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Colossians 1 (Today's New International Version)

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1 Paul, an apostle1 of Christ Jesus by the will of God,2 and Timothy3 our brother, 2 To God's holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace4 and peace to you from God our Father.a5

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3 We always thank God,6 the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love7 you have for all his people8-- 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope9 stored up for you in heaven10 and about which you have already heard in the true word11 of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit12 and growing throughout the whole world13-- just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God's grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras,14 our dear fellow servant,b who is a faithful minister15 of Christ on ourc behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.16 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you,17 we have not stopped praying for you.18 We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will19 through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,d20 10 so that you may live a life worthy21 of the Lord and please him22 in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,23 11 being strengthened with all power24 according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,25 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father,26 who has qualified youe to share in the inheritance27 of his people in the kingdom of light.28 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness29 and brought us into the kingdom30 of the Son he loves,31 14 in whom we have redemption,32 the forgiveness of sins.33

The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image34 of the invisible God,35 the firstborn36 over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created:37 things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;38 all things have been created through him and for him.39 17 He is before all things,40 and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head41 of the body, the church;42 he is the beginning and the firstborn43 from among the dead,44 so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased45 to have all his fullness46 dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile47 to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,48 by making peace49 through his blood,50 shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies51 in your minds52 because off your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled53 you by Christ's physical body54 through death to present you55 holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation56-- 23 if you continue57 in your faith, established58 and firm, and do not move from the hope59 held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven,60 and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.61

Paul's Labor for the Church

24 Now I rejoice62 in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions,63 for the sake of his body, which is the church.64 25 I have become its servant65 by the commission God gave me66 to present to you the word of God67 in its fullness-- 26 the mystery68 that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord's people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known69 among the Gentiles the glorious riches70 of this mystery, which is Christ in you,71 the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing72 and teaching everyone with all wisdom,73 so that we may present everyone fully mature74 in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously75 contend76 with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.77
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