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Colossians 1:15-25 (New International Version)

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The Supremacy of Christ

15 He is the image1 of the invisible God,2 the firstborn3 over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created:4 things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;5 all things were created by him and for him.6 17 He is before all things,7 and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head8 of the body, the church;9 he is the beginning and the firstborn10 from among the dead,11 so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased12 to have all his fullness13 dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile14 to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,15 by making peace16 through his blood,17 shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies18 in your minds19 because ofa your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled20 you by Christ's physical body21 through death to present you22 holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation23-- 23 if you continue24 in your faith, established25 and firm, not moved from the hope26 held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven,27 and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.28

Paul's Labor for the Church

24 Now I rejoice29 in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions,30 for the sake of his body, which is the church.31 25 I have become its servant32 by the commission God gave me33 to present to you the word of God34 in its fullness--
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