Paul prefaces his farewell with the assurance that this entire letter is from him and the request that the Colossians remember [his] chains. The exhortation to remember his imprisonment probably means to pray for his release (so O'Brien 1982:260; compare 4:2-4). In the wider context of Paul's writings, however, it may include an implicit request to pray for "the total work of the apostle . . . his preaching and his suffering on behalf of the entire church" (Lohse 1972:177). In the narrower frame of this benediction, it also serves as a reminder that the Colossians must now more than ever assume the hard work of Paul's missionary endeavor, since he is in chains (so Schweizer 1982:243).
Paul's letter closes as it began, in celebration of God's grace. Schweizer says this is as it should be, since "it is grace that represents the sole source of all effective power and help for both parties, the one who sends the letter and those who receive it" (1982:243). Paul finally asserts that God's empowering grace is with you, in the certain confidence that those who have participated in God's salvation with Christ will be sustained to the end.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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