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Colossians 1:15-2:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Centrality of Christ

15 He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.[a]
16 For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
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 by Him all things hold together.
18 He is also the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
so that He might come to have
first place in everything.
19 For God was pleased to have
all His fullness dwell in Him,
20 and through Him to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace
through the blood of His cross[b]
whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. 22 But now He has reconciled you by His physical body[c] through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him 23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.

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.[d] 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Colossians 1:15 The One who is preeminent over all creation
  2. Colossians 1:20 Other mss add through Him
  3. Colossians 1:22 His body of flesh on the cross
  4. Colossians 2:2 Other mss read mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ; other ms variations exist on this v.

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