New International Version
The Supremacy of the Son of God
15 The Son is the image(A) of the invisible God,(B) the firstborn(C) over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created:(D) things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;(E) all things have been created through him and for him.(F) 17 He is before all things,(G) and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head(H) of the body, the church;(I) he is the beginning and the firstborn(J) from among the dead,(K) so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased(L) to have all his fullness(M) dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile(N) to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,(O) by making peace(P) through his blood,(Q) shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies(R) in your minds(S) because of[a] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled(T) you by Christ’s physical body(U) through death to present you(V) holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation(W)— 23 if you continue(X) in your faith, established(Y) and firm, and do not move from the hope(Z) held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven,(AA) and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.(AB)
Paul’s Labor for the Church
24 Now I rejoice(AC) in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions,(AD) for the sake of his body, which is the church.(AE) 25 I have become its servant(AF) by the commission God gave me(AG) to present to you the word of God(AH) in its fullness— 26 the mystery(AI) 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(AJ) among the Gentiles the glorious riches(AK) of this mystery, which is Christ in you,(AL) the hope of glory.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing(AM) and teaching everyone with all wisdom,(AN) so that we may present everyone fully mature(AO) in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously(AP) contend(AQ) with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.(AR)
- Colossians 1:21 Or minds, as shown by
Good News Translation
The Person and Work of Christ
15 (A)Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son, superior to all created things. 16 For through him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him. 17 Christ existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place. 18 (B)He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body's life. He is the first-born Son, who was raised from death, in order that he alone might have the first place in all things. 19 For it was by God's own decision that the Son has in himself the full nature of God. 20 (C)Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son's blood[a] on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven.
21 At one time you were far away from God and were his enemies because of the evil things you did and thought. 22 But now, by means of the physical death of his Son, God has made you his friends, in order to bring you, holy, pure, and faultless, into his presence. 23 You must, of course, continue faithful on a firm and sure foundation, and must not allow yourselves to be shaken from the hope you gained when you heard the gospel. It is of this gospel that I, Paul, became a servant—this gospel which has been preached to everybody in the world.
Paul's Work as a Servant of the Church
24 And now I am happy about my sufferings for you, for by means of my physical sufferings I am helping to complete what still remains of Christ's sufferings on behalf of his body, the church. 25 And I have been made a servant of the church by God, who gave me this task to perform for your good. It is the task of fully proclaiming his message, 26 which is the secret he hid through all past ages from all human beings but has now revealed to his people. 27 God's plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. 28 So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God's presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. 29 To get this done I toil and struggle, using the mighty strength which Christ supplies and which is at work in me.Read full chapter
- Colossians 1:20 his Son's blood; or his Son's sacrificial death.
Common English Bible
Hymn about Christ’s work
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God,
the one who is first over all creation,[a]
16 Because all things were created by him:
both in the heavens and on the earth,
the things that are visible and the things that are invisible.
Whether they are thrones or powers,
or rulers or authorities,
all things were created through him and for him.
17 He existed before all things,
and all things are held together in him.
18 He is the head of the body, the church,
who is the beginning,
the one who is firstborn from among the dead[b]
so that he might occupy the first place in everything.
19 Because all the fullness of God was pleased to live in him,
20 and he reconciled all things to himself through him—
whether things on earth or in the heavens.
He brought peace through the blood of his cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and you were enemies with him in your minds, which was shown by your evil actions. 22 But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death, to present you before God as a people who are holy, faultless, and without blame. 23 But you need to remain well established and rooted in faith and not shift away from the hope given in the good news that you heard. This message has been preached throughout all creation under heaven. And I, Paul, became a servant of this good news.
Paul’s service for the church
24 Now I’m happy to be suffering for you. I’m completing what is missing from Christ’s sufferings with my own body. I’m doing this for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I became a servant of the church by God’s commission, which was given to me for you, in order to complete God’s word. 26 I’m completing it with a secret plan[c] that has been hidden for ages and generations but which has now been revealed to his holy people. 27 God wanted to make the glorious riches of this secret plan[d] known among the Gentiles, which is Christ living in you, the hope of glory. 28 This is what we preach as we warn and teach every person with all wisdom so that we might present each one mature in Christ. 29 I work hard and struggle for this goal with his energy, which works in me powerfully.Read full chapter