Colossians Greeting 1 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our[A] brother: 2To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.[B]   Thanksgiving   3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints 5because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the message of truth, the gospel 6that has come to you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God’s grace in the truth.[C] 7You learned this from Epaphras, our dearly loved fellow slave. He is a faithful servant of the Messiah on your[D] behalf, 8and he has told us about your love in the Spirit.   Prayer for Spiritual Growth   9For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,[E] 10so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you[F] to share in the saints’[G] inheritance in the light. 13He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. 14We have redemption,[H] the forgiveness of sins, in Him.   The Centrality of Christ   15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.[I] 16For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. 18He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. 19For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, 20and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross[J] whether things on earth or things in heaven.   21Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. 22But now He has reconciled you by His physical body[K] through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him— 23if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.   Paul’s Ministry   24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for His body, that is, the church. 25I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, 26the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. 27God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.
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