Colossians 3J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Live a new life by the power of the risen Christ
3 1-4 If you are then “risen” with Christ, reach out for the highest gifts of Heaven, where your master reigns in power. Give your heart to the heavenly things, not to the passing things of earth. For, as far as this world is concerned, you are already dead, and your true life is a hidden one in Christ. One day, Christ, the secret centre of our lives, will show himself openly, and you will all share in that magnificent d?nouement.
5-7 In so far, then, as you have to live upon this earth, consider yourselves dead to worldly contacts: have nothing to do with sexual immorality, dirty-mindedness, uncontrolled passion, evil desire, and the lust for other people’s goods, which last, remember, is as serious a sin as idolatry. It is because of these very things that the holy anger of God falls upon those who refuse to obey him. And never forget that you had your part in those dreadful things when you lived that old life.
8-11 But now, put all these things behind you. No more evil temper or furious rage: no more evil thoughts or words about others, no more evil thoughts or words about God, and no more filthy conversation. Don’t tell each other lies any more, for you have finished with the old man and all he did and have begun life as the new man, who is out to learn what he ought to be, according to the plan of God. In this new man of God’s design there is no distinction between Greek and Hebrew, Jew or Gentile, foreigner or savage, slave or free man. Christ is all that matters for Christ lives in them all.
The expression of the new life (i)
12-14 As, therefore, God’s picked representatives of the new humanity, purified and beloved of God himself, be merciful in action, kindly in heart, humble in mind. Accept life, and be most patient and tolerant with one another, always ready to forgive if you have a difference with anyone. Forgive as freely as the Lord has forgiven you. And, above everything else, be truly loving, for love is the golden chain of all the virtues.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, remembering that as members of the same body you are called to live in harmony, and never forget to be thankful for what God has done for you.
16-17 Let Christ’s teaching live in your hearts, making you rich in the true wisdom. Teach and help one another along the right road with your psalms and hymns and Christian songs, singing God’s praises with joyful hearts. And whatever you may have to do, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him.
The expression of the new life (ii)
18 Wives, adapt yourselves to your husbands, that your marriage may be a Christian unity.
19 Husbands, be sure you give your wives much love and sympathy; don’t let bitterness or resentment spoil your marriage.
20 As for you children, your duty is to obey your parents, for at your age this is one of the best things you can do to show your love for God.
21 Fathers, don’t over-correct your children, or they will grow up feeling inferior and frustrated.
22-25 Slaves, your job is to obey your masters, not with the idea of currying favour, but as a sincere expression of your devotion to God. Whatever you do, put your whole heart and soul into it, as into work done for God, and not merely for men—knowing that your real reward, a heavenly one, will come from God, since you are actually employed by Christ, and not just by your earthly master. But the wicked man will be punished for his misdeeds, and naturally no distinction will be made between master and man.