I. Address CHAPTER 1 1 Greeting.  [A] 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2to the holy ones and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae: grace to you and peace from God our Father.   Thanksgiving.  [B] 3We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the holy ones 5because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. Of this you have already heard through the word of truth, the gospel, 6that has come to you. Just as in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing, so also among you, from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth, 7as you learned it from Epaphras[C] our beloved fellow slave, who is a trustworthy minister of Christ on your behalf 8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.   Prayer for Continued Progress.  [D] 9Therefore, from the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding 10to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, 11strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12[E] giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. 13He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.   II. The Preeminence of Christ His Person and Work 15[F] He is the image[G] of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For in him[H] were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church.[I] He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness[J] was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross[K] [through him], whether those on earth or those in heaven.   21[L] And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds 22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, 23provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister.   Christ in Us.  [M] 24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking[N] in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, 25of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, 26the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, 27to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. 28It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.  
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