Bible: Colossians 1-3
1:1 From Paul, 1 an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 1:2 to the saints, the faithful 2 brothers and sisters 3 in Christ, at Colossae. Grace and peace to you 4 from God our Father! 5
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Church
1:3 We always 6 give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 1:4 since 7 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 8 from the hope laid up 9 for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel 10 1:6 that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel 11 is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing 12 among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. 1:7 You learned the gospel 13 from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave 14 – a 15 faithful minister of Christ on our 16 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, 17 have not ceased praying for you and asking God 18 to fill 19 you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 1:10 so that you may live 20 worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects 21 – 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 22 all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share 23 in the saints’ 24 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, 25 1:14 in whom we have redemption, 26 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, 30 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 31 in him.
1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, 38 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 39 minds 40 as expressed through 41 your evil deeds, 1:22 but now he has reconciled you 42 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, 43 without shifting 44 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 45 from God – given to me for you – in order to complete 46 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 47 riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 1:28 We proclaim him by instructing 48 and teaching 49 all people 50 with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature 51 in Christ. 1:29 Toward this goal 52 I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully 53 works in me.
2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, 54 and for those in Laodicea, and for those who have not met me face to face. 55 2:2 My goal is that 56 their hearts, having been knit together 57 in love, may be encouraged, and that 58 they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 59 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 60 that sound reasonable. 61 2:5 For though 62 I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing to see 63 your morale 64 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, 65 continue to live your lives 66 in him, 2:7 rooted 67 and built up in him and firm 68 in your 69 faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 2:8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you 70 through an empty, deceitful philosophy 71 that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits 72 of the world, and not according to Christ. 2:9 For in him all the fullness of deity lives 73 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, 74 with a circumcision performed by human hands, but by the removal 75 of the fleshly body, 76 that is, 77 through the circumcision done by Christ. 2:12 Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your 78 faith in the power 79 of God who raised him from the dead. 2:13 And even though you were dead in your 80 transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless 81 made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. 2:14 He has destroyed 82 what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness 83 expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. 2:15 Disarming 84 the rulers and authorities, he has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 85
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 86 the shadow of the things to come, but the reality 87 is Christ! 88 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 89 about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. 90 2:19 He has not held fast 91 to the head from whom the whole body, supported 92 and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 93
2:20 If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits 94 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 95 on human commands and teachings. 96 2:23 Even though they have the appearance of wisdom 97 with their self-imposed worship and false humility 98 achieved by an 99 unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence. 100
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 101 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: 102 sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, 103 evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. 3:6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 104 3:7 You also lived your lives 105 in this way at one time, when you used to live among them. 3:8 But now, put off all such things 106 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 107 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 108 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, 109 kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 3:13 bearing with one another and forgiving 110 one another, if someone happens to have 111 a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. 112 3:14 And to all these 113 virtues 114 add 115 love, which is the perfect bond. 116 3:15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body 117 to this peace), and be thankful. 3:16 Let the word of Christ 118 dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace 119 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 120 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, 121 do not provoke 122 your children, so they will not become disheartened. 3:22 Slaves, 123 obey your earthly 124 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, 125 work at it with enthusiasm, 126 as to the Lord and not for people, 127 3:24 because you know that you will receive your 128 inheritance 129 from the Lord as the reward. Serve 130 the Lord Christ. 3:25 For the one who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, 131 and there are no exceptions. 132