1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Timothy joins me in writing.2We are sending this letter to you, our brothers and sisters in Colosse. You belong to Christ. You are holy and faithful. May God our Father give you grace and peace.
Paul Prays and Gives Thanks
3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.4We thank him because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus. We have also heard that you love all of God's people.5Your faith and love are based on the hope you have. What you hope for is stored up for you in heaven. You have already heard about it. You were told about it when the message of truth was given to you. I'm talking about the good news6that has come to you. All over the world the good news is bearing fruit and growing. It has been doing that among you since the day you heard it. That is when you understood God's grace in all its truth.7You learned the good news from Epaphras. He is dear to us. He serves Christ together with us. He faithfully works for Christ and for us among you.8He also told us about your love that comes from the Holy Spirit.9That's why we have not stopped praying for you. We have been praying for you since the day we heard about you. We have been asking God to fill you with the knowledge of what he wants. We pray that he will give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.10We pray that you will lead a life that is worthy of the Lord. We pray that you will please him in every way. So we want you to bear fruit in every good thing you do. We want you to grow to know God better.11We want you to be very strong, in keeping with his glorious power. We want you to be patient. Never give up. Be joyful12as you give thanks to the Father. He has made you fit to share with all his people. You will all receive a share in the kingdom of light.13He has saved us from the kingdom of darkness. He has brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.14Because of what the Son has done, we have been set free. Because of him, all of our sins have been forgiven.
Christ Is Far Above Everything
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.
Paul's Work for the Church
24I am happy because of what was suffered for you. And in my body I fill up my share in Christ's sufferings. I do it for his body, which is the church.25I serve the church. God appointed me to bring all of his word to you.26That word contains the mystery that has been hidden for many ages. But now it has been made known to God's people.27God has chosen to make known to them the glorious riches of that mystery. He has made it known among those who aren't Jews. And here is what it is. Christ is in you. He is your hope of glory.28We preach about him. With all the wisdom we have, we warn and teach everyone. When we bring them to God, we want them to be perfect as people who belong to Christ.29That's what I'm working for. I work hard with all of Christ's strength. His strength works powerfully in me.
English Standard Version
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, (1Co 1:1; 2Co 1:1; 1Th 3:2)2To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. (Ro 1:7; Eph 1:1; Php 1:1)
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, (Eph 1:15; Phm 1:4)4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, (1Th 1:3)5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, (Ac 23:6; Eph 1:13; Col 1:23; 2Ti 4:8; Tit 1:2; Heb 3:6; 1Pe 1:4)6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, (Ps 98:3; Mt 24:14; Joh 15:5; Joh 15:16; Ac 11:23; Ro 16:26; Eph 4:21; Php 1:11; Col 1:23)7just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf (Col 4:7; Col 4:12; Phm 1:23)8and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. (Ro 15:30)9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (1Co 12:8; Eph 1:8; Eph 1:17; Col 1:4; Col 4:5; 2Th 1:11)10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Ps 1:1; Ps 1:3; 2Co 5:9; Eph 4:1; Eph 5:10; Col 1:6; 1Th 4:1)11being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; (Mt 5:12; Eph 3:16; Eph 4:2)12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Ac 26:18; Eph 5:20; Col 3:15)13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, (Lu 22:53; Eph 1:6; Eph 6:12; 1Th 1:10; 2Pe 1:11)14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Eph 1:7)
The Preeminence of Christ
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Ps 89:27; Ro 8:29; 2Co 4:4; 1Ti 1:17)16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Eze 10:1; Ro 11:36; 1Co 8:6; Eph 1:10; Eph 1:21)17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Joh 1:1; Joh 8:58; Heb 1:3)18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (Ac 26:23; 1Co 15:20; Eph 1:22; Re 1:5; Re 3:14)19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, (Joh 1:16; Col 2:9)20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (2Co 5:18; Eph 1:10; Eph 2:13; Eph 2:14)21And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, (Eph 2:1; Eph 2:12; Tit 1:16)22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (Ro 7:4; 1Co 1:8; Eph 1:4; Eph 5:27; Jud 1:24)23if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. (Mr 16:15; Joh 15:4; Ac 2:5; 2Co 3:6; Eph 3:17; Col 1:5; Col 2:7)
Paul’s Ministry to the Church
24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, (2Co 1:5; 2Co 7:4; Eph 4:12; 2Ti 1:8; 2Ti 2:10)25of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, (Eph 3:2; Col 1:23)26the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. (Ro 16:25; Eph 3:9)27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Eph 1:18; Eph 3:16; Col 1:26; Col 2:2; 1Ti 1:1)28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. (Mt 5:48; Col 1:22)29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (1Co 15:10; Eph 1:19; Col 2:1; Col 4:12; 1Ti 4:10)