THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE COLOSSIANS
Colossa was a city of Phrygia, near Laodicea. It does not appear that St. Paul had preached there himself, but that the Colossians were converted by Epaphras, a disciple of the Apostles. However, as St. Paul was the great Apostle of the Gentiles, he wrote this Epistle to the Colossians when he was in prison, and about the same time that he wrote to the Ephesians and Philippians. The exhortations and doctrine it contains are similar to that which is set forth in his Epistle to the Ephesians.
Colossians Chapter 1
He gives thanks for the grace bestowed upon the Colossians and prays for them. Christ is the head of the church and the peacemaker through his blood. Paul is his minister.
1:1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother:
1:2. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus who are at Colossa.
1:3. Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.
1:4. Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have towards all the saints.
1:5. For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel,
1:6. Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world and bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.
1:7. As you learned of Epaphras, our most beloved fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ Jesus;
1:8. Who also hath manifested your love in the spirit.
1:9. Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding:
1:10. That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God:
1:11. Strengthened with all might according to the power of his glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy,
1:12. Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:
1:13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
1:14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins:
1:15. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
The firstborn. . .That is, first begotten; as the Evangelist declares, the only begotten of his Father: hence, St. Chrisostom explains firstborn, not first created, as he was not created at all, but born of his Father before all ages; that is, coeval with the Father and with the Holy Ghost.
1:16. For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by him and in him.
1:17. And he is before all: and by him all things consist.
1:18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy:
1:19. Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell:
1:20. And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth and the things that are in heaven.
1:21. And you, whereas you were some time alienated and enemies in mind in evil works:
1:22. Yet now he hath reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unspotted and blameless before him:
1:23. If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and immoveable from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which is preached in all the creation that is under heaven: whereof I Paul am made a minister.
1:24. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:
Wanting. . .There is no want in the sufferings of Christ in himself as head: but many sufferings are still wanting, or are still to come, in his body the church, and his members the faithful.
1:25. Whereof I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God, which is given me towards you, that I may fulfil the word of God:
1:26. The mystery which hath been hidden from ages and generations, but now is manifested to his saints,
1:27. To whom God would make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ, in you the hope of glory.
1:28. Whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
1:29. Wherein also I labour, striving according to his working which he worketh in me in power.