15Christ is the exact likeness of God, who can’t be seen. He is first, and he is over all of creation. 16All things were created by him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by him and for him. 17Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together.
18And he is the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning. He is the first to be raised from the dead. That happened so that he would be far above everything. 19God was pleased to have his whole nature living in Christ. 20God was pleased to bring all things back to himself because of what Christ has done. That includes all things on earth and in heaven. God made peace through Christ’s blood, through his death on the cross.
21At one time you were separated from God. You were enemies in your minds because of your evil ways. 22But because Christ died, God has brought you back to himself. Christ’s death has made you holy in God’s sight. So now you don’t have any flaw. You are free from blame.
23But you must keep your faith steady and firm. Don’t move away from the hope that the good news holds out to you. It is the good news that you heard. It has been preached to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, now serve the good news.