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Colossians 1:24-4:18Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Paul’s Ministry

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for His body, that is, the church. 25 I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. 27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person. I want their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery—Christ.[a] All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him.

Christ versus the Colossian Heresy

I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments. For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.

Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.

Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ. For the entire fullness of God’s nature[b] dwells bodily[c] in Christ, 10 and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 11 You were also circumcised in Him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah.[d] 12 Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. 14 He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.[e]

16 Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.[f] 17 These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is[g] the Messiah. 18 Let no one disqualify you,[h] insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual[i] mind. 19 He doesn’t hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God.

20 If you died with the Messiah to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: 21 “Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch”? 22 All these regulations refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of men. 23 Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence.[j]

The Life of the New Man

So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your[k] life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature:[l] sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient,[m] and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self[n] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your[o] Creator. 11 In Christ[p] there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian,[q] slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.

The Christian Life

12 Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. 16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Christ in Your Home

18 Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won’t become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your human masters in everything. Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically,[r] as something done for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong he has done, and there is no favoritism.
Masters, supply your slaves with what is right and fair, since you know that you too have a Master in heaven.

Speaking to God and Others

Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak. Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.

Christian Greetings

Tychicus, our dearly loved brother, faithful servant, and fellow slave in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are[s] and so that he may encourage your hearts. He is with Onesimus, a faithful and dearly loved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.

10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, as does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin (concerning whom you have received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and so does Jesus who is called Justus. These alone of the circumcision are my coworkers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured[t] in everything God wills. 13 For I testify about him that he works hard[u] for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the dearly loved physician, and Demas greet you. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her home. 16 When this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And tell Archippus, “Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it.”

18 This greeting is in my own hand—Paul. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.[v]

Footnotes:

  1. Colossians 2:2 Other mss read mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ; other ms variations exist on this v.
  2. Colossians 2:9 Or of the deity
  3. Colossians 2:9 Or nature lives in a human body
  4. Colossians 2:11 = His death
  5. Colossians 2:15 Or them through it; = through the cross
  6. Colossians 2:16 Or or sabbaths
  7. Colossians 2:17 Or substance belongs to
  8. Colossians 2:18 Or no one cheat us out of your prize
  9. Colossians 2:18 Lit fleshly
  10. Colossians 2:23 Lit value against indulgence of the flesh
  11. Colossians 3:4 Other mss read our
  12. Colossians 3:5 Lit death the members on the earth
  13. Colossians 3:6 Other mss omit on the disobedient
  14. Colossians 3:9 Lit man; = a person before conversion
  15. Colossians 3:10 Lit his
  16. Colossians 3:11 Lit Where
  17. Colossians 3:11 A term for a savage
  18. Colossians 3:23 Lit do it from the soul
  19. Colossians 4:8 Other mss read that he may know how you are
  20. Colossians 4:12 Other mss read and complete
  21. Colossians 4:13 Other mss read he has a great zeal
  22. Colossians 4:18 Other mss add Amen.

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