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我們聽說了你們對基督耶穌的信心和對眾聖徒的愛心，為你們禱告的時候，常常感謝我們主耶穌基督的父上帝。 5你們能有這樣的信心和愛心是因為那給你們存在天上的盼望，就是你們從前從福音真道中聽到的盼望。 6這福音不但傳到了你們那裡，也傳到了世界各地，並且開花結果，信主的人數不斷增長，正如你們當初聽了福音，因為明白真理而認識上帝的恩典後的情形。 7這福音是你們從我們親愛的同工以巴弗那裡得知的。他代表我們1·7 「我們」有古卷作「你們」。作基督的忠僕， 8並把聖靈賜給你們的愛心告訴了我們。
9因此，從聽到你們的消息那天起，我們便不斷地為你們禱告，求上帝使你們在一切屬靈的智慧和悟性上完全明白祂的旨意， 10以便你們行事為人對得起主，凡事蒙祂喜悅，在一切良善的事上結出果實，對上帝的認識不斷增加。 11願上帝以祂榮耀的權能使你們剛強，無論遇到什麼事都能長久忍耐， 12歡喜地感謝天父，因祂使你們有資格跟眾聖徒在光明中同享基業。 13祂把我們從黑暗的權勢下拯救出來，帶進祂愛子的國度裡。 14我們藉著祂的愛子蒙救贖，罪過得到赦免。
15基督是那不能看見之上帝的真像，超越1·15 「超越」或譯「先存於」，希臘文是「長子」，常用來指地位上的優越或時間上的優先。一切受造之物。 16因為萬物都是藉著祂創造的，天上的、地上的、有形的、無形的、作王的、統治的、執政的、掌權的，一切都是藉著祂也是為了祂而創造的。 17祂存在於萬物之前，萬物都靠祂而維繫。 18祂是教會的頭，教會是祂的身體；祂是源頭，是首先從死裡復活的，這樣祂可以在一切事上居首位。 19因為上帝樂意讓一切的豐盛住在祂裡面， 20又藉著祂在十字架上所流的血成就了和平，使天地萬物藉著祂與上帝和好。
21你們從前與上帝隔絕，行事邪惡，心思意念與祂為敵； 22但現在上帝藉著基督肉身的死使你們與祂和好了，讓你們在祂面前成為聖潔無瑕、無可指責的人。 23只是你們必須恆心持守所信的道，根基穩固，堅定不移，不要失去你們聽到福音後所得到的盼望。這福音傳給了天下萬民。我保羅也作了這福音的使者。
24現在我因能夠為你們受苦而歡喜，並且我是為基督的身體——教會的緣故，在自己身上補滿基督未受的苦難。 25我受上帝的委派成為教會的僕人，要把上帝的道完整地傳給你們。 26這道是歷世歷代一直隱藏的奧祕，現在已經向祂的眾聖徒顯明了。 27上帝要他們知道這奧祕在外族人中有何等豐富的榮耀，這奧祕就是基督在你們裡面，使你們有榮耀的盼望。 28我們傳揚基督，用各樣的智慧勸誡、教導眾人，使他們在基督裡長大成熟，好把他們帶到上帝面前。 29為此，我按著祂在我身上運行的大能盡心竭力，不辭勞苦。