All things were created for Christ (Col. 1:16)

“In Christ,

All things

In heaven

And on earth

Were created,

Things visible

And invisible,

Whether thrones

Or dominions

Or rulers

Or powers.

All things

Have been created

Through him

And for him.”

ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἀρχαὶ εἴτε ἐξουσίαι· τὰ πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἔκτισται·

Paul said, “In Christ (ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ), all things (τὰ πάντα) in heaven (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς) and on earth (καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς) were created (ἐκτίσθη), things visible (τὰ ὁρατὰ) and invisible (καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα), whether thrones (εἴτε θρόνοι) or dominions (εἴτε κυριότητες) or rulers (εἴτε ἀρχαὶ) or powers (εἴτε ἐξουσίαι).  All things (τὰ πάντα) have been created (ἔκτισται) through him (δι’ αὐτοῦ) and for him (καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν).”  Only this unique word ὁρατὰ, is found here in Colossians, that means visible.  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀόρατα, that means invisible or unseen, and the word κυριότητες, that means angelic lordship, domination, dignity, within a celestial hierarchy.  This hymn indicated that Jesus Christ had a role in creation as in John, chapter 1:3-4.  Everything was created in Jesus Christ.  It did not matter whether it was on earth or in heaven.  He created everything, both the visible and the invisible things.  This included the heavenly spiritual angels, the thrones, the dominions, and the other rulers.  However, the human earthly rulers and powers also were created through and for Christ.  Christ was truly equal to God the Creator of all.  Jesus Christ has the priority of all creation, the divine person among us created humans.  Do you believe that Jesus Christ created all things?

Christ is the image of God (Col. 1:15)

“Christ

Is the image

Of the invisible God,

The first born

Of all creation.”

ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως,

Paul said, “Christ is the image (ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν) of the invisible (τοῦ ἀοράτου) God (τοῦ Θεοῦ), the first born (πρωτότοκος) of all creation (πάσης κτίσεως).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀοράτου, that means invisible or unseen.  This is a hymn to Christ like in Philippians, chapter 2:6-11, that displays the high Christology found in the prologue to John, chapter 1:1-18.  Jesus Christ had a pre-existence prior to his birth as Jesus of Nazareth.  He was the image or the word of God before he was humanly born.  He is the human image of the invisible God.  He is the first born or the greatest human person of all creation.  Jesus Christ is the link between the invisible heavenly God and visible human earthly reality.  This is a strong incarnation theology of God made man but still remaining God.  Jesus Christ is the image or the likeness of the great divine invisible God, as the first born or greatest of all creation.  Do you believe that Jesus Christ is truly God?

We have redemption (Col. 1:14)

“We have redemption

And the forgiveness

Of sins

In God’s beloved Son.”

ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν·

Paul said, “We have redemption (ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν) and the forgiveness (τὴν ἄφεσιν) of sins (τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν) in God’s beloved Son (ἐν ᾧ).”  Paul explained that God’s beloved Son Jesus Christ brought them redemption and the forgiveness of their sins.  Jesus Christ was a redeemer and forgiver of sins at the same time.  This is similar to Ephesians, chapter 1:7, where Paul said, “In Christ (ἐν ᾧ), we have redemption (ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν) through his blood (διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ), the forgiveness (τὴν ἄφεσιν) of our trespasses (τῶν παραπτωμάτων), according to the riches (κατὰ τὸ πλοῦτος) of his grace (τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ).”  Paul clearly stated that Jesus Christ had redeemed them through his blood.  He had freed them from the slavery of sin.  He forgave them their former trespasses or sins.  He had paid the ransom price with his own blood.  Now we would be able to partake in the richness of the grace of God through Jesus Christ.  Just as the Israelites had been freed from Egypt, so too the followers of Jesus Christ were now free from sin due to the rich grace of God.  Do you believe that your sins have been forgiven?

God has rescued us (Col. 1:13)

“God has rescued us

From the power

Of darkness.

He has transferred us

Into the kingdom

Of his beloved Son.”

ὃς ἐρύσατο ἡμᾶς ἐκ τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ σκότους καὶ μετέστησεν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ,

Paul said, “God has rescued us (ὃς ἐρύσατο ἡμᾶς) from the power (ἐκ τῆς ἐξουσίας) of darkness (τοῦ σκότους).  He has transferred us (καὶ μετέστησεν) into the kingdom (εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν) of his beloved Son (τοῦ Υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ).”  Paul continued with the idea of light and darkness, the goodness of life and the badness of darkness.  God had saved the Colossians and other Christians from the bad evil power of darkness because they were now living in the light of the kingdom of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  We have all gone from darkness to light with Jesus Christ.  Do you live in light or darkness?

Give thanks to the Father! (Phil. 1:12)

“Give thanks

To the Father,

Who has enabled you

To share

In the inheritance

Of the saints

In the light.”

εὐχαριστοῦντες τῷ Πατρὶ τῷ ἱκανώσαντι ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν μερίδα τοῦ κλήρου τῶν ἁγίων ἐν τῷ φωτί·

Paul said, “Give thanks (εὐχαριστοῦντες) to the Father (τῷ Πατρὶ), who has enabled you (τῷ ἱκανώσαντι ὑμᾶς) to share (εἰς τὴν μερίδα) in the inheritance (τοῦ κλήρου) of the saints (τῶν ἁγίων) in the light (ἐν τῷ φωτί).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἱκανώσαντι, that means to make sufficient, render fit, or qualified.  Paul wanted the Colossians to give thanks to God the Father who enabled them to get a share of the inheritance of the saints who live in the light.  They needed to give thanks to God for opening up the inheritance that had only been given to the Israelites.  They too would be part of the bright light that shines on the holy saved ones.  Do you live in the light of God’s holy ones?

Strong and enduring (Col. 1:11)

“May you be made strong

With all the strength

That comes

From Christ’s glorious power.

May you have

All endurance

And patience

With joy.”

ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει δυναμούμενοι κατὰ τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν ὑπομονὴν καὶ μακροθυμίαν, μετὰ χαρᾶς

Paul said, “May you be made strong (δυναμούμενοι) with all the strength (ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει) that comes from Christ’s glorious power (κατὰ τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ).  May you have all endurance (εἰς πᾶσαν ὑπομονὴν) and patience (καὶ μακροθυμίαν) with joy (μετὰ χαρᾶς).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word δυναμούμενοι, that means to make strong, enable, empower, or strengthen, and the word μακροθυμίαν, that means patience, long-suffering or patience.  Paul wanted the Colossians to be strong with the glorious powerful strength of Jesus Christ.  Thus, they would be able to endure all things and be patient in all things with a sense of Christian joy and grace.  Do you have a patient joy in your life?

Good lives (Col. 1:10)

“Thus,

You may lead lives

Worthy of the Lord,

Fully pleasing

To him,

As you bear fruit

In every good work,

And as you grow

In the knowledge

Of God.”

περιπατῆσαι ἀξίως τοῦ Κυρίου εἰς πᾶσαν ἀρεσκείαν, ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ ἀγαθῷ καρποφοροῦντες καὶ αὐξανόμενοι τῇ ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ Θεοῦ,

Paul said, “Thus, you may lead lives or walk worthy (περιπατῆσαι ἀξίως) of the Lord (τοῦ Κυρίου), fully pleasing to him (εἰς πᾶσαν ἀρεσκείαν), as you bear fruit (καρποφοροῦντες) in every good work (ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ ἀγαθῷ), and as you grow (καὶ αὐξανόμενοι) in the knowledge (τῇ ἐπιγνώσει) of God (τοῦ Θεοῦ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐπιγνώσει, that means knowledge of a particular point, perception, discernment, recognition, or intuition, and the word ἀξίως, that means worthy.  Only this unique word ἀρεσκείαν, is found here in Colossians, that means a desire to please, or pleasing.  Paul wanted them to lead good lives or walk worthy of the Lord.  They just had to be fully pleasing to God.  All their good works would bear fruit.  They would continue to grow in their knowledge of God.  Do you want to grow in the knowledge about God?

We have not ceased praying (Col. 1:9)

“For this reason,

Since the day

That we heard it,

We have not ceased

Praying for you

And asking

That you may be filled

With the knowledge

Of God’s will

In all spiritual wisdom

And spiritual understanding.”

Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡμεῖς, ἀφ’ ἧς ἡμέρας ἠκούσαμεν, οὐ παυόμεθα ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν προσευχόμενοι καὶ αἰτούμενοι ἵνα πληρωθῆτε τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ καὶ συνέσει πνευματικῇ,

Paul said, “For this reason (Διὰ τοῦτο), since the day that we heard it (καὶ ἡμεῖς, ἀφ’ ἧς ἡμέρας ἠκούσαμεν), we have not ceased (οὐ παυόμεθα) praying (προσευχόμενοι) for you (ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν) and asking (καὶ αἰτούμενοι) that you may be filled (ἵνα πληρωθῆτε) with the knowledge (τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν) of God’s will (τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ) in all spiritual wisdom (ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ) and spiritual understanding (καὶ συνέσει πνευματικῇ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐπίγνωσιν, that means knowledge of a particular point, perception, discernment, recognition, or intuition and the word πνευματικῇ, that means spiritual.  Paul indicated that as soon as he heard about the conversion of the Colossians, he continually prayed for them.  He wanted them to have a better spiritual knowledge and wisdom about Jesus Christ.  Thus, they would know the will of God in their lives.  Do you ask God for a better spiritual wisdom and understanding?

Your love (Col. 1:8)

“Epaphras

Has made known

To us

Your love

In the Spirit.”

ὁ καὶ δηλώσας ἡμῖν τὴν ὑμῶν ἀγάπην ἐν Πνεύματι.

Paul said, “Epaphras has made known (ὁ καὶ δηλώσας) to us (ἡμῖν) your love (τὴν ὑμῶν ἀγάπην) in the Spirit (ἐν Πνεύματι).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word δηλώσας, that means to make plain, declare, or reveal.  Paul explained that Epaphras had let him know about their spiritual love.  Apparently, the church at Colossae was founded by Epaphras (Ἐπαφρᾶς).  He also was a missionary who may have founded other churches in the Colossae area also.  Do you have a spiritual love for anyone?

Epaphras (Col. 1:7)

“This you learned

From Epaphras,

Our beloved fellow servant.

He is our faithful minister

Of Christ.”

καθὼς ἐμάθετε ἀπὸ Ἐπαφρᾶ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ συνδούλου ἡμῶν, ὅς ἐστιν πιστὸς ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διάκονος τοῦ Χριστοῦ,

Paul said, “This you learned (καθὼς ἐμάθετε) from Epaphras (ἀπὸ Ἐπαφρᾶ), our beloved fellow servant (τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ συνδούλου ἡμῶν).  He is our faithful minister (ὅς ἐστιν πιστὸς ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διάκονος) of Christ (τοῦ Χριστοῦ).”  Little is known about Epaphras.  Perhaps he was a native of Colossae converted by Paul himself during his ministry in Ephesus.  This name is short for Epaphroditus (Ἐπαφρόδιτος), a common name in the first century meaning “lovely, fascinating, charming”.  Apparently, this is not the same person who delivered a gift to Paul from Philippi, mentioned in Philippians chapter 2:25 and 4:13.  The mention of a co-worker at this point in a Pauline epistle is unusual, and the strength of Paul’s endorsement is also striking.  Paul called Epaphras “our faithful minister,” since he had brought Paul good news of the progress of the gospel, of their faith in Christ Jesus and of their love toward all the saints.  Paul also regarded Epaphras as his beloved fellow-servant.  He was mentioned at the end of this epistle as someone from Colossae, not Philippi.  In Philemon, chapter 1:24, he was mentioned as a fellow prisoner with Paul.  Have you ever heard about Epaphras?