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1 Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God--and Timothy our brother: 2 To the people of God and the believing brethren at Colossae who are in Christ. May grace and peace be granted to you from God our Father. 3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, constantly praying for you as we do, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you cherish towards all God's people, 5 on account of the hope treasured up for you in Heaven. Of this hope you have already heard in the Message of the truth of the Good News. 6 For it has reached you, and remains with you, just as it has also spread through the whole world, yielding fruit there and increasing, as it has done among you from the day when first you heard it and came really to know the grace of God, 7 as you learned it from Epaphras our dearly-loved fellow servant. He is to you a faithful minister of Christ in our stead, 8 and moreover he has informed us of your love, which is inspired by the Spirit. 9 For this reason we also, from the day we first received these tidings, have never ceased to pray for you and to entreat that you may be filled with a clear knowledge of His will accompanied by thorough wisdom and discernment in spiritual things; 10 so that your lives may be worthy of the Lord and perfectly pleasing to Him, while you exhibit the results of right action of every sort and grow into a fuller knowledge of God. 11 Since His power is so glorious, may you be strengthened with strength of every kind, and be prepared for cheerfully enduring all things with patience and long-suffering; 12 and give thanks to the Father who has made us fit to receive our share of the inheritance of God's people in Light. 13 It is God who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of His dearly-loved Son, 14 in whom we have our redemption--the forgiveness of our sins. 15 Christ is the visible representation of the invisible God, the Firstborn and Lord of all creation. 16 For in Him was created the universe of things in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, thrones, dominions, princedoms, powers--all were created, and exist through and for Him. 17 And HE IS before all things and in and through Him the universe is a harmonious whole. 18 Moreover He is the Head of His Body, the Church. He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, in order that He Himself may in all things occupy the foremost place. 19 For it was the Father's gracious will that the whole of the divine perfections should dwell in Him. 20 And God purposed through Him to reconcile the universe to Himself, making peace through His blood, which was shed upon the Cross--to reconcile to Himself through Him, I say, things on earth and things in Heaven. 21 And you, estranged as you once were and even hostile in your minds, amidst your evil deeds, 22 He has now, in His human body, reconciled to God by His death, to bring you, holy and faultless and irreproachable, into His presence; 23 if, indeed, you are still firmly holding to faith as your foundation, without ever shifting from your hope that rests on the Good News that you have heard, which has been proclaimed in the whole creation under Heaven, and in which I Paul have been appointed to serve. 24 Now I can find joy amid my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my own person whatever is lacking in Christ's afflictions on behalf of His Body, the Church. 25 I have been appointed to serve the Church in the position of responsibility entrusted to me by God for your benefit, so that I may fully deliver God's Message-- 26 the truth which has been kept secret from all ages and generations, but has now been revealed to His people, 27 to whom it was His will to make known how vast a wealth of glory for the Gentile world is implied in this truth--the truth that `Christ is in you, the hope of glory.' 28 Him we preach, admonishing every one and instructing every one, with all possible wisdom, so that we may bring every one into God's presence, made perfect through Christ. 29 To this end, like an earnest wrestler, I exert all my strength in reliance upon the power of Him who is mightily at work within me.
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