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. Chapter 1.

The centre of Christian belief

Salutation (Colossae)

APOSTLE of Christ Jesus commissioned by the will of God,
and our colleague Timothy,
2 to God's people at Colossae, brothers in the faith, incorporate in Christ.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Paul Thanks God for the Colossians.

3 In all our prayers to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we thank him for you, 4 because we have heard of the faith you hold in Christ Jesus, and the love you bear towards all God's people. 5 Both spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven—that hope of which you learned when the message of the true Gospel first came to you. 6 In the same way it is coming to men the whole world over; everywhere it is growing and bearing fruit as it does among you, and has done since the day when you heard of the graciousness of God and recognized it for what in truth it is. 7 You were taught this by Epaphras, our dear fellow-servant, a trusted worker for Christ on our [Some witnesses read: your.] behalf, 8 and it is he who has brought us the news of your God-given love. [Or: your love within the fellowship of the Spirit.]

9 For this reason, ever since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you. We ask God that you may receive from him all wisdom and spiritual understanding for full insight into his will, 10 so that your manner of life may be worthy of the Lord and entirely pleasing to him. We pray that you may bear fruit in active goodness of every kind, and grow in the knowledge of God. 11 May he strengthen you, in his glorious might, with ample power to meet whatever comes with fortitude, patience, and joy; 12 and to give thanks [Or: with fortitude and patience, and to give joyful thanks ...] to the Father who has made you fit to share the heritage of God's people in the realm of light.

13 He rescued us from the domain of darkness and brought us away into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14 in whom our release is secured and our sins forgiven.

The Person and Work of Christ.

15 He is the image of the invisible God;
his is the primacy over [Or: image of the invisible God, born before ...] all created things.
16 In him everything in heaven and on earth was created,
not only things visible but also the invisible orders of thrones, sovereignties, authorities, and powers:
the whole universe has been created through him and for him.
17 And he exists before everything,
and all things are held together in him.
18 He is, moreover, the head of the body, the church.
He is its origin, the first to return from the dead, to be in all things alone supreme.
19 For in him the complete being of God, by God's own choice, came to dwell.
20 Through him God chose to reconcile the whole universe to himself,
making peace through the shedding of his blood upon the cross—
to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, through him alone.

21 Formerly you were yourselves estranged from God, you were his enemies in heart and mind, and your deeds were evil. 22 But now by Christ's death in his body of flesh and blood God has reconciled you to himself, so that he may present you before himself as dedicated men, without blemish and innocent in his sight. 23 Only you must continue in your faith, firm on your foundations, never to be dislodged from the hope offered in the gospel which you heard. This is the gospel which has been proclaimed in the whole creation under heaven; and I, Paul, have become its minister.

Paul's Ministry to the Church

24 It is now my happiness to suffer for you. This is my way of helping to complete, in my poor human flesh, the full tale of Christ's afflictions still to be endured, for the sake of his body which is the church. 25 I became its servant by virtue of the task assigned to me by God for your benefit: to deliver his message in full; 26 to announce the secret hidden for long ages and through many generations, but now disclosed to God's people, 27 to whom it was his will to make it known?to make known how rich and glorious it is among all nations. The secret is this: Christ in [Or: among.] you, the hope of a glory to come.

28 He it is whom we proclaim. We admonish everyone without distinction, we instruct everyone in all the ways of wisdom, so as to present each one of you as a mature member of Christ's body. 29 To this end I am toiling strenuously with all the energy and power of Christ at work in me.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.