1 [This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and [from] our brother Timothy,
2 [and is being sent] to the saints [i.e., God's holy people] and faithful brothers in [fellowship with] Christ [who live] at Colosse. May you have unearned favor and peace from God our Father.
3 Whenever we pray for you, we always thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 for we have heard about [the evidence of] your faith in [the service of] Christ Jesus, and about the love you have [shown] for all the saints. 5 [You have these qualities] because of the hope stored up for you in heaven, which [hope] you previously heard about through the message of truth when the Gospel 6 came to you. This Gospel is [now] also producing fruit all over the world [i.e., throughout the Roman Empire] and growing [in its influence], just as it is doing among you people also, since the day you [first] heard and understood God's unearned favor in [all its] truth. 7 You learned [this truth] from Epaphras, our dearly loved fellow-slave, who is a faithful minister of Christ [to you] on our behalf. 8 He also told us about your love, [which is produced] by the Holy Spirit.
9 So, this is why, since the day we heard about these things, we do not stop praying for you and requesting that you people be filled [by God] with the knowledge of what He wants [for your lives], and with spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 [We pray for you] to live a life deserving of the Lord, pleasing to Him in every way, producing fruit in every good deed and growing in the knowledge of God. 11 [We also pray that you will be] strengthened with great power, according to God's glorious might, so that you will have great endurance and patience [coupled] with joy. 12 [May you] give thanks to the Father who has enabled you to share [i.e., eventually] in the inheritance of the saints [i.e., God's holy people] in [the kingdom of] light. 13 He rescued us from the domain of [spiritual] darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son whom He loves, 14 through whom we receive redemption [i.e., are bought back from Satan], which is the forgiveness of [our] sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn One [i.e., who takes preeminence] over all that is created. 16 For all things were created by Him; things in heaven and on earth; things visible and invisible, whether they are thrones [i.e., reigning beings], or lords, or rulers or authorities. [Note: "Authorities" here may refer to angelic beings]. All things were created by Him and for Him. 17 And He existed before all things and all things are held together by Him. 18 And He is the head of the [spiritual] body, the church. He is [its] source, the firstborn One from the dead [i.e., the first one to return to life, never to die again], so that He could rank first [in importance] over all things. 19 For God was very pleased to have all of [His] fullness dwell in Christ [See 2:9], 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven. He made peace [with mankind] through the [sacrificial] blood of Christ's [death on the] cross.
21 And though you were once estranged [from God] and were enemies [of His] in your mind because of your evil deeds, 22 yet now God has reconciled [you] to Himself through the death of Christ's physical body in order to present you holy, without fault and free from just blame before Him [on judgment day]. 23 [This will happen] if you continue in the faith [Note: This means either "continue to observe God's teaching" or, "continue to believe"], firmly grounded and established, and not moved away from the hope offered by the Gospel message, which you have heard and which was preached to people throughout the entire created world under heaven. I, Paul, was made a minister of this Gospel.
24 Now I rejoice in [spite of] my sufferings for your sake, and I am filling up [i.e., completing] in my physical body what was lacking in the afflictions Christ endured for His body's sake, the church. 25 I was made a minister of the church according to the task given to me by God to fully present His message to you. 26 [This message is] the secret which has been kept hidden throughout the ages and generations, but has now been revealed to God's saints [i.e., His holy people]. 27 He was pleased to make known to these people the wealth of His splendor among the Gentiles; this hidden secret, which is Christ among you, [is] the hope of being honored [i.e., in heaven]. 28 We proclaim Him, warning and teaching every person with all wisdom, so that we may present every person [to God] complete in [their fellowship with] Christ. 29 This is the reason that I work hard and struggle also, using God's mighty power which is at work in me.