Colossians 1

1Greetings from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am an apostle because that is what God wanted. Greetings also from Timothy, our brother ˻in Christ˼. 2To the holy and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ that live in Colossae. Grace ˻(kindness)˼ and peace from God our Father. 3In our prayers we always thank God for you. God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4We thank God because we have heard about the faith you have in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all of God’s people. 5You have faith in Christ and love God’s people because of the hope you have. You know that the things you hope for are saved for you in heaven. You learned about this hope when you heard the true teaching, the Good News 6that was told to you. Everywhere in the world that Good News is bringing blessings and growing. This same thing has happened with you since the time you heard that Good News and understood the truth about the grace ˻(kindness)˼ of God. 7You learned about the grace of God from Epaphras. Epaphras works together with us, and we love him. He is a faithful servant of Christ for us. 8Epaphras also told us about the love you have from the ˻Holy˼ Spirit. 9Since the day we heard these things about you, we have continued praying for you. We pray these things for you: that you will know fully the things that God wants; that with your knowledge you will also have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things; 10that you will use these things to live in a way that brings honor to the Lord and pleases him in every way; that you will do all kinds of good things and grow in the knowledge of God; 11that God will strengthen you with his own great power; that God will strengthen you, so that you will be patient and not quit when troubles come. Then you will be happy 12and give thanks to the Father. He has made you able to have the things he prepared for you. He has prepared these things for all his people who live in the light ˻(good)˼. 13God made us free from the power of darkness ˻(evil)˼. And he brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son ˻(Jesus)˼. 14The Son paid the price to make us free. In him we have forgiveness of our sins. 15No person can see God. But Jesus is exactly like God. Jesus is ruler over all the things that have been made. 16Through his power all things were made—things in heaven and on earth, things seen and not seen, all ˻spiritual˼ powers, authorities, lords, and rulers. All things were made through Christ and for Christ. 17Christ was there before anything was made. And all things continue because of him. 18Christ is the head of the body. (The body is the church.) Everything comes from him. And he is the Lord who was raised from death. So in all things Jesus is most important. 19God was pleased for all of himself to live in Christ. 20And through Christ, God was happy to bring all things back to himself again—things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace by using Christ’s blood ˻(death)˼ on the cross. 21At one time you were separated from God. You were God’s enemies in your minds, because the evil things you did were against God. 22But now Christ has made you God’s friends again. Christ did this by his death while he was in his body. Christ did this so that he could bring you before God. He brings you before God as people who are holy, with no wrong in you, and with nothing that God can judge you guilty of. 23Christ will do this if you continue to believe in the Good News you heard. You must continue strong and sure in your faith. You must not be moved away from the hope that Good News gave you. That same Good News has been told to all people in the world. I, Paul, help in telling that Good News. 24I am happy in my sufferings for you. There are many things that Christ must still suffer through his body, the church. I am accepting my part of these things that must be suffered. I accept these sufferings in my body. 25I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do. This work helps you. My work is to tell fully the teaching of God. 26This teaching is the secret truth that was hidden since the beginning of time. This truth was hidden from all people. But now that secret truth is made known to God’s holy people. 27God decided to let his people know that rich and glorious truth. That great truth is for all people. That truth is Christ himself, who is in you. He is our only hope for glory. 28So we continue to tell people about Christ. We use all wisdom to counsel every person and teach every person. We are trying to bring all people before God as people who have grown to be spiritually mature ˻(perfect)˼ in Christ. 29To do this, I work and struggle using the great strength that Christ gives me. That strength is working in my life.

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