9For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,10so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.11May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.The Supremacy of Christ
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him.17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him—23provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.Paul's Interest in the Colossians
24I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.25I became its servant according to God's commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,26the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints.27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.28It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.29For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.Chapter 21For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face.2I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ himself,3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.4I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments.5For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ.Fullness of Life in Christ
6As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him,7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,10and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority.11In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ;12when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.13And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses,14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.16Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths.17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking,19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.Warnings against False Teachers
20If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations,21“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”?22All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings.23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.
Chapter 3The New Life in Christ
1So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.5Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).6On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.7These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.8But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices10and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.11In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!12As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.13Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Rules for Christian Households
18Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.19Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord.21Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart.22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.23Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters,24since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.25For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality.Chapter 41Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
2Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.3At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison,4so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.5Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.6Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.