1 Greetings from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am an apostle because that is what God wanted. Greetings also from Timothy, our brother in Christ.
2 To the holy and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ who live in Colossae.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
In our prayers we always thank God for you. He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4
We thank him because we have heard about the faith you have in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all of God’s people. 5
Your faith and love continue because you know what is waiting for you in heaven—the hope you have had since you first heard the true message, the Good News 6
that was told to you. Throughout the world, this Good News is bringing blessings and is spreading. And that’s what has been happening among you since the first time you heard it and understood the truth about God’s grace. 7
You heard it from Epaphras, our dear friend and co-worker. He is a faithful servant of Christ for us.* 8
He also told us about the love you have from the Spirit.
9 Since the day we heard these things about you, we have continued praying for you. This is what we pray:
that God will make you completely sure of what he wants by giving you all the wisdom and spiritual understanding you need; 10
that this will help you live in a way that brings honor to the Lord and pleases him in every way; that your life will produce good works of every kind and that you will grow in your knowledge of God†
that God will strengthen you with his own great power, so that you will be patient and not give up when troubles come.
Then you will be happy 12 and give thanks to the Father. He has made you able to have what he has promised to give all his holy people, who live in the light. 13 God made us free from the power of darkness. And he brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son. 14 The Son paid the price to make us free. In him we have forgiveness of our sins.
The Son of God Is the Same as God
15 No one can see God,
but the Son is exactly like God.
He rules over everything that has been made.‡
16 Through his power all things were made:
things in heaven and on earth, seen and not seen—
all spiritual rulers, lords, powers, and authorities.
Everything was made through him and for him.
17 The Son was there before anything was made.
And all things continue because of him.
18 He is the head of the body, which is the church.
He is the beginning of everything else.
And he is the first among all who will be raised from death.§
So in everything he is most important.
19 God was pleased for all of himself to live in the Son.
20 And through him, God was happy to bring all things back to himself again—
things on earth and things in heaven.
God made peace by using the blood sacrifice of his Son on the cross.
21 At one time you were separated from God. You were his enemies in your minds, because the evil you did was against him. 22 But now he has made you his friends again. He did this by the death Christ suffered while he was in his body. He did it so that he could present you to himself as people who are holy, blameless, and without anything that would make you guilty before him. 23 And that is what will happen if you continue to believe in the Good News you heard. You must remain strong and sure in your faith. You must not let anything cause you to give up the hope that became yours when you heard the Good News. That same Good News has been told to everyone on earth, and that’s the work that I, Paul, was given to do.
Paul’s Work for the Church
24 I am happy in my sufferings for you. There is much that Christ must still suffer. And I gladly accept my part of those sufferings in my body for the good of his body, the church. 25 I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do. This work helps you. My work is to tell the complete message of God. 26 This message is the secret truth that was hidden since the beginning of time. It was hidden from everyone for ages, but now it has been made known to God’s holy people. 27 God decided to let his people know just how rich and glorious that truth is. That secret truth, which is for all people, is that Christ lives in you, his people. He is our hope for glory. 28 So we continue to tell people about Christ. We use all wisdom to counsel every person and teach every person. We are trying to bring everyone before God as people who have grown to be spiritually mature in Christ. 29 To do this, I work and struggle using the great strength that Christ gives me. That strength is working in my life.