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1FROM Paul, by the will of God apostle of Christ Jesus, and our colleague Timothy,

2to God's people at Colossae, our fellow-believers in Christ. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

3In all our prayers to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we thank him for you,

4because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you bear towards all God's people;

5both spring from that hope stored up for you in heaven of which you learned when the message of the true gospel first

6came to you. That same gospel is bearing fruit and making new growth the whole world over, as it does among you and has done since the day when you heard of God's grace and learned what it truly is.

7It was Epaphras, our dear fellow-servant and a trusted worker for Christ on our behalf, who taught you this,

8and it is he who has brought us news of the love the Spirit has awakened in you.

The supremacy of Christ

9THIS is why, ever since we first heard about you, we have not ceased to pray for you. We ask God that you may receive from him full insight into his will, all wisdom and spiritual understanding,

10so 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 knowledge of God.

11In his glorious might may he give you ample strength to meet with fortitude and patience whatever comes;

12and 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.

13He rescued us from the domain of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son,

14through whom our release is secured and our sins are forgiven.

15He is the image of the invisible God; his is the primacy over all creation.

16In 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.

17He exists before all things, and all things are held together in him.

18He is the head of the body, the church. He is its origin, the first to return from the dead, to become in all things supreme.

19For in him God in all his fullness chose to dwell,

20and through him to reconcile all things to himself, making peace through the shedding of his blood on the cross -- all things, whether on earth or in heaven.

21Formerly you yourselves were alienated from God, his enemies in heart and mind, as your evil deeds showed. But now by Christ's death in his body of flesh and blood God has reconciled you to himself, so that he may bring you into his own presence, holy and without blame or blemish.

22(1:21)

23Yet you must persevere in faith, firm on your foundations and never to be dislodged from the hope offered in the gospel you accepted. This is the gospel which has been proclaimed in the whole creation under heaven, the gospel of which I, Paul, became a minister.

24It is now my joy to suffer for you; for the sake of Christ's body, the church, I am completing what still remains for Christ to suffer in my own person.

25I became a servant of the church by virtue of the task assigned to me by God for your benefit: to put God's word into full effect,

26that secret purpose hidden for long ages and through many generations, but now disclosed to God's people.

27To them he chose to make known what a wealth of glory is offered to the Gentiles in this secret purpose: Christ in you, the hope of glory.

28He it is whom we proclaim. We teach everyone and instruct everyone in all the ways of wisdom, so as to present each one of you as a mature member of Christ's body.

29To this end I am toiling strenuously with all the energy and power of Christ at work in me.



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