Paul greets the believers in Colossae. He is thankful for them. He prays for their further spiritual growth. He discusses the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
VERSE 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.
VERSE 3. We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
VERSE 4. having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have toward all the saints,
VERSE 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
VERSE 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,
VERSE 7. even as you learned of Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on your behalf,
Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. Epaphras told Paul about the great love being manifested in Colossae?
What did he see? Was their love ordinary and expected of believers? Or did Epaphras observe an unusual ministry Gift of the Holy Spirit, one not mentioned elsewhere?
your love in the Spirit. Why did Epaphras need to tell Paul about the love being manifested in Colosse? What was it that he noticed? We have two theories:
THEORY 1. Epaphras observed the same general ἀγάπην (“agape”) love that the Holy Spirit bestows on all believers. But if so, Epaphras would not have bothered to tell Paul about it. It would have been expected of believers, and not especially noteworthy.
THEORY 2. Epaphras observed an unusual ministry Gift of the Holy Spirit, one not mentioned elsewhere. Perhaps their love was so spectacular that Epaphras recognized it as a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit, and hence needed to tell Paul about it?
What do you think? Was their love ordinary and expected, or a ministry Gift of the Holy Spirit?
VERSE 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,
don’t cease praying and making requests for you. We pray all those things for you:
- filled with the knowledge of his will (verse 9)
- all spiritual wisdom and understanding (verse 9)
- walk worthily of the Lord (verse 10)
- please him in all respects (verse 10)
- bearing fruit in every good work (verse 10)
- increasing in the knowledge of God (verse 10)
- strengthened with all power (verse 11)
- endurance and perseverance with joy (verse 11)
VERSE 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,
VERSE 11. strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy,
VERSE 12. giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,
VERSE 13. who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love,
VERSE 16. For by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things have been created through him and for him.
VERSE 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.
VERSE 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.
VERSE 21. You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil deeds,
VERSE 22. yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him,
VERSE 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.
VERSE 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,
I rejoice in my sufferings. Can you rejoice in your sufferings? What does that mean?
John 9:3. Jesus answered, “This man didn’t sin, nor did his parents; but, that the works of God might be revealed in him.
that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ. What does it mean that the sufferings of Jesus Christ are lacking?
- Was Jesus Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice at Calvary insufficient?
- Do we have to add our own good works to what Jesus did?
- Is faith and grace not enough?
VERSE 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,
VERSE 26. the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints,
VERSE 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.
Christ in you. We are to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith. Does Jesus Christ live in you? Read more »
VERSE 28. We proclaim him, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus;
VERSE 29. for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.