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FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Colossians

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 FRAMEWORKS: Colossians 1


[Note: Because it is sometimes difficult to follow the flow of a letter like this, we have added a synopsis of each chapter & passage to help clarify where Paul is going with his writing.]


v.1,2 Greetings

v.3-8 Thanks for what God has done in them

v.9-14 Prayers for their growth

v.15-20 The Glory of the Son

v.21-23 The work of the Son in them

v.24-29 Paul's Ministry


[Chapter 1 Synopsis: Thanks for what they have heard of the Colossians, prayer for their spiritual growth, the glorious Son revealed, and what he has achieved in them, and Paul's ministry of proclaiming the mystery of the Gospel to all peoples.]



v.1,2 Greetings


v.1 (This comes from Paul and Timothy) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

v.2 (It comes to the church in Colossae with the desire for God's blessing on them) To God's holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.



v.3-8 Thanks for what God has done in them


[Passage Synopsis: Thanks when they pray having heard of their faith and love, that flows from the hope of a place in heaven, according to the gospel, which is now growing throughout the whole world, the gospel that Epaphras had brought to them.]


v.3-6 (when they pray for them they are thankful for what they've heard about them as they grow in the gospel which is spreading around the world) We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God's grace.

v.7,8 (Epaphras had come and brought the gospel to them and has come back and told about them) You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.



v.9-14 Prayers for their growth


[Passage Synopsis: News of them prompted the apostles to pray continuously for them so they may be filled with knowledge of God's will, inspired by the Spirit, and thus live lives pleasing to the Lord that are growing in God in all ways, having been rescued from darkness and brought into the kingdom of light.]


v.9 (this has provoked the apostles to pray constantly for them for God to give them clarity about His will for them) For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,

v.10-12 (this in order that they can live well for Jesus, bearing fruit and growing and being strengthened by his Spirit to handle all that comes) so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

v.13,14 (for Christ has taken them out of darkness into the light of his kingdom) For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.



v.15-20 The Glory of the Son


[Passage Synopsis: Jesus described, his role in heaven, and his work in the church [a glorious passage for meditation.]]


v.15 (Jesus reveals in himself the Father, being the newly born of a new kingdom) The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

v.16 (he created everything we know) For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

v.17 (was before it and now holds it together) He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

v.18 (he's also head over the body, the church, being the firstborn from the dead, Lord over all) And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

v.19,20 (not only did God fully reside in him, but used him to reconcile all things from this fallen world, to the Father) For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.



v.21-23 The work of the Son in them


[Passage Synopsis: What Jesus has done for them – reconciled them to God, as long as they hold to the Faith – the gospel.]


v.21 (those believers had once been aliens and enemies of God) Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.

v.22,23 (but now God has reconciled them to Himself through Christ's death, making them holy and distinct as long as they hold on to their faith and trust in the gospel) But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.



v.24-29 Paul's Ministry


[Passage Synopsis: Paul's suffering with Christ while revealing the mystery that is the gospel for all peoples and calling the church to maturity.]


v.24 (Paul is suffering in prison but that is just sharing in Christ's sufferings for their sake) Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

v.25,26 (he is their servant by God's command to reveal the mystery of Christ to them) I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord's people.

v.27 (this is that they share in Christ's glory) To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

v.28 (maturity in Christ is their goal) He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

v.29 (and that's what he's working hard for) To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.


Continue to CHAPTER 2