June 3, 2018
Two Kingdoms, One King
Thankfulness for Spiritual Attainments
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ [a]by the will of God, and Timothy [b]our brother,
2 To the [c]saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have [d]for all the [e]saints; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in [f]heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, [g]the gospel 6 which has come to you, just as [h]in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and [i]increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and [j]understood the grace of God in truth; 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8 and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.
9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the [k]knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, [l]to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and [m]increasing in the [n]knowledge of God;11 strengthened with all power, according to [o]His glorious might, [p]for the attaining of all steadfastness and [q]patience; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us [r]to share in the inheritance of the [s]saints in Light.
The Incomparable Christ
13 [t]For He rescued us from the [u]domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of [v]His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15 [w]He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.16 For [x]by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He [y]is before all things, and in Him all things [z]hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.19 For [aa]it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the [ab]fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in [ac]heaven.
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in [ad]the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, [ae]was made a [af]minister.
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I [ag]do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking [ah]in Christ’s afflictions. 25 Of this church I [ai]was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might [aj]fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His [ak]saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man [al]with all wisdom, so that we may present every man [am]complete in Christ.29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His [an]power, which [ao]mightily works within me.