From Paul, by God’s purpose an apostle of Jesus Christ, and Timothy who is their brother,
to the saints at Colossae, our brethren who believe in Jesus Christ;
Grace be yours and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, continually in our prayers for you,
when we are told of your faith in Jesus Christ, and the love which you shew to all the saints;
such hope have you of what awaits you in heaven. Hope was the lesson you learned from that truth-giving message of the Gospel
which has reached you, which now bears fruit and thrives in you, as it does all the world over, since the day when you heard of God’s grace and recognized it for what it is.
Your teacher was Epaphras, for us, a well-loved fellow bondsman, and for you a loyal minister of Jesus Christ;
and it is he who has told us of this love which you cherish in the Spirit.
So, ever since the news reached us, we have been praying for you in return, unceasingly. Our prayer is, that you may be filled with that closer knowledge of God’s will which brings all wisdom and all spiritual insight with it.
May you live as befits his servants, waiting continually on his pleasure; may the closer knowledge of God bring you fruitfulness and growth in all good.
May you be inspired, as his glorious power can inspire you, with full strength to be patient and to endure; to endure joyfully,
thanking God our Father for making us fit to share the light which saints inherit,
for rescuing us from the power of darkness, and transferring us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.
In the Son of God, in his blood, we find the redemption that sets us free from our sins.
He is the true likeness of the God we cannot see; his is that first birth which precedes every act of creation.
Yes, in him all created things took their being, heavenly and earthly, visible and invisible; what are thrones and dominions, what are princedoms and powers? They were all created through him and in him;
he takes precedency of all, and in him all subsist.
He too is that head whose body is the Church; it begins with him, since his was the first birth out of death; thus in every way the primacy was to become his.
It was God’s good pleasure to let all completeness dwell in him,
and through him to win back all things, whether on earth or in heaven, into union with himself, making peace with them through his blood, shed on the cross.
You, too, were once estranged from him; your minds were alienated from him by a life of sin;
but now he has used Christ’s natural body to win you back through his death, and so to bring you into his presence, holy, and spotless, and unreproved.
But that means that you must be true to your faith, grounded in it, firmly established in it; nothing must shift you away from the hope you found in the gospel you once listened to. It is a gospel which has been preached to all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have been brought into its service.
Even as I write, I am glad of my sufferings on your behalf, as, in this mortal frame of mine, I help to pay off the debt which the afflictions of Christ still leave to be paid, for the sake of his body, the Church.
When I entered its service I received a commission from God for the benefit of you Gentiles, to complete the preaching of his word among you.
This was the secret that had been hidden from all the ages and generations of the past; now, he has revealed it to his saints,
wishing to make known the manifold splendour of this secret among the Gentiles—Christ among you, your hope of glory.
Him, then, we proclaim, warning every human being and instructing every human being as wisely as we may, so as to exhibit every human being perfect in Christ Jesus.
It is for this that I labour, for this that I strive so anxiously; and with effect, so effectually does his power manifest itself in me.