Colossians - 1

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1From Paul, by the wil of God an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy 2to God's holy people in Colossae, our faithful brothers in Christ. Grace and peace to you from God ourFather. 3We give thanks for you to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, continual y in our prayers, 4ever since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you show towards all God's holypeople 5because of the hope which is stored up for you in heaven. News of this hope reached you not long agothrough the word of truth, the gospel 6that came to you in the same way as it is bearing fruit and growing throughout the world. It has had thesame effect among you, ever since you heard about the grace of God and recognised it for what it truly is. 7This you learnt from Epaphras, our very dear fel ow-worker and a trustworthy deputy for us as Christ'sservant, 8and it was he who also told us all about your love in the Spirit. 9That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have never failed to remember you in our prayers and askthat through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the ful est knowledge of his will 10and so be able to lead a life worthy of the Lord, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects, bearing fruit in every kind of good work and growing in knowledge of God, 11fortified, in accordance with his glorious strength, with al power always to persevere and endure, 12giving thanks with joy to the Father who has made you able to share the lot of God's holy people andwith them to inherit the light. 13Because that is what he has done. It is he who has rescued us from the ruling force of darkness andtransferred us to the kingdom of the Son that he loves, 14and in him we enjoy our freedom, the forgiveness of sin. 15He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born of al creation, 16for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible,thrones, ruling forces, sovereignties, powers -- al things were created through him and for him. 17He exists before al things and in him al things hold together, 18and he is the Head of the Body, that is, the Church. He is the Beginning, the first-born from the dead,so that he should be supreme in every way; 19because God wanted al ful ness to be found in him 20and through him to reconcile al things to him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, by makingpeace through his death on the cross. 21You were once estranged and of hostile intent through your evil behaviour; 22now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body, to bring you before himself holy,faultless and irreproachable- 23as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves driftaway from the hope promised by the gospel, which you have heard, which has been preached to every creatureunder heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become the servant. 24It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships thatstill have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church, 25of which I was made a servant with the responsibility towards you that God gave to me, that ofcompleting God's message, 26the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed tohis holy people. 27It was God's purpose to reveal to them how rich is the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; it isChrist among you, your hope of glory: 28this is the Christ we are proclaiming, admonishing and instructing everyone in all wisdom, to makeeveryone perfect in Christ. 29And it is for this reason that I labour, striving with his energy which works in me mightily.
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