v. 1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus, our brother,
v. 2. to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul here, as usual, defines his apostolic position. He is an apostle of Christ Jesus, of the ascended, exalted Lord. Though he did not belong to the original twelve apostles, he was, through the will of God, added to their number, having received the Gospel to be proclaimed by him by a special revelation of Christ, Gal_1:11-12, and having been called in particular as the apostle of the Gentiles, Act_26:16-18; 1Ti_2:7; Rom_11:13. As his brother in Christ, as his fellow-worker in the Gospel, Paul names Timothy, at that time his companion in Rome, having either returned from Philippi or not yet entered upon his journey.
The apostle's address to the Colossian Christians is: To the saints in Colossae and faithful brethren in Christ: Grace to you and peace from God, our Father (and the Lord Jesus Christ). They are saints, cleansed by the blood of Christ, separated from the sinful world, consecrated to Christ. And this is their title because they are incidentally believers, believing brethren, in Christ. They believe in Christ as the Savior of the world and their Redeemer; their faith keeps them in communion with Christ, that is the sphere of their life and activity; they are brethren in their mutual relation; the love of Christ governs all their actions over against one another. All Christians are saints by the call of God in Christ, by which faith has been wrought in their hearts; they are united by the bonds of a common faith, a common love in Christ. And therefore the opening greeting of Paul applies to them all. The grace of God is our possession in Christ Jesus, who has transmitted to us the grace and the peace of God by reconciling us to God. This greeting, this blessing, is the daily comfort of all believers; they put their trust in its wonderful assurance.