Gal 3:26--6:8; Ephesians 1:1--6:24; Col 1:1--4:18Bible in 90 ...
4:1 Now I mean that the heir, as long as he is a minor, 6 is no different from a slave, though he is the owner 7 of everything. 4:2 But he is under guardians 8 and managers until the date set by his 9 father. 4:3 So also we, when we were minors, 10 were enslaved under the basic forces 11 of the world. 4:4 But when the appropriate time 12 had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we may be adopted as sons with full rights. 13 4:6 And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, who calls 14 “Abba! 15 Father!” 4:7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if you are 16 a son, then you are also an heir through God. 17
Heirs of Promise Are Not to Return to Law
4:8 Formerly when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods at all. 18 4:9 But now that you have come to know God (or rather to be known by God), how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless 19 basic forces? 20 Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 21 4:10 You are observing religious 22 days and months and seasons and years. 4:11 I fear for you that my work for you may have been in vain. 4:12 I beg you, brothers and sisters, 23 become like me, because I have become like you. You have done me no wrong!
Personal Appeal of Paul
4:13 But you know it was because of a physical illness that I first proclaimed the gospel to you, 4:14 and though my physical condition put you to the test, you did not despise or reject me. 24 Instead, you welcomed me as though I were an angel of God, 25 as though I were Christ Jesus himself! 26 4:15 Where then is your sense of happiness 27 now? For I testify about you that if it were possible, you would have pulled out your eyes and given them to me! 4:16 So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 28
4:17 They court you eagerly, 29 but for no good purpose; 30 they want to exclude you, so that you would seek them eagerly. 31 4:18 However, it is good 32 to be sought eagerly 33 for a good purpose 34 at all times, and not only when I am present with you. 4:19 My children – I am again undergoing birth pains until Christ is formed in you! 35 4:20 I wish I could be with you now and change my tone of voice, 36 because I am perplexed about you.
An Appeal from Allegory
4:21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, do you not understand the law? 37 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the 38 slave woman and the other by the free woman. 4:23 But one, the son by the slave woman, was born by natural descent, 39 while the other, the son by the free woman, was born through the promise. 4:24 These things may be treated as an allegory, 40 for these women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. 4:25 Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, 41 and she is our mother. 4:27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren woman who does not bear children; 42
break forth and shout, you who have no birth pains,
because the children of the desolate woman are more numerous
than those of the woman who has a husband
4:28 But you, 44 brothers and sisters, 45 are children of the promise like Isaac. 4:29 But just as at that time the one born by natural descent 46 persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, 47 so it is now. 4:30 But what does the scripture say? “Throw out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the son
Freedom of the Believer
5:1 For freedom 50 Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke 51 of slavery. 5:2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all! 5:3 And I testify again to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey 52 the whole law. 5:4 You who are trying to be declared righteous 53 by the law have been alienated 54 from Christ; you have fallen away from grace! 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness. 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight – the only thing that matters is faith working through love. 55
5:7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying 56 the truth? 5:8 This persuasion 57 does not come from the one who calls you! 5:9 A little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise! 58 5:10 I am confident 59 in the Lord that you will accept no other view. 60 But the one who is confusing 61 you will pay the penalty, 62 whoever he may be. 5:11 Now, brothers and sisters, 63 if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? 64 In that case the offense of the cross 65 has been removed. 66 5:12 I wish those agitators 67 would go so far as to 68 castrate themselves! 69
5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; 70 only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, 71 but through love serve one another. 72 5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, 73 namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 74 5:15 However, if you continually bite and devour one another, 75 beware that you are not consumed 76 by one another. 5:16 But I say, live 77 by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 78 5:17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires 79 that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to 80 each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 5:19 Now the works of the flesh 81 are obvious: 82 sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, 83 hostilities, 84 strife, 85 jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, 86 factions, 5:21 envying, 87 murder, 88 drunkenness, carousing, 89 and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!
5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit 90 is love, 91 joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 92 5:23 gentleness, and 93 self-control. Against such things there is no law. 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ 94 have crucified the flesh 95 with its passions 96 and desires. 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with 97 the Spirit. 5:26 Let us not become conceited, 98 provoking 99 one another, being jealous 100 of one another.
Support One Another
6:1 Brothers and sisters, 101 if a person 102 is discovered in some sin, 103 you who are spiritual 104 restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. 105 Pay close attention 106 to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too. 6:2 Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 6:4 Let each one examine 107 his own work. Then he can take pride 108 in himself and not compare himself with 109 someone else. 6:5 For each one will carry 110 his own load.
6:6 Now the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with the one who teaches 111 it. 6:7 Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. 112 For a person 113 will reap what he sows, 6:8 because the person who sows to his own flesh 114 will reap corruption 115 from the flesh, 116 but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.
1:1 From Paul, 117 an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints [in Ephesus], 118 the faithful 119 in Christ Jesus. 1:2 Grace and peace to you 120 from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
1:3 Blessed 121 is 122 the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed 123 us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. 1:4 For 124 he chose us in Christ 125 before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished 126 in his sight 127 in love. 128 1:5 He did this by predestining 129 us to adoption as his 130 sons 131 through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure 132 of his will – 1:6 to the praise of the glory of his grace 133 that he has freely bestowed on us in his dearly loved Son. 134 1:7 In him 135 we have redemption through his blood, 136 the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 1:8 that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. 1:9 He did this when he revealed 137 to us the secret 138 of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth 139 in Christ, 140 1:10 toward the administration of the fullness of the times, to head up 141 all things in Christ – the things in heaven 142 and the things on earth. 143 1:11 In Christ 144 we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, 145 since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will 1:12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope 146 on Christ, 147 would be to the praise of his glory. 1:13 And when 148 you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ 149 – you were marked with the seal 150 of the promised Holy Spirit, 151 1:14 who is the down payment 152 of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, 153 to the praise of his glory.
Prayer for Wisdom and Revelation
1:15 For this reason, 154 because I 155 have heard 156 of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love 157 for all the saints, 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you 158 in my prayers. 1:17 I pray that 159 the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, 160 may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation 161 in your growing knowledge of him, 162 1:18 – since the eyes of your 163 heart have been enlightened 164 – so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, 165 what is the wealth of his glorious 166 inheritance in the saints, 1:19 and what is the incomparable 167 greatness of his power toward 168 us who believe, as displayed in 169 the exercise of his immense strength. 170 1:20 This power 171 he exercised 172 in Christ when he raised him 173 from the dead and seated him 174 at his right hand in the heavenly realms 175 1:21 far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 1:22 And God 176 put 177 all things under Christ’s 178 feet, 179 and he gave him to the church as head over all things. 180 1:23 Now the church is 181 his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 182
New Life Individually
2:1 And although you were 183 dead 184 in your transgressions and sins, 2:2 in which 185 you formerly lived 186 according to this world’s present path, 187 according to the ruler of the kingdom 188 of the air, the ruler of 189 the spirit 190 that is now energizing 191 the sons of disobedience, 192 2:3 among whom 193 all of us 194 also 195 formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath 196 even as the rest… 197
2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 2:5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! 198 – 2:6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 2:7 to demonstrate in the coming ages 199 the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward 200 us in Christ Jesus. 2:8 For by grace you are saved 201 through faith, 202 and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 it is not from 203 works, so that no one can boast. 204 2:10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them. 205
New Life Corporately
2:11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh – who are called “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” that is performed on the body 206 by human hands – 2:12 that you were at that time without the Messiah, 207 alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, 208 having no hope and without God in the world. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 209 2:14 For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one 210 and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, 2:15 when he nullified 211 in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man 212 out of two, 213 thus making peace, 2:16 and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. 214 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, 2:18 so that 215 through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 2:19 So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 2:20 because you have been built 216 on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, 217 with Christ Jesus himself as 218 the cornerstone. 219 2:21 In him 220 the whole building, 221 being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Paul's Relationship to the Divine Mystery
3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus 222 for the sake of you Gentiles – 3:2 if indeed 223 you have heard of the stewardship 224 of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3:3 that 225 by revelation the divine secret 226 was made known to me, as I wrote before briefly. 227 3:4 When reading this, 228 you will be able to 229 understand my insight into this secret 230 of Christ. 3:5 Now this secret 231 was not disclosed to people 232 in former 233 generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by 234 the Spirit, 3:6 namely, that through the gospel 235 the Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members 236 of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. 3:7 I became a servant of this gospel 237 according to the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by 238 the exercise of his power. 239 3:8 To me – less than the least of all the saints 240 – this grace was given, 241 to proclaim to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ 3:9 and to enlighten 242 everyone about God’s secret plan 243 – a secret that has been hidden for ages 244 in God 245 who has created all things. 3:10 The purpose of this enlightenment is that 246 through the church the multifaceted wisdom 247 of God should now be disclosed to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms. 3:11 This was according to 248 the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 3:12 in whom we have boldness and confident access 249 to God 250 because of 251 Christ’s 252 faithfulness. 253 3:13 For this reason I ask you 254 not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, 255 which 256 is your glory. 257
Prayer for Strengthened Love
3:14 For this reason 258 I kneel 259 before the Father, 260 3:15 from 261 whom every family 262 in heaven and on the earth is named. 3:16 I pray that 263 according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, 3:18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 264 3:19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to 265 all the fullness of God.
3:20 Now to him who by the power that is working within us 266 is able to do far beyond 267 all that we ask or think, 3:21 to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Live in Unity
4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, 268 urge you to live 269 worthily of the calling with which you have been called, 270 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, 271 with patience, bearing with 272 one another in love, 4:3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 4:8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured 273 captives; he gave gifts to men
Live in Holiness
4:17 So I say this, and insist 290 in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility 291 of their thinking. 292 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, 293 being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. 4:19 Because they are callous, they have given themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 294 4:20 But you did not learn about Christ like this, 4:21 if indeed you heard about him and were taught in him, just as the truth is in Jesus. 4:22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside 295 the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 4:23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 4:24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image 296 – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth. 297
4:25 Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, 298 for we are members of one another. 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; 299 do not let the sun go down on the cause of your anger. 300 4:27 Do not give the devil an opportunity. 4:28 The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need. 4:29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, 301 that it may give grace to those who hear. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 4:31 You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. 4:32 Instead, 302 be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. 303
Live in Love
5:1 Therefore, be 304 imitators of God as dearly loved children 5:2 and live 305 in love, just as Christ also loved us 306 and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering 307 to God. 5:3 But 308 among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, 309 or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. 310 5:4 Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but rather thanksgiving. 5:5 For you can be confident of this one thing: 311 that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Live in the Light
5:6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 312 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 313 5:8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are 314 light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – 5:9 for the fruit of the light 315 consists in 316 all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 5:10 trying to learn 317 what is pleasing to the Lord. 5:11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather 318 expose them. 319 5:12 For the things they do 320 in secret are shameful even to mention. 5:13 But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. 5:14 For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says: 321
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you!” 324
5:15 Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, 5:16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 5:17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise 325 by understanding 326 what the Lord’s will is. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, which 327 is debauchery, 328 but be filled by the Spirit, 329 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music 330 in 331 your hearts to the Lord, 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for each other 332 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 333
Exhortations to Households 334
5:22 Wives, submit 335 to your husbands as to the Lord, 5:23 because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church – he himself being the savior of the body. 5:24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 5:25 Husbands, love your 336 wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 5:26 to sanctify her by cleansing her 337 with the washing of the water by the word, 5:27 so that he 338 may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. 339 5:28 In the same way 340 husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 5:29 For no one has ever hated his own body 341 but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 5:30 for we are members of his body. 342 5:31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become 343 one flesh. 344 5:32 This mystery is great – but I am actually 345 speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 5:33 Nevertheless, 346 each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, 347 and the wife must 348 respect 349 her husband.
6:1 Children, 350 obey your parents in the Lord 351 for this is right. 6:2 “Honor your father and mother,” 352 which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, 6:3 “that it may go 353 well with you and that you will live 354 a long time on the earth.” 355
6:5 Slaves, 358 obey your human masters 359 with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart as to Christ, 6:6 not like those who do their work only when someone is watching 360 – as people-pleasers – but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. 361 6:7 Obey 362 with enthusiasm, as though serving the Lord 363 and not people, 6:8 because you know that each person, whether slave or free, if he does something good, this 364 will be rewarded by the Lord.
6:9 Masters, 365 treat your slaves 366 the same way, 367 giving up the use of threats, 368 because you know that both you and they have the same master in heaven, 369 and there is no favoritism with him.
Exhortations for Spiritual Warfare
6:10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 6:11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes 370 of the devil. 6:12 For our struggle 371 is not against flesh and blood, 372 but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, 373 against the spiritual forces 374 of evil in the heavens. 375 6:13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground 376 on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. 6:14 Stand firm therefore, by fastening 377 the belt of truth around your waist, 378 by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 6:15 by fitting your 379 feet with the preparation that comes from the good news 380 of peace, 381 6:16 and in all of this, 382 by taking up the shield 383 of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation 384 and the sword 385 of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 6:18 With every prayer and petition, pray 386 at all times in the Spirit, and to this end 387 be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints. 6:19 Pray 388 for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak 389 – that I may confidently make known 390 the mystery of the gospel, 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.
6:21 Tychicus, my 391 dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will make everything known to you, so that you too may know about my circumstances, 392 how I am doing. 6:22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know our circumstances 393 and that he may encourage your hearts.
6:23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, 394 and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 6:24 Grace be 395 with all of those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. 396
1:1 From Paul, 397 an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 1:2 to the saints, the faithful 398 brothers and sisters 399 in Christ, at Colossae. Grace and peace to you 400 from God our Father! 401
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Church
1:3 We always 402 give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 1:4 since 403 we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. 1:5 Your faith and love have arisen 404 from the hope laid up 405 for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel 406 1:6 that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel 407 is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing 408 among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. 1:7 You learned the gospel 409 from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave 410 – a 411 faithful minister of Christ on our 412 behalf – 1:8 who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Paul’s Prayer for the Growth of the Church
1:9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, 413 have not ceased praying for you and asking God 414 to fill 415 you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 1:10 so that you may live 416 worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects 417 – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of 418 all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share 419 in the saints’ 420 inheritance in the light. 1:13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 421 1:14 in whom we have redemption, 422 the forgiveness of sins.1:15
The Supremacy of Christ
1:16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, 426 whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.
1:17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together 427 in him.
1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, 434 whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Paul’s Goal in Ministry
1:21 And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your 435 minds 436 as expressed through 437 your evil deeds, 1:22 but now he has reconciled you 438 by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – 1:23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, 439 without shifting 440 from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.
1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body – for the sake of his body, the church – what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. 1:25 I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship 441 from God – given to me for you – in order to complete 442 the word of God, 1:26 that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. 1:27 God wanted to make known to them the glorious 443 riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 1:28 We proclaim him by instructing 444 and teaching 445 all people 446 with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature 447 in Christ. 1:29 Toward this goal 448 I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully 449 works in me.
2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, 450 and for those in Laodicea, and for those who have not met me face to face. 451 2:2 My goal is that 452 their hearts, having been knit together 453 in love, may be encouraged, and that 454 they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 455 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 2:4 I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments 456 that sound reasonable. 457 2:5 For though 458 I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing to see 459 your morale 460 and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Warnings Against the Adoption of False Philosophies
2:6 Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, 461 continue to live your lives 462 in him, 2:7 rooted 463 and built up in him and firm 464 in your 465 faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 2:8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you 466 through an empty, deceitful philosophy 467 that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits 468 of the world, and not according to Christ. 2:9 For in him all the fullness of deity lives 469 in bodily form, 2:10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 2:11 In him you also were circumcised – not, however, 470 with a circumcision performed by human hands, but by the removal 471 of the fleshly body, 472 that is, 473 through the circumcision done by Christ. 2:12 Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your 474 faith in the power 475 of God who raised him from the dead. 2:13 And even though you were dead in your 476 transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless 477 made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. 2:14 He has destroyed 478 what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness 479 expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. 2:15 Disarming 480 the rulers and authorities, he has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 481
2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – 2:17 these are only 482 the shadow of the things to come, but the reality 483 is Christ! 484 2:18 Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths 485 about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. 486 2:19 He has not held fast 487 to the head from whom the whole body, supported 488 and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 489
2:20 If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits 490 of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? 2:21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” 2:22 These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are 491 on human commands and teachings. 492 2:23 Even though they have the appearance of wisdom 493 with their self-imposed worship and false humility 494 achieved by an 495 unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence. 496
Exhortations to Seek the Things Above
3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 3:2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3:3 for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 3:4 When Christ (who is your 497 life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 3:5 So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: 498 sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, 499 evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. 3:6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 500 3:7 You also lived your lives 501 in this way at one time, when you used to live among them. 3:8 But now, put off all such things 502 as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. 3:9 Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 3:10 and have been clothed with the new man 503 that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. 3:11 Here there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave 504 or free, but Christ is all and in all.
Exhortation to Unity and Love
3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, 505 kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 3:13 bearing with one another and forgiving 506 one another, if someone happens to have 507 a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. 508 3:14 And to all these 509 virtues 510 add 511 love, which is the perfect bond. 512 3:15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body 513 to this peace), and be thankful. 3:16 Let the word of Christ 514 dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace 515 in your hearts to God. 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Exhortation to Households
3:18 Wives, submit to your 516 husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord. 3:21 Fathers, 517 do not provoke 518 your children, so they will not become disheartened. 3:22 Slaves, 519 obey your earthly 520 masters in every respect, not only when they are watching – like those who are strictly people-pleasers – but with a sincere heart, fearing the Lord. 3:23 Whatever you are doing, 521 work at it with enthusiasm, 522 as to the Lord and not for people, 523 3:24 because you know that you will receive your 524 inheritance 525 from the Lord as the reward. Serve 526 the Lord Christ. 3:25 For the one who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, 527 and there are no exceptions. 528 4:1 Masters, treat your slaves with justice and fairness, because you know that you also have a master in heaven.
Exhortation to Pray for the Success of Paul’s Mission
4:2 Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 4:3 At the same time pray 529 for us too, that 530 God may open a door for the message 531 so that we may proclaim 532 the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 533 4:4 Pray that I may make it known as I should. 534 4:5 Conduct yourselves 535 with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.
Personal Greetings and Instructions
4:7 Tychicus, a dear brother, faithful minister, and fellow slave 536 in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. 537 4:8 I sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are doing 538 and that he may encourage your hearts. 4:9 I sent him 539 with Onesimus, the faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. 540 They will tell 541 you about everything here.
4:10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him). 4:11 And Jesus who is called Justus also sends greetings. In terms of Jewish converts, 542 these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a slave 543 of Christ, 544 greets you. He is always struggling in prayer on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured 545 in all the will of God. 4:13 For I can testify that he has worked hard 546 for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 4:14 Our dear friend Luke the physician and Demas greet you. 4:15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters 547 who are in Laodicea and to Nympha and the church that meets in her 548 house. 549 4:16 And after 550 you have read this letter, have it read 551 to the church of Laodicea. In turn, read the letter from Laodicea 552 as well. 4:17 And tell Archippus, “See to it that you complete the ministry you received in the Lord.”