1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters1:2 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 4:15. in Christ:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father.1:2 Some manuscripts Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
Thanksgiving and prayer
3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people – 5the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant,1:7 Or slave who is a faithful minister of Christ on our1:7 Some manuscripts your behalf, 8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,1:9 Or all spiritual wisdom and understanding 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you1:12 Some manuscripts us to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The supremacy of the Son of God
15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of1:21 Or minds, as shown by your evil behaviour. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Paul’s labour for the church
24Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness – 26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works 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。