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Colossians 1:1–4:18

Greeting

1 Paul, aan apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints band faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:

cGrace to you and peace from God our Father 1and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Their Faith in Christ

dWe give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, esince we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of fyour love for all the saints; because of the hope gwhich is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, has it has also in all the world, and iis bringing forth 2fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew jthe grace of God in truth; as you also learned from kEpaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is la faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your mlove in the Spirit.

Preeminence of Christ

nFor this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask othat you may be filled with pthe knowledge of His will qin all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 rthat you may walk worthy of the Lord, sfully pleasing Him, tbeing fruitful in every good work and increasing in the uknowledge of God; 11 vstrengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, wfor all patience and longsuffering xwith joy; 12 ygiving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of zthe inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from athe power of darkness band 3conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 cin whom we have redemption 4through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

15 He is dthe image of the invisible God, ethe firstborn over all creation. 16 For fby Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or gdominions or 5principalities or 6powers. All things were created hthrough Him and for Him. 17 iAnd He is before all things, and in Him jall things consist. 18 And kHe is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, lthe firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

Reconciled in Christ

19 For it pleased the Father that min Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and nby Him to reconcile oall things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, phaving made peace through the blood of His cross.

21 And you, qwho once were alienated and enemies in your mind rby wicked works, yet now He has sreconciled 22 tin the body of His flesh through death, uto present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—23 if indeed you continue vin the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are wnot moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, xwhich was preached to every creature under heaven, yof which I, Paul, became a minister.

Sacrificial Service for Christ

24 zI now rejoice in my sufferings afor you, and fill up in my flesh bwhat is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for cthe sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to dthe 7stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 ethe 8mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, fbut now has been revealed to His saints. 27 gTo them God willed to make known what are hthe riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: 9which is iChrist in you, jthe hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, kwarning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, lthat we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mmightily.

Not Philosophy But Christ

2 For I want you to know what a great aconflict 1I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, 2both of the Father and of Christ, bin whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Now this I say clest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For dthough I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing 3to see eyour good order and the fsteadfastness of your faith in Christ.

gAs you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, hrooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding 4in it with thanksgiving.

Beware lest anyone 5cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to ithe tradition of men, according to the jbasic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For kin Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead 6bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the lhead of all 7principality and power.

Not Legalism But Christ

11 In Him you were also mcircumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by nputting off the body 8of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 oburied with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through pfaith in the working of God, qwho raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 rhaving wiped out the 9handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 sHaving disarmed tprincipalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

16 So let no one ujudge you in food or in drink, or regarding a 1festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 vwhich are a shadow of things to come, but the 2substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has 3not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to wthe Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, xgrows with the increase that is from God.

20 4Therefore, if you ydied with Christ from the basic principles of the world, zwhy, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—21 a“Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—baccording to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 cThese things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and 5neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Not Carnality But Christ

3 If then you were araised with Christ, seek those things which are above, bwhere Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the cearth. dFor you died, eand your life is hidden with Christ in God. fWhen Christ who is gour life appears, then you also will appear with Him in hglory.

iTherefore put to death jyour members which are on the earth: kfornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, lwhich is idolatry. mBecause of these things the wrath of God is coming upon nthe sons of disobedience, oin which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

pBut now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who qis renewed in knowledge raccording to the image of Him who screated him, 11 where there is neither tGreek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, ubut Christ is all and in all.

Character of the New Man

12 Therefore, vas the elect of God, holy and beloved, wput on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 xbearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 yBut above all these things zput on love, which is the abond of perfection. 15 And let bthe peace of God rule in your hearts, cto which also you were called din one body; and ebe thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another fin psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And gwhatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

The Christian Home

18 hWives, submit to your own husbands, ias is fitting in the Lord.

19 jHusbands, love your wives and do not be kbitter toward them.

20 lChildren, obey your parents min all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

21 nFathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

22 oBondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 pAnd whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 qknowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; rfor 1you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and sthere is no partiality.

4 Masters, agive your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Christian Graces

bContinue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it cwith thanksgiving; dmeanwhile praying also for us, that God would eopen to us a door for the word, to speak fthe 1mystery of Christ, gfor which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

hWalk in iwisdom toward those who are outside, jredeeming the time. Let your speech always be kwith grace, lseasoned with salt, mthat you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Final Greetings

nTychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. oI am sending him to you

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