Paul’s Labor for the Church

24 Now I rejoice(A) in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions,(B) for the sake of his body, which is the church.(C) 25 I have become its servant(D) by the commission God gave me(E) to present to you the word of God(F) in its fullness— 26 the mystery(G) 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(H) among the Gentiles the glorious riches(I) of this mystery, which is Christ in you,(J) the hope of glory.

28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing(K) and teaching everyone with all wisdom,(L) so that we may present everyone fully mature(M) in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously(N) contend(O) with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.(P)

I want you to know how hard I am contending(Q) for you and for those at Laodicea,(R) and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart(S) and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery(T) of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(U) I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.(V) For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit(W) and delight to see how disciplined(X) you are and how firm(Y) your faith in Christ(Z) is.

Spiritual Fullness in Christ

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,(AA) continue to live your lives in him, rooted(AB) and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,(AC) and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,(AD) which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world(AE) rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness(AF) of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head(AG) over every power and authority.(AH) 11 In him you were also circumcised(AI) with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[b](AJ) was put off when you were circumcised by[c] Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism,(AK) in which you were also raised with him(AL) through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.(AM)

13 When you were dead in your sins(AN) and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive(AO) with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,(AP) 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,(AQ) which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.(AR) 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities,(AS) he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them(AT) by the cross.[e]


  1. Colossians 2:8 Or the basic principles; also in verse 20
  2. Colossians 2:11 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verse 13.
  3. Colossians 2:11 Or put off in the circumcision of
  4. Colossians 2:13 Some manuscripts us
  5. Colossians 2:15 Or them in him

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