1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Timothy joins me in writing.2We are sending this letter to you, our brothers and sisters in Colosse. You belong to Christ. You are holy and faithful. May God our Father give you grace and peace.3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.4We thank him because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus. We have also heard that you love all of God's people.5Your faith and love are based on the hope you have. What you hope for is stored up for you in heaven. You have already heard about it. You were told about it when the message of truth was given to you. I'm talking about the good news6that has come to you. All over the world the good news is bearing fruit and growing. It has been doing that among you since the day you heard it. That is when you understood God's grace in all its truth.7You learned the good news from Epaphras. He is dear to us. He serves Christ together with us. He faithfully works for Christ and for us among you.8He also told us about your love that comes from the Holy Spirit.9That's why we have not stopped praying for you. We have been praying for you since the day we heard about you. We have been asking God to fill you with the knowledge of what he wants. We pray that he will give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.10We pray that you will lead a life that is worthy of the Lord. We pray that you will please him in every way. So we want you to bear fruit in every good thing you do. We want you to grow to know God better.11We want you to be very strong, in keeping with his glorious power. We want you to be patient. Never give up. Be joyful12as you give thanks to the Father. He has made you fit to share with all his people. You will all receive a share in the kingdom of light.13He has saved us from the kingdom of darkness. He has brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.14Because of what the Son has done, we have been set free. Because of him, all of our sins have been forgiven.15Christ is the exact likeness of God, who can't be seen. He is first, and he is over all of creation.16All things were created by him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can't be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by him and for him.17Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together.18And he is the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning. He is the first to be raised from the dead. That happened so that he would be far above everything.19God was pleased to have his whole nature living in Christ.20God was pleased to bring all things back to himself because of what Christ has done. That includes all things on earth and in heaven. God made peace through Christ's blood, through his death on the cross.21At one time you were separated from God. You were enemies in your minds because of your evil ways.22But because Christ died, God has brought you back to himself. Christ's death has made you holy in God's sight. So now you don't have any flaw. You are free from blame.23But you must keep your faith steady and firm. Don't move away from the hope that the good news holds out to you. It is the good news that you heard. It has been preached to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, now serve the good news.24I am happy because of what was suffered for you. And in my body I fill up my share in Christ's sufferings. I do it for his body, which is the church.25I serve the church. God appointed me to bring all of his word to you.26That word contains the mystery that has been hidden for many ages. But now it has been made known to God's people.27God has chosen to make known to them the glorious riches of that mystery. He has made it known among those who aren't Jews. And here is what it is. Christ is in you. He is your hope of glory.28We preach about him. With all the wisdom we have, we warn and teach everyone. When we bring them to God, we want them to be perfect as people who belong to Christ.29That's what I'm working for. I work hard with all of Christ's strength. His strength works powerfully in me.
1I want you to know how hard I am working for you. I'm concerned for those who are in Laodicea. I'm also concerned for everyone who has not met me in person.2I want their hearts to be made cheerful and strong. I want them to be joined together in love. Then their understanding will be rich and complete. They will know the mystery of God. That mystery is Christ.3All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in him.4But I don't want anyone to fool you with fast talk that only sounds good.5So even though I am away from you in body, I am with you in spirit. I am glad to see that you are doing everything in good order. And I am happy that your faith in Christ is so strong.6You received Christ Jesus as Lord. So keep on living in him.7Have your roots in him. Build yourselves up in him. Grow strong in what you believe, just as you were taught. Be more thankful than ever before.8Make sure no one captures you. They will try to capture you by using false reasoning that has no meaning. Their ideas depend on human teachings. They also depend on the basic things the people of this world believe. They don't depend on Christ.9God's whole nature is living in Christ in human form.10Because you belong to Christ, you have everything you need. He is the ruler over every power and authority.11When you received Christ, you were also circumcised by putting away your sinful nature. Human hands didn't circumcise you. Christ did.12When you were baptized, you were buried together with him. You were raised to life together with him by believing in God's power. God raised Jesus from the dead.13At one time you were dead in your sins. Your sinful nature was not circumcised. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave us all of our sins.14He wiped out the written Law with its rules. The Law was against us. It opposed us. He took it away and nailed it to the cross.15He took away the weapons of the powers and authorities. He made a public show of them. He won the battle over them by dying on the cross.16So don't let anyone judge you because of what you eat or drink. Don't let anyone judge you about holy days. I'm talking about special feasts and New Moons and Sabbath days.17They are only a shadow of the things that were going to come. But what is real is found in Christ.18Some people enjoy pretending they aren't proud. They worship angels. But don't let people like that hold you back from winning the prize. They tell you every little thing about what they have seen. Their minds are not guided by the Holy Spirit. So they are proud of their useless ideas.19They aren't connected to the Head. But the whole body grows from the Head. The muscles and tendons hold the body together. And God causes it to grow.20The people of the world believe certain basic things. You died with Christ as far as things like that are concerned. So why do you act as if you still belong to the world? Here are the rules you follow.21"Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"22Rules like that are all going to die out as time goes by. They are only based on human rules and teachings.23It is true that those rules seem wise. Because of them, people give themselves over to their own kind of worship. They pretend they aren't proud. They treat their bodies very badly. But rules like that don't help. They don't stop people from chasing after sinful pleasures.
1You have been raised up with Christ. So think about things that are in heaven. That is where Christ is. He is sitting at God's right hand.2Think about things that are in heaven. Don't think about things that are on earth.3You died. Now your life is hidden with Christ in God.4Christ is your life. When he appears again, you also will appear with him in heaven's glory.5So put to death anything that belongs to your earthly nature. Get rid of your sexual sins and unclean acts. Don't let your feelings get out of control. Remove from your life all evil longings. Stop always wanting more and more. You might as well be worshiping statues of gods.6God's anger is going to come because of those things.7That's the way you lived at one time in your life.8But now here are the kinds of things you must get rid of. You must put away anger, rage, hate and lies. Let no dirty words come out of your mouths.9Don't lie to each other. You have gotten rid of your old way of life and its habits.10You have started living a new life. It is being made new so that what you know has the Creator's likeness.11Here there is no Greek or Jew. There is no difference between those who are circumcised and those who are not. There is no rude outsider, or even a Scythian. There is no slave or free person. But Christ is everything. And he is in everything.12You are God's chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don't be proud. Be gentle and patient.13Put up with each other. Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.14And over all of those good things put on love. Love holds them all together perfectly as if they were one.15Let the peace that Christ gives rule in your hearts. As parts of one body, you were appointed to live in peace. And be thankful.16Let Christ's word live in you like a rich treasure. Teach and correct each other wisely. Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing with thanks in your hearts to God.17Do everything you say or do in the name of the Lord Jesus. Always give thanks to God the Father through Christ.18Wives, follow the lead of your husbands. That's what the Lord wants you to do.19Husbands, love your wives. Don't be mean to them.20Children, obey your parents in everything. That pleases the Lord.21Fathers, don't make your children bitter. If you do, they will lose hope.22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything. Don't do it just to please them when they are watching you. Obey them with an honest heart. Do it out of respect for the Lord.23Work at everything you do with all your heart. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for human masters.24Work because you know that you will finally receive as a reward what the Lord wants you to have. You are serving the Lord Christ.25Anyone who does wrong will be paid back for what he does. God treats everyone the same.
1Masters, give your slaves what is right and fair. Do it because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.2Spend a lot of time in prayer. Always be watchful and thankful.3Pray for us too. Pray that God will open a door for our message. Then we can preach the mystery of Christ. Because I preached it, I am being held by chains.4Pray that I will preach it clearly, as I should.5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders. Make the most of every opportunity.6Let the words you speak always be full of grace. Season them with salt. Then you will know how to answer everyone.7Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother. He is a faithful worker. He serves the Lord together with us.8I am sending him to you for one reason. I want you to know what is happening here. I want him to cheer you up and make your hearts strong.9He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother. He is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.10Aristarchus is in prison with me. He sends you his greetings. So does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. You have been given directions about him. If he comes to you, welcome him.11Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. They are the only Jews who work together with me for God's kingdom. They have been a comfort to me.12Epaphras sends greetings. He is one of you. He serves Christ Jesus. He is always praying hard for you. He prays that you will stand firm in holding to all that God has in mind for us. He prays that you will continue to grow in your knowledge of what God wants you to do. He also prays that you will be completely sure about it.13I am happy to tell you that he is working very hard for you. He is also working hard for everyone in Laodicea and Hierapolis.14Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, sends greetings. So does Demas.15Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea. Also give my greetings to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.16After this letter has been read to you, send it on. Be sure that it is also read to the church in Laodicea. And be sure that you read the letter from Laodicea.17Tell Archippus, "Be sure that you complete the work the Lord gave you to do."18I, Paul, am writing this greeting with my own hand. Remember that I am being held by chains. May grace be with you.
1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am a prisoner because of Christ Jesus. Our brother Timothy joins me in writing. Philemon, we are sending you this letter. You are our dear friend. You work together with us.2We are also sending it to our sister Apphia and to Archippus. He is a soldier of Christ together with us. And we are sending it to the church that meets in your home.3May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.4I always thank my God when I remember you in my prayers.5That's because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus. I hear about your love for all of God's people.6I pray that you will be active in sharing what you believe. Then you will completely understand every good thing we have in Christ.7Your love has given me great joy. It has cheered me up. My brother, you have renewed the hearts of God's people.8Because of the authority Christ has given me, I could be bold. I could order you to do what you should do anyway.9But I make my appeal to you on the basis of our love for each other. I, Paul, am an old man. I am now also a prisoner because of Christ Jesus.10I make an appeal to you for my son Onesimus. He became a son to me while I was being held by chains.11Before that, he was useless to you. But now he has become useful to you and to me.12I'm sending Onesimus back to you. My very heart goes with him.13I would have liked to keep him with me. Then he could have taken your place in helping me while I'm being held by chains because of the good news.14But I didn't want to do anything unless you agreed. Any favor you do must be done because you want to do it, not because you have to.15Onesimus was separated from you for a little while. Maybe that was so you could have him back for good.16You could have him back not as a slave. Instead, he would be better than a slave. He would be a dear brother. He is very dear to me. But he is even more dear to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.17Do you think of me as a believer who works together with you? Then welcome Onesimus as you would welcome me.18Has he done anything wrong to you? Does he owe you anything? Then charge it to me.19I'll pay it back. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I won't even mention that you owe me your very life.20My brother, I wish I could receive some benefit from you because we both belong to the Lord. Renew my heart. We know that Christ is the one who really renews it.21I'm sure you will obey. So I'm writing to you. I know you will do even more than I ask.22There is one more thing. Have a guest room ready for me. I hope I can return to all of you in answer to your prayers.23Epaphras sends you greetings. Together with me, he is a prisoner because of Christ Jesus.24Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke work together with me. They also send you greetings.25May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.