Colossians 1:24-2:15 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Paul’s Work for the Church
24 I am happy in my sufferings for you. There is much that Christ must still suffer. And I gladly accept my part of those sufferings in my body for the good of his body, the church. 25 I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do. This work helps you. My work is to tell the complete message of God. 26 This message is the secret truth that was hidden since the beginning of time. It was hidden from everyone for ages, but now it has been made known to God’s holy people. 27 God decided to let his people know just how rich and glorious that truth is. That secret truth, which is for all people, is that Christ lives in you, his people. He is our hope for glory. 28 So we continue to tell people about Christ. We use all wisdom to counsel every person and teach every person. We are trying to bring everyone before God as people who have grown to be spiritually mature in Christ. 29 To do this, I work and struggle using the great strength that Christ gives me. That strength is working in my life.
2 I want you to know that I am trying very hard to help you. And I am trying to help those in Laodicea and others who have never seen me. 2 I want them to be strengthened and joined together with love and to have the full confidence that comes from understanding. I want them to know completely the secret truth that God has made known. That truth is Christ himself. 3 In him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are kept safe.
4 I tell you this so that no one can fool you by telling you ideas that seem good, but are false. 5 Even though I am far away, my thoughts are always with you. I am happy to see your good lives and your strong faith in Christ.
Continue to Follow Christ Jesus
6 You accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, so continue to live following him. 7 You must depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from him. Just as you were taught the truth, continue to grow stronger in your understanding of it. And never stop giving thanks to God.
8 Be sure you are not led away by the teaching of those who have nothing worth saying and only plan to deceive you. That teaching is not from Christ. It is only human tradition and comes from the powers that influence[a] this world. 9 I say this because all of God lives in Christ fully, even in his life on earth. 10 And because you belong to Christ you are complete, having everything you need. Christ is ruler over every other power and authority.
11 In Christ you had a different kind of circumcision, one that was not done by human hands. That is, you were made free from the power of your sinful self. That is the kind of circumcision Christ does. 12 When you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and you were raised up with him because of your faith in God’s power. God’s power was shown when he raised Christ from death.
13 You were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave all our sins. 14 Because we broke God’s laws, we owed a debt—a debt that listed all the rules we failed to follow. But God forgave us of that debt. He took it away and nailed it to the cross. 15 He defeated the rulers and powers of the spiritual world. With the cross he won the victory over them and led them away, as defeated and powerless prisoners for the whole world to see.