1 2 3 4
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL
Author: Paul the apostle with Timothy the brother (1:1).
Time of Writing: Approximately A.D. 64, when the Epistle to Philemon was written (4:9; Philem. 10-12).
Place of Writing: Rome, where Paul was imprisoned (4:3, 10, 18).
Recipients: The saints in Colossae (1:2).
Christ -- The All-inclusive One,
Having the First Place in All Things
as the Mystery and Embodiment of God,
as the Head and Constituent of the Church,
as the Allotted Portion, Life, Constituent,
and Hope of the Saints, and
as the Body of All Positive Things
A. The Apostle's Greeting
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy the brother,
2 To the saints in Colossae and faithful brothers in Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
B. The Apostle's Thanksgiving
3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always concerning you,
4 Because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have unto all the saints
5 Because of the hope laid up for you in the heavens, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,
6 Which has come to you, even as it is also in all the world, bearing fruit and growing, as also in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
7 Even as you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow slave, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf,
8 Who also has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
II. The Preeminent and All-inclusive One,
the Centrality and Universality of God
1:9 -- 3:11
A. The Portion of the Saints
9 Therefore we also, since the day we heard of it, do not cease praying and asking on your behalf that you may be filled with the full knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10 To walk worthily of the Lord to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and growing by the full knowledge of God,
11 Being empowered with all power, according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy,
12 Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you for a share of the allotted portion of the saints in the light;
13 Who delivered us out of the authority of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins;
B. The Image of God and the Firstborn
Both in Creation and in Resurrection
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation,
16 Because in Him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and unto Him.
17 And He is before all things, and all things cohere in Him;
18 And He is the Head of the Body, the church; He is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that He Himself might have the first place in all things;
19 For in Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell
20 And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross -- through Him, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens.
21 And you, though once alienated and enemies in your mind because of your evil works,
22 He now has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and without reproach before Him;
23 If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast and not being moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, of which I Paul became a minister.
C. The Mystery of God's Economy
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body, which is the church;
25 Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship of God, which was given to me for you, to complete the word of God,
26 The mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations but now has been manifested to His saints;
27 To whom God willed 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 announce, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man full-grown in Christ;
29 For which also I labor, struggling according to His operation which operates in me in power.