Colossians 1:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 1:23, NIV: 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.

Colossians 1:23, ESV: if 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 under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Colossians 1:23, KJV: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Colossians 1:23, NASB: if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Colossians 1:23, NLT: But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God's servant to proclaim it.

Colossians 1:23, CSB: if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.

What does Colossians 1:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul introduces this verse with a conditional statement: "if." Some translations prefer to use the word "since." Either is appropriate, so long as the intent of the verse is understood. Paul's previous comments about being holy through Christ are true only for genuine believers. He then gives four marks of such legitimate believers, which are continuing in the faith, being stable, being steadfast, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel.

The last half of this verse notes two important concepts. First, Paul refers to the wide spread of the gospel message. Obviously, Paul does not mean—nor does he think—that every person in the world had heard the gospel when he wrote these words. Instead, as in Colossians 1:6, Paul is poetically referring to the quick spread of the gospel across many parts of the world. Second, Paul states he is a minister of the gospel. He mentioned this in verse 1 as well, taking time here again to emphasize his role as a servant of the Lord and of His gospel.