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Greeting

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the holy and faithful brothers[a] in Christ at Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.[b]

Paul’s Prayer for the Colossians

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints because of the hope that is stored up for you in heaven. You have already heard about this in the word of truth, the gospel that is present with you now. The gospel is bearing fruit and growing in the entire world, just as it also has been doing among you from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth. You learned this from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your[c] behalf. He is the one who told us about your love in the Spirit.[d]

For this reason, from the day we heard about your love, we also have not stopped praying for you. We keep asking that you would be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you might live in a way that is worthy of the Lord. Our goal is that you please him by bearing fruit in every kind of good work and by growing in the knowledge of God, 11 as you are being strengthened with all power because of his glorious might working in you. Then you will have complete endurance and patience, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who qualified us[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

What the Father Did Through Christ

13 The Father rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption,[f] the forgiveness of sins.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, 16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and all things hold together in him.

18 He is also the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things he might have the highest rank. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself (whether things on earth or in heaven) by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Reconciled Through Christ’s Death

21 At one time, you were alienated from God and hostile in your thinking as expressed through your evil deeds. 22 But now Christ reconciled you in his body of flesh through death, in order to present you holy, blameless, and faultless before him— 23 if you continue steadfast and firm in faith, without being moved away from the hope of the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a minister.

Paul’s Service in Preaching the Gospel

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church. 25 I became a minister of the church for your benefit when God gave me the task of fully proclaiming the word of God, 26 namely, the mystery that was hidden for past ages and generations, but now has been revealed to his saints. 27 God wanted to make known to them what is the wealth of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles—this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

28 We proclaim him as we admonish and teach everyone with all wisdom, so that we might present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 This is the goal I am laboring to reach, striving with his strength, which is powerfully at work in me.

Footnotes

  1. Colossians 1:2 When context indicates it, the Greek word for brothers may refer to all fellow believers, male and female.
  2. Colossians 1:2 Some witnesses to the text add and our Lord Jesus Christ. (“Witnesses to the text” mentioned in footnotes may include Greek manuscripts, lectionaries, translations, and quotations in the church fathers.)
  3. Colossians 1:7 Some witnesses to the text read our.
  4. Colossians 1:8 Or about the love the Spirit worked in you
  5. Colossians 1:12 Some witnesses to the text read you.
  6. Colossians 1:14 A few witnesses to the text add through his blood.

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

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