1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have toward all the saints, 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Good News, 6 which has come to you; even as it is in all the world and is bearing fruit and growing, as it does in you also, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 even as you learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. 9 For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don't cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; 14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins; 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together. 18 He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross. 21 You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, 22 yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and blameless before him, 23 if it is so that you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed in all creation under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the assembly; 25 of which I was made a servant, according to the stewardship of God which was given me toward you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints, 27 to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; 28 whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus; 29 for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.
The salutation of Paul and Timothy to the Church at Colosse, Colossians 1:1, Colossians 1:2. They give thanks to God for the good estate of that Church, and the wonderful progress of the Gospel in every place, Colossians 1:3-6; having received particulars of their state from Epaphroditus, which not only excited their gratitude, but led them to pray to God that they might walk worthy of the Gospel; and they give thanks to Him who had made them meet for an inheritance among the saints in light, Colossians 1:7-12. This state is described as a deliverance from the power of darkness, and being brought into the kingdom of God's dear Son, Colossians 1:13, Colossians 1:14. The glorious character of Jesus Christ, and what He has done for mankind, Colossians 1:15-20. The salvation which the Colossians had received, and of which the apostle had been the minister and dispenser, Colossians 1:21-26. The sum and substance of the apostle's preaching, and the manner in which he executed his ministry, Colossians 1:27-29.
This chapter contains the inscription of the epistle; the apostle's usual salutation; his thanksgiving to God on behalf of the Colossians for grace received; his prayers, that more might be given them; an enumeration of various blessings of grace, which require thankfulness, in which the glories and excellencies of Christ are particularly set forth: and it is concluded with an exhortation to a steadfast adherence to the Gospel, taken from the nature, excellency, and usefulness of the ministry of it. The inscription, and the salutation, are in Colossians 1:1, and are the same with those in the epistle to the Ephesians, only Timothy is joined with the apostle here, and the Colossians have the additional character of brethren given them. The thanksgiving is in Colossians 1:3, the object of it is God, the Father of Christ; the time when made, when in prayer to him; its subject matter, the faith and love of the saints; to which is added, their happiness secured for them in heaven, their hope was conversant with: and whereas the Gospel was the means by which they came to the hearing and knowledge of it, this is commended from the subject of it, the doctrine of truth; from the spread of it in the world; and from its efficacy in bringing forth fruit in all, to whom it came in power, and that with constancy, Colossians 1:5, and also from the testimony of Epaphras, a faithful minister of Christ, and theirs, who was dear to the apostle, and of whom he had the above account of them, Colossians 1:7. And then follow his prayers for them, that they might have an increase of spiritual knowledge, and that they might put in practice what they knew; and for that purpose he entreats they might be blessed with strength, patience, and longsuffering, Colossians 1:9. And in order to excite thankfulness in himself and them, he takes notice of various blessings of grace; of the Father's grace in giving a meetness for eternal glory and happiness, by delivering from the power of darkness, and translating into the kingdom of his Son, Colossians 1:12, and of the Son's grace in obtaining redemption by his blood, and procuring the remission of sins, Colossians 1:14, which leads the apostle to enlarge upon the excellencies of the author of these blessings, in his divine person, as the image of God, and the first cause of all created beings, Colossians 1:15, which he proves by an enumeration of them, as created by him, and for his sake, by his pre-existence to them, and their dependence on him, Colossians 1:16, and in his office capacity, as Mediator, being the head of the church, the governor of it, and the first that rose from the dead; by all which it appears that he has, and ought to have the pre-eminence, Colossians 1:18. And this is still more manifest from his having all fulness dwelling in him, to supply his body the church, of which he is the head, Colossians 1:19, and from the reconciliation of all the members of it to God by him, Colossians 1:20, which blessing of grace is amplified partly by the subjects of it, who are described by their former state and condition, aliens and enemies, and by their present one, reconciled by the death of Christ in his fleshly body; and partly by the end of it, the presentation of them holy, blameless, and irreprovable in the sight of God, Colossians 1:21. Wherefore it is a duty incumbent on such to abide by the Gospel of Christ, which brings the good tidings of peace and reconciliation, and is the means of faith and hope; and the rather, since they had heard it themselves, and others also, even every creature under heaven; and the apostle was a minister of it, Colossians 1:23, and on his ministration of it he enlarges, by observing his sufferings for the church on account of the Gospel, which he endured with pleasure; and therefore they should, by his example, be encouraged to continue in it, Colossians 1:24. Moreover, he argues the same from his commission of God to preach it for their sakes, Colossians 1:25, and from the nature and subject matter of it, being a hidden mystery, and containing riches and glory in it; yea, Christ himself, the foundation of hope of eternal glory, Colossians 1:26, and from the end of preaching it, which was to present every man perfect in Christ; which end the apostle laboured and strove to obtain through the power and energy of divine grace, which wrought in him, and with him, Colossians 1:28.
(Colossians 1:1-8) The apostle Paul salutes the Colossians, and blesses God for their faith, love, and hope.
(Colossians 1:9-14) Prays for their fruitfulness in spiritual knowledge.
(Colossians 1:15-23) Gives a glorious view of Christ.
(Colossians 1:24-29) And sets out his own character, as the apostle of the Gentiles.
SUMMARY.--Greeting. Thanksgiving for the Faith of the Colossian Church. Prayer for Their Progress. Becoming Meet for the Inheritance of the Saints. In the Kingdom of the Son. The Glories of the Son. The Work of Christ on Reconciling Men to Himself. Joy in Sufferings. The Mystery Among the Gentiles.
Paul, an apostle . . . by the will of God. Not by human appointment, but by divine.
Timotheus our brother. The other Epistles written at this time that Timothy was then in Rome. He is named six times in the address of Paul's letters to the churches: here and 2-Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1-Thessalonians, 2-Thessalonians and Philemon..
To the saints. A designation in apostolic ages of all Christians. Two characteristics are named; they were believing brethren also.
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