Thankfulness for Spiritual Attainments
1 Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the will of God, and Timothy [our] brother,
2 To the saints (the consecrated people of God) and believing and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace (spiritual favor and blessing) to you and [heart] peace from God our Father.
3 We continually give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), as we are praying for you, 4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [ the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God's consecrated ones), 5 Because of the hope [of experiencing what is] laid up ( reserved and waiting) for you in heaven. Of this [hope] you heard in the past in the message of the truth of the Gospel, 6 Which has come to you. Indeed, in the whole world [that Gospel] is bearing fruit and still is growing [by its own inherent power], even as it has done among yourselves ever since the day you first heard and came to know and understand the grace of God in truth. [You came to know the grace or undeserved favor of God in reality, deeply and clearly and thoroughly, becoming accurately and intimately acquainted with it.] 7 You so learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ in our stead and as our representative and yours. 8 Also he has informed us of your love in the [Holy] Spirit.
9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [ special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [ in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things -- " 10 That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]. 11 [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy, 12 Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light.
The Incomparable Christ
13 [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.
15 [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. 16 For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him. 17 And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together). 18 He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent]. 19 For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently. 20 And God purposed that through ( by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross.
21 And although you at one time were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities, 22 Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father's] presence. 23 [And this He will do] provided that you continue to stay with and in the faith [in Christ], well-grounded and settled and steadfast, not shifting or moving away from the hope [which rests on and is inspired by] the glad tidings (the Gospel), which you heard and which has been preached [as being designed for and offered without restrictions] to every person under heaven, and of which [Gospel] I, Paul, became a minister.
24 [Even] now I rejoice in the midst of my sufferings on your behalf. And in my own person I am making up whatever is still lacking and remains to be completed [ on our part] of Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church. 25 In it I became a minister in accordance with the divine stewardship which was entrusted to me for you [as its object and for your benefit], to make the Word of God fully known [among you] -- " 26 The mystery of which was hidden for ages and generations [ from angels and men], but is now revealed to His holy people (the saints), 27 To whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the] glory. 28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom ( comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One). 29 For this I labor [ unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.