Colossians 1 1From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, who is also a follower. 2To God's people who live in Colossae and are faithful followers of Christ. I pray that God our Father will be kind to you and will bless you with peace! A Prayer of Thanks 3Each time we pray for you, we thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all God's people, 5because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message, which is the good news. 6The good news is spreading all over the world with great success. It has spread in this same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God's wonderful kindness 7 from our good friend Epaphras. He works together with us for Christ and is a faithful worker for you.[A] 8He is also the one who told us about the love that God's Spirit has given you. The Person and Work of Christ 9We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding his Spirit gives. 10Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. 11His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy. 12I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you[B] have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light. 13God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who forgives our sins and sets us free.   15 Christ is exactly like God, who cannot be seen. He is the first-born Son, superior to all creation. 16Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen, including all forces and powers, and all rulers and authorities. All things were created by God's Son, and everything was made for him.   17God's Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together. 18 He is the head of his body, which is the church. He is the very beginning, the first to be raised from death, so that he would be above all others.   19God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. 20 And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God.   21You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. 22But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. 23But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news. It was preached to everyone on earth, and I myself have become a servant of this message. Paul's Service to the Church 24I am glad I can suffer for you. I am pleased also that in my own body I can continue[C] the suffering of Christ for his body, the church. 25God's plan was to make me a servant of his church and to send me to preach his complete message to you. 26For ages and ages this message was kept secret from everyone, but now it has been explained to God's people. 27God did this because he wanted you Gentiles to understand his wonderful and glorious mystery. And the mystery is that Christ lives in you, and he is your hope of sharing in God's glory. 28We announce the message about Christ, and we use all our wisdom to warn and teach everyone, so all of Christ's followers will grow and become mature. 29This is why I work so hard and use the mighty power he gives me.
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