From: Paul, chosen by God to be Jesus Christ’s messenger, and from Brother Timothy.

To: The faithful Christian brothers—God’s people—in the city of Colosse.

May God our Father shower you with blessings and fill you with his great peace.

Whenever we pray for you, we always begin by giving thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard how much you trust the Lord, and how much you love his people. And you are looking forward to the joys of heaven, and have been ever since the Gospel first was preached to you. The same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world and changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours that very first day you heard it and understood about God’s great kindness to sinners.

Epaphras, our much-loved fellow worker, was the one who brought you this Good News. He is Jesus Christ’s faithful slave, here to help us in your place. And he is the one who has told us about the great love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you.

So ever since we first heard about you we have kept on praying and asking God to help you understand what he wants you to do; asking him to make you wise about spiritual things; 10 and asking that the way you live will always please the Lord and honor him, so that you will always be doing good, kind things for others, while all the time you are learning to know God better and better.

11 We are praying, too, that you will be filled with his mighty, glorious strength so that you can keep going no matter what happens—always full of the joy of the Lord, 12 and always thankful to the Father who has made us fit to share all the wonderful things that belong to those who live in the Kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins.

15 Christ is the exact likeness of the unseen God. He existed before God made anything at all,[a] and, in fact, 16 Christ himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can’t; the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for his own use and glory. 17 He was before all else began and it is his power that holds everything together. 18 He is the Head of the body made up of his people—that is, his Church—which he began; and he is the Leader of all those who arise from the dead,[b] so that he is first in everything; 19 for God wanted all of himself to be in his Son.

20 It was through what his Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to him—all things in heaven and on earth—for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by his blood. 21 This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies and hated him and were separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. 22 He has done this through the death on the cross of his own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before him with nothing left against you—nothing left that he could even chide you for; 23 the only condition is that you fully believe the Truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you, and never shifting from trusting him to save you. This is the wonderful news that came to each of you and is now spreading all over the world. And I, Paul, have the joy of telling it to others.

24 But part of my work is to suffer for you; and I am glad, for I am helping to finish up the remainder of Christ’s sufferings for his body, the Church.

25 God has sent me to help his Church and to tell his secret plan to you Gentiles. 26-27 He has kept this secret for centuries and generations past, but now at last it has pleased him to tell it to those who love him and live for him, and the riches and glory of his plan are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.

28 So everywhere we go we talk about Christ to all who will listen, warning them and teaching them as well as we know how. We want to be able to present each one to God, perfect because of what Christ has done for each of them. 29 This is my work, and I can do it only because Christ’s mighty energy is at work within me.

Footnotes

  1. Colossians 1:15 He existed before God made anything at all, literally, “He is the firstborn of all creation.”
  2. Colossians 1:18 he is the Leader of all those who arise from the dead, literally, “he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Paul, an apostle(A) of Christ Jesus by the will of God,(B) and Timothy(C) our brother,

To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ:

Grace(D) and peace to you from God our Father.[b](E)

Thanksgiving and Prayer

We always thank God,(F) the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love(G) you have for all God’s people(H) the faith and love that spring from the hope(I) stored up for you in heaven(J) and about which you have already heard in the true message(K) of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit(L) and growing throughout the whole world(M)—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. You learned it from Epaphras,(N) our dear fellow servant,[c] who is a faithful minister(O) of Christ on our[d] behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.(P)

For this reason, since the day we heard about you,(Q) we have not stopped praying for you.(R) We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will(S) through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e](T) 10 so that you may live a life worthy(U) of the Lord and please him(V) in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,(W) 11 being strengthened with all power(X) according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,(Y) 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father,(Z) who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance(AA) of his holy people in the kingdom of light.(AB) 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness(AC) and brought us into the kingdom(AD) of the Son he loves,(AE) 14 in whom we have redemption,(AF) the forgiveness of sins.(AG)

The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image(AH) of the invisible God,(AI) the firstborn(AJ) over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created:(AK) things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;(AL) all things have been created through him and for him.(AM) 17 He is before all things,(AN) and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head(AO) of the body, the church;(AP) he is the beginning and the firstborn(AQ) from among the dead,(AR) so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased(AS) to have all his fullness(AT) dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile(AU) to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,(AV) by making peace(AW) through his blood,(AX) shed on the cross.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies(AY) in your minds(AZ) because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled(BA) you by Christ’s physical body(BB) through death to present you(BC) holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation(BD) 23 if you continue(BE) in your faith, established(BF) and firm, and do not move from the hope(BG) held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven,(BH) and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.(BI)

Paul’s Labor for the Church

24 Now I rejoice(BJ) in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions,(BK) for the sake of his body, which is the church.(BL) 25 I have become its servant(BM) by the commission God gave me(BN) to present to you the word of God(BO) in its fullness— 26 the mystery(BP) that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known(BQ) among the Gentiles the glorious riches(BR) of this mystery, which is Christ in you,(BS) the hope of glory.

28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing(BT) and teaching everyone with all wisdom,(BU) so that we may present everyone fully mature(BV) in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously(BW) contend(BX) with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.(BY)

Footnotes

  1. Colossians 1:2 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 4:15.
  2. Colossians 1:2 Some manuscripts Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
  3. Colossians 1:7 Or slave
  4. Colossians 1:7 Some manuscripts your
  5. Colossians 1:9 Or all spiritual wisdom and understanding
  6. Colossians 1:12 Some manuscripts us
  7. Colossians 1:21 Or minds, as shown by
New International Version (NIV)

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