3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, (Eph 1:15; Phm 1:4)4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, (1Th 1:3)5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, (Ac 23:6; Eph 1:13; Col 1:23; 2Ti 4:8; Tit 1:2; Heb 3:6; 1Pe 1:4)6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, (Ps 98:3; Mt 24:14; Joh 15:5; Joh 15:16; Ac 11:23; Ro 16:26; Eph 4:21; Php 1:11; Col 1:23)7just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.
1. For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface
 him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Eze 10:1; Ro 11:36; 1Co 8:6; Eph 1:10; Eph 1:21)17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Joh 1:1; Joh 8:58; Heb 1:3)18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (Ac 26:23; 1Co 15:20; Eph 1:22; Re 1:5; Re 3:14)19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, (Joh 1:16; Col 2:9)20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (2Co 5:18; Eph 1:10; Eph 2:13; Eph 2:14)21And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, (Eph 2:1; Eph 2:12; Tit 1:16)22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (Ro 7:4; 1Co 1:8; Eph 1:4; Eph 5:27; Jud 1:24)23if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation
24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, (2Co 1:5; 2Co 7:4; Eph 4:12; 2Ti 1:8; 2Ti 2:10)25of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, (Eph 3:2; Col 1:23)26the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. (Ro 16:25; Eph 3:9)27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Eph 1:18; Eph 3:16; Col 1:26; Col 2:2; 1Ti 1:1)28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. (Mt 5:48; Col 1:22)29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (1Co 15:10; Eph 1:19; Col 2:1; Col 4:12; 1Ti 4:10)