Colossians 1

1. This letter comes from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the will of God, and from our brother Timothy.

2. To the believers and trusting Christians at Colossae: may you have grace and peace from God our Father.

3. We are always thankful to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for you, and pray for you.

4. We've heard about your trust in Christ Jesus and your love for all the believers

5. because of the hope prepared for you in heaven. You already heard about this in the good news, the message of truth

6. that came to you just as it has gone throughout the whole world, spreading widely and bringing results. It's done the same for you too, ever since you heard it and realized the true nature of God's grace.

7. Our dear friend and fellow-worker Epaphras, who is a trustworthy minister of Christ on our behalf, taught you about this.

8. He's also made clear to us your love in the Spirit.

9. Because of this we continue to pray for you from the time we heard about you, asking God to give you understanding of what he wants you to do and to give you every kind of spiritual wisdom and understanding.

10. That way you'll live lives that rightly represent the Lord and please him, producing all kinds of good results and gaining greater knowledge of God.

11. May you be made powerfully strong by his wonderful strength, having great patience and endurance.

12. May you happily praise the Father, who has made it possible for us to share in the inheritance of God's people who live in the light.

13. He rescued us from the tyranny of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

14. through whom we have been set free and our sins forgiven.

15. The Son is the visible picture of the invisible God. He was before all creation,

16. for everything was created through him—in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, empires, rulers, leaders and authorities—everything was created through him and for him.

17. He existed before everything, and he holds everything together.

18. He is also the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the first and highest of those raised from the dead, so that he is supreme in everything.

19. God was pleased to have his full nature live in him,

20. and through him brought back everything in the universe to himself, since he made peace through the blood of his cross, through him reconciling all those on the earth and in heaven.

21. You once were alienated from God, enemies in the way you thought and the way you acted,

22. but now he has reconciled you through his dying human body, bringing you into his presence where you stand holy, pure, and faultless.

23. But your trust in him must continue rock-solid and immovable. Don't be shaken from the hope of the good news that you heard, the good news that's been shared throughout the world—that's the work that I Paul have been doing.

24. I'm happy to have trouble for your sake, for by means of what happens to me physically I'm part of Christ's sufferings that he continues to experience for the sake of his body, the church.

25. I serve the church following the direction God gave me about you, to present fully the word of God to you.

26. This is the mystery that was hidden down through the ages and for many generations, but it's now been revealed to God's people.

27. God wanted to make known to them the glorious wealth of this mystery to the nations: Christ living in you is the glorious hope!

28. We're telling everyone about him, instructing and teaching them in the best way we know how so that we can bring everyone before God fully mature in Christ.

29. That's what I'm working for too, making every effort as I rely on his strength which is powerfully at work in me.