Bible: Col 1:3-2:23
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Church
1:3 We always 1 give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 1:4 since 2 we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. 1:5 Your faith and love have arisen 3 from the hope laid up 4 for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel 5 1:6 that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel 6 is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing 7 among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. 1:7 You learned the gospel 8 from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave 9 – a 10 faithful minister of Christ on our 11 behalf – 1:8 who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Paul’s Prayer for the Growth of the Church
1:9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, 12 have not ceased praying for you and asking God 13 to fill 14 you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 1:10 so that you may live 15 worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects 16 – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of 17 all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share 18 in the saints’ 19 inheritance in the light. 1:13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 20 1:14 in whom we have redemption, 21 the forgiveness of sins.1:15
The Supremacy of Christ
1:16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, 25 whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.
1:17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together 26 in him.
1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, 33 whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Paul’s Goal in Ministry
1:21 And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your 34 minds 35 as expressed through 36 your evil deeds, 1:22 but now he has reconciled you 37 by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – 1:23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, 38 without shifting 39 from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.
1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body – for the sake of his body, the church – what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. 1:25 I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship 40 from God – given to me for you – in order to complete 41 the word of God, 1:26 that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. 1:27 God wanted to make known to them the glorious 42 riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 1:28 We proclaim him by instructing 43 and teaching 44 all people 45 with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature 46 in Christ. 1:29 Toward this goal 47 I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully 48 works in me.
2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, 49 and for those in Laodicea, and for those who have not met me face to face. 50 2:2 My goal is that 51 their hearts, having been knit together 52 in love, may be encouraged, and that 53 they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 54 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 2:4 I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments 55 that sound reasonable. 56 2:5 For though 57 I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing to see 58 your morale 59 and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Warnings Against the Adoption of False Philosophies
2:6 Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, 60 continue to live your lives 61 in him, 2:7 rooted 62 and built up in him and firm 63 in your 64 faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 2:8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you 65 through an empty, deceitful philosophy 66 that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits 67 of the world, and not according to Christ. 2:9 For in him all the fullness of deity lives 68 in bodily form, 2:10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 2:11 In him you also were circumcised – not, however, 69 with a circumcision performed by human hands, but by the removal 70 of the fleshly body, 71 that is, 72 through the circumcision done by Christ. 2:12 Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your 73 faith in the power 74 of God who raised him from the dead. 2:13 And even though you were dead in your 75 transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless 76 made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. 2:14 He has destroyed 77 what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness 78 expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. 2:15 Disarming 79 the rulers and authorities, he has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 80
2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – 2:17 these are only 81 the shadow of the things to come, but the reality 82 is Christ! 83 2:18 Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths 84 about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. 85 2:19 He has not held fast 86 to the head from whom the whole body, supported 87 and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 88
2:20 If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits 89 of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? 2:21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” 2:22 These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are 90 on human commands and teachings. 91 2:23 Even though they have the appearance of wisdom 92 with their self-imposed worship and false humility 93 achieved by an 94 unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence. 95