The Message

Colossians 1

11-2 I, Paul, have been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God’s master plan. Together with my friend Timothy, I greet the Christians and stalwart followers of Christ who live in Colosse. May everything good from God our Father be yours!

Working in His Orchard

3-5 Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can’t quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you! We keep getting reports on your steady faith in Christ, our Jesus, and the love you continuously extend to all Christians. The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.

5-8 The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn’t diminish or weaken over time. It’s the same all over the world. The Message bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, just as it has in you. From the very first day you heard and recognized the truth of what God is doing, you’ve been hungry for more. It’s as vigorous in you now as when you learned it from our friend and close associate Epaphras. He is one reliable worker for Christ! I could always depend on him. He’s the one who told us how thoroughly love had been worked into your lives by the Spirit.

9-12 Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

13-14 God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.

Christ Holds It All Together

15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

21-23 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.

24-25 I want you to know how glad I am that it’s me sitting here in this jail and not you. There’s a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world—the kind of suffering Christ takes on. I welcome the chance to take my share in the church’s part of that suffering. When I became a servant in this church, I experienced this suffering as a sheer gift, God’s way of helping me serve you, laying out the whole truth.

26-29 This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Simplified)

歌罗西书 1

1我是奉上帝旨意做基督耶稣使徒的保罗, 和提摩太弟兄写信给歌罗西的圣徒,就是忠于基督的弟兄姊妹。

愿我们的父上帝赐给你们恩典和平安!

感恩与祷告

3-4 我们听说了你们对基督耶稣的信心和对众圣徒的爱心,为你们祷告的时候,常常感谢我们主耶稣基督的父上帝。 你们能有这样的信心和爱心是因为那给你们存在天上的盼望,就是你们从前从福音真道中听到的盼望。 这福音不但传到了你们那里,也传到了世界各地,并且开花结果,信主的人数不断增长,正如你们当初听了福音,因为明白真理而认识上帝的恩典后的情形。 这福音是你们从我们亲爱的同工以巴弗那里得知的。他代表我们[a]做基督的忠仆, 并把圣灵赐给你们的爱心告诉了我们。

因此,从听到你们的消息那天起,我们便不断地为你们祷告,求上帝使你们在一切属灵的智慧和悟性上完全明白祂的旨意, 10 以便你们行事为人对得起主,凡事蒙祂喜悦,在一切良善的事上结出果实,对上帝的认识不断增加。 11 愿上帝以祂荣耀的权能使你们刚强,无论遇到什么事都能长久忍耐, 12 欢喜地感谢天父,因祂使你们有资格跟众圣徒在光明中同享基业。 13 祂把我们从黑暗的权势下拯救出来,带进祂爱子的国度里。 14 我们借着祂的爱子蒙救赎,罪过得到赦免。

基督超越一切

15 基督是那不能看见之上帝的真像,超越[b]一切受造之物。 16 因为万物都是借着祂创造的,天上的、地上的、有形的、无形的、做王的、统治的、执政的、掌权的,一切都是借着祂也是为了祂而创造的。 17 祂存在于万物之前,万物都靠祂而维系。 18 祂是教会的头,教会是祂的身体;祂是源头,是首先从死里复活的,这样祂可以在一切事上居首位。 19 因为上帝乐意让一切的丰盛住在祂里面, 20 又借着祂在十字架上所流的血成就了和平,使天地万物借着祂与上帝和好。

21 你们从前与上帝隔绝,行事邪恶,心思意念与祂为敌; 22 但现在上帝借着基督肉身的死使你们与祂和好了,让你们在祂面前成为圣洁无瑕、无可指责的人。 23 只是你们必须恒心持守所信的道,根基稳固,坚定不移,不要失去你们听到福音后所得到的盼望。这福音传给了天下万民。我保罗也做了这福音的使者。

保罗为教会受苦

24 现在我因能够为你们受苦而欢喜,并且我是为基督的身体——教会的缘故,在自己身上补满基督未受的苦难。 25 我受上帝的委派成为教会的仆人,要把上帝的道完整地传给你们。 26 这道是历世历代一直隐藏的奥秘,现在已经向祂的众圣徒显明了。 27 上帝要他们知道这奥秘在外族人中有何等丰富的荣耀,这奥秘就是基督在你们里面,使你们有荣耀的盼望。 28 我们传扬基督,用各样的智慧劝诫、教导众人,使他们在基督里长大成熟,好把他们带到上帝面前。 29 为此,我按着祂在我身上运行的大能尽心竭力,不辞劳苦。

Notas al pie

  1. 1:7 我们”有古卷作“你们”。
  2. 1:15 超越”或译“先存于”,希腊文是“长子”,常用来指地位上的优越或时间上的优先。