What does Colossians 1:28 mean?
ESV: Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
NIV: He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
NASB: We proclaim Him, admonishing every person and teaching every person with all wisdom, so that we may present every person complete in Christ.
CSB: We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
NLT: So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.
KJV: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Verse Commentary:
In this verse, Paul notes four ways he communicates Christ. First, the idea of proclaiming involved communicating to a large audience, similar to an announcement made to a city or village.

Second, Paul notes he communicated Christ through "warning." This word in Greek is nouthetountes, which can also be translated "counseling." This refers to the use of the gospel and biblical teaching to help people with problem areas in life. Third, Paul communicated through teaching or instruction, offering information to help others know the gospel and understand a Christian worldview.

Fourth, Paul was not content with only converting people to Christ; he also desired maturity. Ephesians 4:12–14 notes a goal of church leaders is to "equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes."
Verse Context:
Colossians 1:24–29 completes this passage with an emphasis on Paul's work as a minister. According to Paul, his suffering is a service he offers for the sake of Christ, on behalf of the other believers. Paul's work for the sake for the church is just that: work. He is striving, fighting, and ''toiling'' on behalf of his faith. All the same, Paul recognizes that anything he accomplishes is only through the power given through Christ.
Chapter Summary:
In chapter 1, Paul introduces himself, along with his co-author Timothy. As he often does, Paul gives thanks for what he hears about the faith of the believers in Colossae. Paul includes a prayer for their growth and spiritual strength. The letter then transitions to praise of Jesus, describing Him as absolutely supreme. All created things were made through, by, and for Him. And, since it was His sacrifice which saved us from sin, we can have confidence in our eternal destiny.
Chapter Context:
Colossians chapter 1 is mostly focused on describing Christ as supreme. Jesus is not only the God of creation, He is the ultimate authority over all created things. The penalty for sin has been completely removed because of His perfect sacrifice. These are foundational ideas which Paul will use to set up his later points. In chapters 2, 3, and 4, Paul will explain why contrary claims are untrue, and show the right way for Christians to live out what we believe about Jesus.
Book Summary:
The book of Colossians describes Christ as superior to all other teachers, faiths, and philosophies. In this letter, written from prison, Paul once again tackles false teachings. Among these errors are claims that Christians need to give up all physical enjoyments, that they should worship angels, and that they need to rely on the wisdom of an elite few. These problems are consistent with an ancient heresy known as Gnosticism. In response, Paul explains that Christ is supreme, and sufficient for our salvation.
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