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1Paul, by God’s will an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Timothy, 2to the devoted and steadfast Christian brothers in Colossae; God our Father bless you and give you peace.
3We never pray for you without thanking God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4for what we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love you have for all God’s people, 5and for the hope of what is stored up for you in heaven. You first heard of it long ago when the true message of the gospel 6came among you, to thrive and bear its fruit among you, as it does all over the world, from the time when you first heard about the mercy of God, 7and really came to know it, in the form in which Epaphras, my dear fellow-slave, taught it to you. He is my faithful representative as a servant of Christ, 8and it is he who has told me of the love the Spirit has awakened in you. 9That is why, from the day I first heard of it, I have never given up praying for you and asking God to fill you, through full spiritual wisdom and insight, with a clear knowledge of what his will is, 10so that the lives you live may be worthy of your Master and wholly pleasing to him, and you may be fruitful in all kinds of good deeds, and may grow into fuller knowledge of God. 11Then, so mighty is his majesty, he will nerve you perfectly with strength for the cheerful exercise of endurance and forbearance in every situation, 12and you will thank the Father who has entitled you to share the lot of God’s people in the realm of light. 13He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the realm of his dear Son, 14by whom we have been ransomed from captivity through having our sins forgiven. 15He is a likeness of the unseen God, born before any creature, 16for it was through him that everything was created in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen, angelic thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17He existed before all things and he sustains and embraces them all. 18He is the head of the church, it is his body; for he is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead—that he might come to stand first in everything. 19For all the divine fulness chose to dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to God all things on earth or in heaven, making this peace through his blood shed on the cross. 21And it has brought you, who were once estranged from him, hostile in attitude and engaged in doing wrong (though now he has reconciled you 22through dying in his human body) in holiness, and free from reproach or blame, into God’s presence— 23if at least you continue firm and steadfast in the exercise of faith, and never shift from the hope held out in the good news to which you listened, which has been preached all over the world, and for which I, Paul, became a worker.
24At present I am glad to be suffering in your interest, and I am making up in my own person what is lacking in Christ’s sufferings for the church, which is his body. 25In it, by divine appointment, I became a worker, that I might preach among you the message of God in its fulness— 26that secret, hidden from the ages and generations, but now disclosed to those who are consecrated to him, 27to whom God has chosen to make known among the heathen how glorious this mystery of Christ in you, the promise of glorification, really is. 28And in spreading the news of him, we warn everyone and teach everyone all our wisdom, in order to bring everyone to Christian perfection. 29That is what I am working for, fighting with all the energy with which he so mightily endows me.
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