Both Gentile (you) and Jewish Christians (all of us) formerly engaged in a lifestyle of sin and lacked God's protection and blessings (were dead/children of wrath).
By grace … saved, deliverance to a new life is due solely to God's mercy and benevolence, and precludes any human boasting (Rom 3.21–30
Raised … places, believers have been exalted like Christ himself (
Good works … life, a new, divinely designed lifestyle is the appropriate result of salvation.
A prayer is interrupted by vv. 2–13
and resumed in v. 14
see 1.9 n.
; here God's plan is the uniting of Jews and Gentiles into a single community. Above, in
1.9–10 and 2.11–22
or perhaps “previously” and thus a reference to an earlier Pauline letter.
1 Cor 15.8–9
Wisdom of God … heavenly places, the church in turn reveals God's plan (wisdom) to the spiritual powers.
Sufferings … glory, imprisonment on behalf of the Gentiles (v. 1
) has secured their life and future glorification (2 Cor 1.6; 4.12; Col 1.24
Timothy, Paul's fellow missionary and emissary (Philem 1; 2 Cor 1.1; Phil 1.1;2.19–24
Brothers and sisters,
see note a and Eph 6.23n. Grace … peace, see Eph 1.2n
Faith, love, and hope, a summary of Christianvirtues (1 Cor 13.13; 1 Thess 5.8
The whole world, hyperbole reflecting the numerous Christiancommunities in cities of the Roman empire; see also 1.23
Epaphras, founder of the church in Colossae,whose ministry the author endorses (
4.12–13; Philem 23
in knowledge (v. 9
), moral maturity (v. 10
), and endurance( v. 11
Perhaps a fragment of a baptismal hymn.
Light/darkness, apocalyptic imagery forthe domains of God and Christ and of malevolent spiritual beings (see 1.16n.; 1 Thess 5.5
); believers havebeen rescued from the latter kingdom and transferred to the former.
Release from slavery to the demonic powers (redemption) comes from the forgiveness and reconciliation available through Christ'sdeath (vv. 20,22
over the cosmos (vv. 15–17
) and the church (vv. 18–20
), taken from a hymn based on the figure of Wisdom (Prov 8; Sir 24; Wis 6–9; see also Jn 1.1–18; Phil 2.6–11
Image, the perfect, visible manifestation of God. Firstborn expresses priority and supremacy over allcreation (v. 17
Thrones … powers, spiritual beings, probably hostile (
1.13; 2.15; Eph 6.12
Head, ruling authority or originator; see Eph 1.22; 5.23
. The body, the church,
see Rom 12.4–5; 1 Cor 12.27
. Firstborn from the dead, Christ is preeminent among the children of God (Rom 8.29; Rev 1.5
),and his resurrection is the prelude to the final resurrection (1 Cor 15.23; Acts 26.23
The fullness of God, the power and presence of God (
Reconcile/making peace, the enslavement ofhumanity to demonic powers is presupposed here (
To present you … before him, reconciliation culminates in Christ's approval at the eschatological judgment (v. 28
Continued allegiance to Christ alone, however, is necessary for eschatological salvation.
Sufferings, imprisonment (
) andhardships experienced while preaching the gospel (2 Cor 4.7–12; 11.23–28
). Completing … afflictions,not a denigration of Christ's death, but a reflection of the apocalyptic belief that God's people must sufferbefore the culmination
of history (1 Cor 4.9; Rev 6.9–11
Mystery, the previously hidden planof God; here, the gospel proclaimed to Gentiles (
2.2; 4.3; Rom 16.25–26; cf. Eph 1.10; 3.2–6
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