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15 He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
16 He created all things in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible.
Whether they are kings or lords,
rulers or powers—
everything has been created through him and for him.
17 He existed before everything
and holds everything together.
18 He is also the head of the church, which is his body.
He is the beginning,
the first to come back to life
so that he would have first place in everything.

19 God was pleased to have all of himself live in Christ. 20 God was also pleased to bring everything on earth and in heaven back to himself through Christ. He did this by making peace through Christ’s blood sacrificed on the cross.

21 Once you were separated from God. The evil things you did showed your hostile attitude. 22 But now Christ has brought you back to God by dying in his physical body. He did this so that you could come into God’s presence without sin, fault, or blame. 23 This is on the condition that you continue in faith without being moved from the solid foundation of the hope that the Good News contains. You’ve heard this Good News of which I, Paul, became a servant. It has been spread throughout all creation under heaven.

Paul Describes His Work

24 I am happy to suffer for you now. In my body I am completing whatever remains of Christ’s sufferings. I am doing this on behalf of his body, the church. 25 I became a servant of the church when God gave me the work of telling you his entire message. 26 In the past God hid this mystery, but now he has revealed it to his people. 27 God wanted his people throughout the world to know the glorious riches of this mystery—which is Christ living in you, giving you the hope of glory.

28 We spread the message about Christ as we instruct and teach everyone with all the wisdom there is. We want to present everyone as mature Christian people.

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