1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and Timothy oura brother:
References for Colossians 1:1
    • a 1:1 - Lit the
      2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.b
      References for Colossians 1:2
        • b 1:2 - Other mss add and the Lord Jesus Christ


          3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
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              4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints
              5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about [this hope] in the message of truth, the gospel
              6 that has come to you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God's grace in the truth.c
              References for Colossians 1:6
                • c 1:6 - Or and truly recognized God's grace
                  7 You learned this from Epaphras, our much loved fellow slave. He is a faithful minister of the Messiah on yourd behalf,
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                    • d 1:7 - Other mss read our
                      8 and he has told us about your love in the Spirit.

                      Prayer for Spiritual Growth

                      9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven't stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
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                          10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
                          11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy
                          12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled youe to share in the saints'f inheritance in the light.
                          References for Colossians 1:12
                            • e 1:12 - Other mss read us
                            • f 1:12 - Or holy ones'
                              13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,
                              14 in whom we have redemption,g the forgiveness of sins.
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                                • g 1:14 - Other mss add through His blood

                                  The Centrality of Christ

                                  15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation;h
                                  References for Colossians 1:15
                                    • h 1:15 - The One who is preeminent over all creation
                                      16 because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things have been created through Him and for Him.
                                      17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.
                                      18 He is also 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.
                                      19 For God was pleased [to have] all His fullnessi dwell in Him,
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                                          20 and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His crossj- whether things on earth or things in heaven.
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                                            • j 1:20 - Other mss add through Him
                                              21 And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions.
                                              22 But now He has reconciled you by His physical bodyk through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him-
                                              References for Colossians 1:22
                                                • k 1:22 - His body of flesh on the cross
                                                  23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith, and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. [This gospel] has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a minister of it.

                                                  Paul's Ministry

                                                  24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for His body, that is, the church.
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                                                      25 I have become its minister, according to God's administration that was given to me for you, to make God's message fully known,
                                                      26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints.
                                                      27 God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
                                                      28 We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
                                                      29 I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.