To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ
This is the inscription of the epistle, in which the persons wrote unto are described as "saints", or holy men; not by birth, for all are unholy and unclean by nature; nor by baptism, for that neither takes away sin, nor gives grace; nor merely externally, by an outward reformation; but by separation, being by an act of eternal election set apart for God, for holiness, and happiness; and by imputation, Christ being made sanctification to them; and by the sanctifying grace of the Spirit of God in regeneration, being called with an holy calling, and having principles of grace and holiness wrought in them, and they formed as new men in righteousness and true holiness: and as "brethren"; being born of God, having him for their Father, and being of his household, and a part of the family in heaven and earth named of Christ, and heirs together of the grace of life, and of the heavenly glory: and as "faithful" ones; true and sincere believers in Christ, constant and persevering in the faith of him; faithful to the Gospel, and their profession of it, and to Christ, whose name they bore, and to one another, to whom they stood in the relation of brethren: and all this "in Christ"; and by, and through him; they were saints in him; they were chosen in him, and sanctified in him their head, and received all their holiness from him; they were brethren in him the firstborn of them; his God being their God, and his Father their Father; and had their faith and faithfulness from him, as well as it was exercised towards, and on him: and they are further described by the place of their abode,
which are at Colosse:
a city of Phrygia:
grace [be] unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord
This is the salutation, and which stands in this form in most of Paul's epistles; (See Gill on Romans 1:7). The Syriac version puts "peace" before "grace", and leaves out the last clause, "and the Lord Jesus Christ"; as does also the Ethiopic version.