1 My name is Paul. My colleague, Timothy, and I are together in this mission ordained by the purpose of God, representing the ministry of Jesus Christ.
2 We greet you with grace, which is the blessing of his favor and friendship; and honor you who are in Colossae as saints and brothers included in Christ. God is our Father and Jesus Christ our Master.
3 Every time we pray for you we thank God for you. Together with our Lord Jesus Christ we enjoy a common origin in the Father.
4 The reports of your belief in Christ Jesus and your love for every devote follower inspires us.
5 Heaven (the spiritual realm) is the limitless reservoir of your expectation. The announcement of the goodness of God is not far-fetched or too good to be true. The word you heard is absolutely true!
6 This word resonates within you and its appeal is prevailing in the whole world. The harvest is evident everywhere and gaining ground; as also witnessed in your own experience from the moment you heard and understood the true implication and the relevance of his grace. (“My greatest joy is to realize that your faith is announced throughout the entire world. The total cosmos is our audience!” [Rom 1:8] Paul always sees the larger audience when he addresses the individual.)
7 Your experience is consistent with the teaching you received from our dear co-worker Epafras. He is passionate about your well being in Christ.
8 He told us how much you love us in the spirit;
9 and so we have become inseparably linked to you. Our constant desire for you is that you might be overwhelmed with the knowledge of God’s dream for your lives. We pray that the pattern of his wisdom and thoughts will fall into place for you in all spiritual understanding. (The word, sunieimi, means a joining together as of two streams; a fusion of thought.)
10 Go on a walkabout tour to explore the extent of the land that is yours under his Lordship. Now you can conduct yourselves appropriately towards him, pleasing him in every harvest of good works that you bear. Meanwhile, you continue to increase in your intimate acquaintance with that which God knows to be true about you. This results in the most attractive and fulfilled life possible. (The word, peripateo, means to walk about everywhere. The knowledge of God is not our perception of him, but his knowledge of us; to know even as we have always been known. [Jer 1:5, 1 Cor 13:12])
11 You are empowered in the dynamic of God’s strength; his mind is made up about you! He enables you to be strong in endurance and steadfastness with joy. (His glorious power, or doxa, comes from dokeo, to recognize for what it really is, true opinion; God’s intention—his mind made up.)
12 We are grateful to the Father who qualified us to participate in the complete portion of the inheritance of the saints in the light. (The light of the Gospel reveals what God accomplished to transform the sinner into a saint; from hagos, an awful thing to hagios, a consecrated object: “call no man unholy or unclean.” [Acts 10:28])
13 He rescued us from the dominion of darkness (the sense-ruled world, dominated by the law of performance) and relocated us into the kingdom where the love of his son rules. (Darkness is not a force, it is the absence of light. [See Eph 4:18] A darkened understanding veiled the truth of our redeemed design from us; translating exousia, from ek, origin or source, and eimi, I am. Thus, confused about who I am until the day that we heard and understood the grace of God in truth.)
14 In God’s mind mankind is associated in Christ; in his blood sacrifice we were ransomed; our redemption was secured; our sins were completely done away with. (The Greek word for sin, hamartia is a compound word, ha, without, and martia from meros, form or our true portion. Sin distorts. Sin robbed us of our allotted portion, the life of our design.)
15 In him the image and likeness of God is made visible in human life in order that every one may recognize their true origin in him. He is the firstborn of every creature. (What darkness veiled from us he unveiled. In him we clearly see the mirror reflection of our original life. The son of his love gives accurate evidence of his image in human form. God can never again be invisible!)
16 Everything that is begins in him whether in the heavenly realm or upon the earth, visible or invisible, every order of justice and every level of authority, be it kingdoms or governments, principalities or jurisdictions; all things were created by him and for him.
17 He is the initiator of all things therefore everything finds its relevance and its true pattern only in him.
18 The ekklesia (church) is the visible expression (body) of which Jesus is the head. He is the principle rank of authority who leads the triumphant procession of our new birth out of the region of the dead. His pre-eminent rank is beyond threat. (“ … leading the resurrection parade” —The Message)
19 The full measure of everything God has in mind for man indwells him. (“So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.” — The Message)
20 He initiated the reconciliation of all things to himself. Through the blood of the cross God restored the original harmony. His reign of peace now extends to every visible thing upon the earth as well as those invisible things which are in the heavenly realm. (The heavens, ouranos, a place of elevation, from oros, a mountain, from airo, to lift, to raise, to elevate, “Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe, people and things, animals and atoms, get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death.” — The Message. )
21 Your indifferent mind-set alienated you from God into a lifestyle of annoyances, hardships, and labors. Yet he has now fully reconciled and restored you to your original design. (The word, poneros, means annoyances, hardships, and labors, often translated as evil. [See Septuagint: tree of knowledge of good and hard labor!] To reconcile: apokatallasso, fully restored to the original value. [In Thayer Definition: to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value.])
22 He accomplished this in dying our death in a human body; he fully represented us in order to fully present us again in blameless innocence, face-to-face with God; with no sense of guilt, suspicion, regret, or accusation; all charges against us are officially cancelled.
23 Remain under the influence of what your faith knows to be true about you, firmly consolidated in the foundation of your belief so that nothing can distract you from the expectation of the Gospel; a hope that is consistent with what you have heard. Just as I, Paul, am in the ministry to proclaim the one and only message that rings true with resonance in all of creation under heaven. (The dimension of the invisible spiritual realm. “You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.” —The Message.)
24 This is why no form of suffering can interfere with my joy. Every suffering on your behalf is just another opportunity to reinforce that which might still be lacking (in your understanding) of the affliction of Christ on behalf of his body which is the church. (The inconvenience that Paul might be suffering on behalf of the believers is not to add to the sufferings of Christ—as though the sufferings of Christ on our behalf were insufficient but it is to further emphasize and confirm the principle of unselfish love that constrains New Testament ministry.)
25 I am an administrator in God’s economy; my mission is to make his word known to you with utmost clarity.
26 The element of prophetic mystery was concealed for ages and generations but is now fully realized in our redeemed innocence.
27 In us God desires to exhibit the priceless treasure of Christ’s indwelling; every nation will recognize him as in a mirror! The unveiling of Christ in human life completes man’s every expectation. (He is not hiding in history, or in outer space nor in the future, neither in the pages of scripture, he is merely mirrored there to be unveiled within you. Mt 13:44, Gal 1:15, 16)
28 This is the essence and focus of our message; we awaken every man’s mind, instructing every individual by bringing them into full understanding (flawless clarity) in order that we may prove (present) everyone perfect in Christ. (Translating vous + tithemi as to re-align every mind with God’s mind. The word, sophos, comes from sophes meaning clear, clarity. The word, paristano, comes from para, sphere of influence, closest possible association, and histemi, meaning to stand, to exhibit with evidence. The word, teleios, means perfect, without shortcoming and fully efficient.)
29 Your completeness in Christ is not a remote goal, but your immediate reference! My labor now exceeds any zeal that I previously knew under the duty-driven law of willpower. I am laboring beyond the point of exhaustion, striving with intense resolve with all the energy that he mightily inspires within me. (eis, a point reached in conclusion.)