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Colossians 3-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The New Life in Christ

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your[a] life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.[b] These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.[c] But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive[d] language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices 10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11 In that renewal[e] there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord[f] has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ[g] dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.[h] 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Rules for Christian Households

18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart. 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters[i] in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.[j] 23 Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters,[k] 24 since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve[l] the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality. Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.

Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.[m] Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.

Final Greetings and Benediction

Tychicus will tell you all the news about me; he is a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and a fellow servant[n] in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are[o] and that he may encourage your hearts; he is coming with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.

10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him. 11 And Jesus who is called Justus greets you. These are the only ones of the circumcision among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant[p] of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always wrestling in his prayers on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in everything that God wills. 13 For I testify for him that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters[q] in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you complete the task that you have received in the Lord.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.[r]

Footnotes:

  1. Colossians 3:4 Other authorities read our
  2. Colossians 3:6 Other ancient authorities lack on those who are disobedient (Gk the children of disobedience)
  3. Colossians 3:7 Or living among such people
  4. Colossians 3:8 Or filthy
  5. Colossians 3:11 Gk its creator, 11 where
  6. Colossians 3:13 Other ancient authorities read just as Christ
  7. Colossians 3:16 Other ancient authorities read of God, or of the Lord
  8. Colossians 3:16 Other ancient authorities read to the Lord
  9. Colossians 3:22 In Greek the same word is used for master and Lord
  10. Colossians 3:22 In Greek the same word is used for master and Lord
  11. Colossians 3:23 Gk not for men
  12. Colossians 3:24 Or you are slaves of, or be slaves of
  13. Colossians 4:5 Or opportunity
  14. Colossians 4:7 Gk slave
  15. Colossians 4:8 Other authorities read that I may know how you are
  16. Colossians 4:12 Gk slave
  17. Colossians 4:15 Gk brothers
  18. Colossians 4:18 Other ancient authorities add Amen
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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