1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Timothy joins me in writing.
2We are sending this letter to you, our brothers and sisters in Colossae. You belong to Christ. You are holy and faithful.
May God our Father give you grace and peace.
Paul Prays and Gives Thanks
3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. 4We thank him because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus. We have also heard that you love all God’s people. 5Your faith and love are based on the hope you have. What you hope for is stored up for you in heaven. You have already heard about it. You were told about it when the true message was given to you. I’m talking about the good news 6that has come to you. In the same way, the good news is bearing fruit. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world. It has been doing that among you since the day you heard it. That is when you really understood God’s grace. 7You learned the good news from Epaphras. He is dear to us. He serves Christ together with us. He faithfully works for Christ and for us among you. 8He also told us about your love that comes from the Holy Spirit.
9That’s why we have not stopped praying for you. We have been praying for you since the day we heard about you. We keep asking God to fill you with the knowledge of what he wants. We pray he will give you the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. 10Then you will be able to lead a life that is worthy of the Lord. We pray that you will please him in every way. So we want you to bear fruit in every good thing you do. We pray that you will grow to know God better. 11We want you to be very strong, in keeping with his glorious power. We want you to be patient. We pray that you will never give up. 12We want you to give thanks with joy to the Father. He has made you fit to have what he will give to all his holy people. You will all receive a share in the kingdom of light. 13He has saved us from the kingdom of darkness. He has brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. 14Because of what the Son has done, we have been set free. Because of him, all our sins have been forgiven.
The Son of God Is Better Than Everything Else
15The Son is the exact likeness of God, who can’t be seen. The Son is first, and he is over all creation. 16All things were created in him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. All things have been created by him and for him. 17Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together. 18And he is the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning. He is the first to be raised from the dead. That happened so that he would be far above everything. 19God was pleased to have his whole nature living in Christ. 20God was pleased to bring all things back to himself. That’s because of what Christ has done. These things include everything on earth and in heaven. God made peace through Christ’s blood, by his death on the cross.
21At one time you were separated from God. You were enemies in your minds because of your evil ways. 22But because Christ died, God has brought you back to himself. Christ’s death has made you holy in God’s sight. So now you don’t have any flaw. You are free from blame. 23But you must keep your faith steady and firm. You must not move away from the hope the good news holds out to you. This is the good news that you heard. It has been preached to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, now serve the good news.
Paul’s Work for the Church
24I am happy because of what I am suffering for you. My suffering joins with and continues the sufferings of Christ. I suffer for his body, which is the church. 25I serve the church. God appointed me to bring the complete word of God to you. 26That word contains the mystery that has been hidden for many ages. But now it has been made known to the Lord’s people. 27God has chosen to make known to them the glorious riches of that mystery. He has made it known among the Gentiles. And here is what it is. Christ is in you. He is your hope of glory.
28Christ is the one we preach about. With all the wisdom we have, we warn and teach everyone. When we bring them to God, we want them to be like Christ. We want them to be grown up as people who belong to Christ. 29That’s what I’m working for. I work hard with all the strength of Christ. His strength works powerfully in me.
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。 5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。 6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。 7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1:7 “我们”有古卷作“你们”。做基督的忠仆， 8并把圣灵赐给你们的爱心告诉了我们。
9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。
15基督是那不能看见之上帝的真像，超越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。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。
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。