your faith and love rise within you as you access all the treasures of your inheritance # 1:5 Or “hope.” stored up in the heavenly realm. For the revelation of the true gospel is as real today as the day you first heard of our glorious hope, now that you have believed in the truth of the gospel.
6This is the wonderful message that is being spread everywhere, powerfully changing hearts throughout the earth, just like it has changed you! Every believer of this good news bears the fruit of eternal life as they experience the reality of God’s grace.
7Our beloved coworker, Epaphras, # 1:7 The church of Colossae was not planted by Paul but by Epaphras. His name means “lovely.” He imparted to the church faith and love, praying always for them. See Col. 4:12. was there from the beginning to thoroughly teach you the astonishing revelation of the gospel, and he serves you faithfully as Christ’s representative. 8He’s informed us of the many wonderful ways love is being demonstrated through your lives by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
9Since we first heard about you, we’ve kept you always in our prayers that you would receive the perfect knowledge of God’s pleasure # 1:9 Or “experience God’s will for your lives.” The Greek word thelema, can also mean “desire” or “pleasure.” over your lives, making you reservoirs of every kind of wisdom and spiritual understanding. 10We pray that you would walk in the ways of true righteousness, pleasing God in every good thing you do. Then you’ll become fruit-bearing branches, yielding to his life, and maturing in the rich experience of knowing God in his fullness! 11And we pray that you would be energized with all his explosive power from the realm of his magnificent glory, filling you with great hope. # 1:11 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek text means “patient endurance.”
12Your hearts can soar with joyful gratitude when you think of how God made you worthy to receive the glorious inheritance freely given to us by living in the light. # 1:12 Or “by enlightening us.” 13He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule # 1:13 Or “authority.” of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of his beloved Son. 14For in the Son all our sins are canceled and we have the release of redemption through his very blood.
The Supremacy of Christ
15He is the divine portrait, the true likeness of the invisible God, and the firstborn heir of all creation. 16For in him was created the universe of things, both in the heavenly realm and on the earth, all that is seen and all that is unseen. Every seat of power, realm of government, principality, and authority—it all exists through him and for his purpose! 17He existed before anything was made, and now everything finds completion in him.
18He is the Head of his body, which is the church. And since he is the beginning and the firstborn heir in resurrection, # 1:18 Literally “from the dead.” he is the most exalted One, holding first place # 1:18 In the Greek text this is a title, “the Holder of First Place” or “the Superior One.” in everything. 19For God is satisfied to have all his fullness # 1:19 This includes all the fullness of God, the fullness of his plan for our lives, and the full image of God being restored into our hearts. dwelling in Christ. 20And by the blood of his cross, everything in heaven and earth is brought back to himself—back to its original intent, restored to innocence again! # 1:20 It literally means “back to himself.” Some scholars believe that Col. 1:15–20 is actually lyrics of an ancient hymn sung in the churches.
Made Holy through Christ
21-22Even though you were once distant from him, living in the shadows of your evil thoughts and actions, he reconnected you back to himself. He released his supernatural peace to you through the sacrifice of his own body as the sin-payment on your behalf so that you would dwell in his presence. And now there is nothing between you and Father God, for he sees you as holy, flawless, and restored, # 1:21–22 Or “without an indictment.” 23if indeed you continue to advance in faith, assured of a firm foundation to grow upon. Never be shaken from the hope of the gospel you have believed in. And this is the glorious news I preach all over the world.
The Divine Mystery
24I can even celebrate the sorrows I have experienced on your behalf; for as I join with you in your difficulties, it helps you to discover what lacks in your understanding # 1:24 The text contains an ellipsis that is completed by this translation. The sufferings of Christ were complete, sufficient to transfer righteousness and forgiveness to every believer. Paul’s sufferings were meant to be an example of Christ and a testimony to his converts that his ministry was sincere. of the sufferings Jesus Christ experienced for his body, the church. 25This is the very reason I’ve been made a minister by the authority of God and a servant to his body, so that in his detailed plan I would fully equip you with the Word of God.
26There is a divine mystery—a secret surprise that has been concealed from the world for generations, but now it’s being revealed, unfolded and manifested for every holy believer to experience. 27Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!
28-29Christ is our message! We preach to awaken hearts and bring every person into the full understanding of truth. It has become my inspiration and passion in ministry to labor with a tireless intensity, with his power flowing through me, to present to every believer the revelation of being his perfect one in Jesus Christ.