St. Paul begins this letter by expressing his thanks for the faith and love evident in the Colossian church, praying for their continued spiritual growth. He powerfully asserts Christ’s supremacy and central role in creation and reconciliation, presenting Jesus as the bridge between God and humanity. He also points to his own personal ministry struggles, underscoring his commitment to spreading the gospel.
The Rev. Dennis McFadden, a pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, IN, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study Colossians 1.
Paul’s letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians contain a wealth of theology and practical guidance for living out the Christian faith. Ephesians unpacks God’s overarching plan of salvation and our identity in Christ, calling us to unity and holiness in the Church. Philippians overflows with joy, encouraging us to imitate Christ’s humility and develop spiritual maturity. Colossians stresses Christ’s preeminence and sufficiency, warning against false teaching and exhorting us to set our minds on things above. Together these essential epistles provide incredible insights into doctrines like grace, reconciliation, and redemption while also equipping us to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel in our relationships, speech, work, and ministry. Get ready to deepen your faith as we explore the powerful messages in Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians!
Thy Strong Word, hosted by Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church of Luverne, MN, reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.
Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation. Through the mission gifts of people like you, LHF translates, publishes, distributes and introduces books that are Bible-based, Christ-centered and Reformation-driven. Learn more at lhfmissions.org.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers[a] in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.[b] He is a faithful minister of Christ on your[c] behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks[d] to the Father, who has qualified you[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Preeminence of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Paul’s Ministry to the Church
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
- Colossians 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
- Colossians 1:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface
- Colossians 1:7 Some manuscripts our
- Colossians 1:12 Or patience, with joy giving thanks
- Colossians 1:12 Some manuscripts us
- Colossians 1:16 That is, by means of; or in
- Colossians 1:23 Or to every creature
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org