1From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2to the saints, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, at Colossae. Grace and peace to you from God our Father!
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Church
3We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. 5Your faith and love have arisen from the hope laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel 6that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. 7You learned the gospel from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave – a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf – 8who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Paul’s Prayer for the Growth of the Church
9For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 13He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Supremacy of Christ
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,
16for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.
17He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.
18He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.
19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son
20and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Paul’s Goal in Ministry
21And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, 22but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – 23if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting 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.
24Now 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. 25I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship from God – given to me for you – in order to complete the word of God, 26that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. 27God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. 29Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me.