1 From Paul,1 an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 to the saints, the faithful2 brothers and sisters3 in Christ, at Colossae. Grace and peace to you4 from God our Father!5
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Church
3 We always6 give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since7 we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. 5 Your faith and love have arisen8 from the hope laid up9 for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel10 6 that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel11 is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing12 among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. 7 You learned the gospel13 from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave14 – a15 faithful minister of Christ on our16 behalf – 8 who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Paul’s Prayer for the Growth of the Church
9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you,17 have not ceased praying for you and asking God18 to fill19 you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may live20 worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects21 – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of22 all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share23 in the saints’24 inheritance in the light. 13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves,25 14 in whom we have redemption,26 the forgiveness of sins.
The Supremacy of Christ27
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn28 over all creation,29 16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions,30 whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together31 in him. 18 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn32 from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.33 19 For God34 was pleased to have all his35 fullness dwell36 in the Son37 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him,38 whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Paul’s Goal in Ministry
21 And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your39 minds40 as expressed through41 your evil deeds, 22 but now he has reconciled you42 by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – 23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm,43 without shifting44 from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body – for the sake of his body, the church – what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. 25 I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship45 from God – given to me for you – in order to complete46 the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. 27 God wanted to make known to them the glorious47 riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him by instructing48 and teaching49 all people50 with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature51 in Christ. 29 Toward this goal52 I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully53 works in me.