Greetings & Thankful prayer (1:1-13)


The greetings of both epistles are very similar. Paul introduces himself as an “apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God”.(1:1) That grants him the authority to be respected by the recipients. In E, he names himself only in his greetings whereas in C, he mentions himself and Timothy. The recipients are very similar too. He calls them “the saints” and “faithful” brethren “in Christ”.(1:2) Saints are set apart for God’s use. “In Christ” is an important concept in E.

“Grace” and “peace” be unto the Colossians (1:2), same as in E 1:2. We first receive God’s grace and then we enjoy the heavenly peace from Him.

(thankful prayer)

Paul gives thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” right after the greetings (1:3), same as blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” in E (E 1:3). Paul keeps praying always for you (Colossians)”  (1:3), same as in E, he cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers(E 1:16). He heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints” (1:4), same as in E, he heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints” (E 1:15). Our faith is put in Christ and our love is shown to the saints. The reason for Paul’s thankful prayer to God right after the greetings is the same (in C 1:4, since we heard of your faith”; in E 1:15, after I heard of your faith”).

The hope which is laid up for you in heaven” (1:5). In E, Paul prays that “ye may know the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (E 1:18) We all bear the hope of receiving rich inheritance from God one day.

The Colossians heard of the gospel from Epaphras at the beginning. Epaphras is a convert of Paul and has become his “dear fellow servant” and “faithful minister of Christ”. (1:7) Thus the gospel “bringeth forth fruit” in Colosse. (1:6) On the other hand, it is Epaphras who “declared unto us (Paul) your love in the Spirit”. (1:8)

Paul mentions again that “since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you” (1:9). After offering thanksgiving to the Father, he prays for the saints (1:9-13):

“that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
(in E 1:17, Paul prays for the saints that “the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him”.) We need to know God and His will. God’s will for us is stated below.

“that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
(in E 4:1, Paul beseeches that “ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called「與蒙召的恩相稱」.) We are called to do everything that should please the Lord.

“being fruitful in every good work, and
(in E 2:10, Paul says that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”.)

“increasing in the knowledge of God;

strengthened with all might according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness;
(In E 3:16, Paul prays that the Father “would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man”. In E 4:2-3, Paul beseeches that they “with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”.) We are to be patient with everyone and have joy even in affliction. “Joy” is fully expressed in the epistle of Philippians, where Paul exhorts the saints to “rejoice in the Lord” (Phil 4:4) while they are being oppressed by the enemies of God.

“giving thanks unto the Father,

  • “which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of saints in light”
    (In E 1:11, Paul thanks the Father that “in whom (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him (the Father)." In E 3:6, Paul says that the Gentiles are “fellowheirs” and partakers of His (God’s) promise in Christ by the gospel”, which is the “mystery of Christ” (E 3:4) for him to reveal.)
  • “who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and
    (In E 2:2, Paul says that before we were converted, we “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air”. Now, after conversion, we are “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (E 6:12).) Before we were saved, we were fully controlled by the power of Satan--no more after entrusting ourselves with Christ. 
  • “hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”
    (In E 1:20-22, Paul says that God “set him (Christ) at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion…and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body”.) Thus, Christ is the head of the church in his kingdom.