In our prayers for you we always thank God, the[b] Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit (Colossians 1:3-8).
Colossians 1:3-8 is one sentence in Greek. Most translations divide the passage into several sentences to make it more readable. To begin a letter with thanksgiving was common in ancient letters, whether Roman, Greek, or Jewish. In all of Paul’s undisputed letters, except for Galatians, he offers thanksgiving to God for the recipients.