Letter to the Colossians
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through God’s will, and Timothy+ our brother, 2 to the holy ones and faithful brothers in union with Christ at Co·losʹsae:
May you have undeserved kindness and peace from God our Father.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all the holy ones 5 because of the hope that is being reserved for you in the heavens.+ You previously heard about this hope through the message of truth of the good news+ 6 that has come to you. Just as the good news is bearing fruit and increasing in all the world,+ so it is also doing among you from the day you heard and accurately knew the undeserved kindness of God in truth. 7 That is what you have learned from our beloved fellow slave Epʹa·phras,+ who is a faithful minister of the Christ on our behalf. 8 He also made known to us your love in a spiritual way.
9 That is also why from the day we heard of it, we have never stopped praying for you and asking* that you may be filled with the accurate knowledge+ of his will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension,+ 10 so as to walk worthily of Jehovah+ in order to please him fully as you go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God;+ 11 and may you be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might+ so that you may endure fully with patience and joy,+ 12 as you thank the Father, who made you qualify to share in the inheritance of the holy ones+ in the light.
13 He rescued us from the authority of the darkness+ and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins.+ 15 He is the image of the invisible God,+ the firstborn of all creation;+ 16 because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible,+ whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him+ and for him. 17 Also, he is before all other things,+ and by means of him all other things were made to exist, 18 and he is the head of the body, the congregation.+ He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,+ so that he might become the one who is first in all things; 19 because God was pleased to have all fullness to dwell in him,+ 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all other things+ by making peace through the blood+ he shed on the torture stake, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens.
21 Indeed, you who were once alienated and enemies+ because your minds were on the works that were wicked, 22 he has now reconciled by means of that one’s fleshly body through his death,+ in order to present you holy and unblemished and open to no accusation before him+— 23 provided, of course, that you continue in the faith,+ established on the foundation+ and steadfast,+ not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven.+ Of this good news I, Paul, became a minister.+
24 I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake,+ and I am undergoing the tribulations of the Christ that are yet lacking in my flesh in behalf of his body,+ which is the congregation.+ 25 I became a minister of this congregation in accord with the stewardship+ from God that was given to me in your behalf to preach the word of God fully, 26 the sacred secret+ that was hidden from the past systems of things+ and from the past generations. But now it has been revealed to his holy ones,+ 27 to whom God has been pleased to make known among the nations the glorious riches of this sacred secret,+ which is Christ in union with you, the hope of his glory.+ 28 He is the one we are proclaiming, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present every person complete in union with Christ.+ 29 To this end I am indeed working hard, exerting myself with his strength that is operating powerfully within me.+