March 28th, 2007
Paul said, “The Good News is bearing fruit and growing throughout the world, just as it has with you since the day you heard and truly understood the grace of God.” It’s all about faith and hope and love. Faith involves deciding to trust in God, but it’s not blind faith; it’s a faith based on all the available evidence. Hope is what God gives you, a hope that there really is a meaning and purpose in life and that who you are and what you do does have significance. Love is how you relate to God and other people, no longer seeing others as objects to be used for your purposes, but seeing yourself as a servant of others.
Paul’s Letter to the Colossians — Chapter 1
1:1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 1:2 to the believers and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ at Colossae. Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:3 Whenever we pray for you we thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:4 We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have for all the believers, 1:5 because of the hope which is kept for you in heaven, which you first heard about in the message of the truth, the Good News 1:6 which has come to you. The Good News is bearing fruit and growing throughout the world, just as it has with you since the day you heard and truly understood the grace of God. 1:7 You learned this from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 1:8 and he also told us about your love in the Spirit. 1:9 This is why, since the day we first heard about you, we have not stopped praying and making requests for you to understand fully God’s will with spiritual wisdom and insight, 1:10 for you to live lives worthy of the Lord, and please him always by doing good things and growing to know God better. 1:11 We pray that you will be made strong by his glorious power, to endure and persevere with joy, 1:12 giving thanks to the Father for letting us have a part of the inheritance of the believers who are in the light. 1:13 He rescued us from the power of darkness, and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son he loves. 1:14 In him we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 1:16 All things were created by him, in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible things, thrones and dominions and principalities and powers. Everything has been created through him, and for him. 1:17 He existed before anything, and everything is held together by him. 1:18 He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he is the most important of anyone. 1:19 God was pleased to live fully in him, 1:20 and to reconcile everything, including things on earth and things in heaven, to himself through him, making peace through the blood of his cross.
1:21 You used to be distant from God, enemies in your minds because of your evil actions, 1:22 but he has now reconciled you by his death in a human body, so that you can be holy and faultless and blameless when you stand in his presence, 1:23 if you continue in the faith, firm and steadfast and unmoved from the hope of the Good News which you heard, which is being proclaimed to all creation under heaven. I, Paul, was made a servant of this Good News.
1:24 I am glad to suffer for your sake, and to continue in my own body what remains of Christ’s sufferings for his body, the church. 1:25 I became a servant of the church according to God’s plan for me to explain the message of God to you. 1:26 It is a mystery which has been hidden throughout the ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his people. 1:27 God wanted to let them know the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is that Christ lives in you, the hope of glory. 1:28 We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all our wisdom, so that we will be able to show that every one of them is mature in Christ Jesus. 1:29 I work hard for this with all of his power which works through me.