Colossians 1

Righteousness Through Faith in Christ

Finally, my brothers,1 krejoice in the Lord. lTo write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

Look out for mthe dogs, look out for nthe evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For owe are the circumcision, pwho worship qby the Spirit of God2 and rglory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh sthough I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: tcircumcised on the eighth day, uof the people of Israel, vof the tribe of Benjamin, ua Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, wa Pharisee; xas to zeal, ya persecutor of the church; zas to righteousness under the law,3 blameless. But awhatever gain I had, bI counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of cthe surpassing worth of dknowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I ehave suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having fa righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but gthat which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith 10 hthat I may know him and ithe power of his resurrection, and jmay share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may kattain the resurrection from the dead.

Straining Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already lobtained this or mam already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: nforgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for othe prize of the upward pcall of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are qmature think this way, and if in anything ryou think otherwise, sGod will reveal that also to you. 16 Only tlet us hold true to what we have attained.

17 Brothers, ujoin in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk vaccording to the example you have in us. 18 For wmany, of whom I have often told you and now tell you xeven with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 yTheir end is destruction, ztheir god is their belly, and athey glory in their shame, with bminds set on earthly things. 20 But cour citizenship is in heaven, and dfrom it we eawait a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform four lowly body gto be like his glorious body, hby the power that enables him even ito subject all things to himself.

Therefore, my brothers,1 whom I love and jlong for, kmy joy and lcrown, mstand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to nagree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion,2 help these women, who have labored3 side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, owhose names are in the book of life.

pRejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness4 be known to everyone. qThe Lord is at hand; rdo not be anxious about anything, sbut in everything by prayer and supplication twith thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And uthe peace of God, vwhich surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned5 and wreceived and heard and seen xin mepractice these things, and ythe God of peace will be with you.

God's Provision

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length zyou have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be acontent. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and bhunger, abundance and cneed. 13 I can do all things dthrough him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you eto share6 my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that fin the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, gno church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 hNot that I seek the gift, but I seek ithe fruit that increases to your credit.7 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, jhaving received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, ka fragrant offering, la sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God mwill supply every need of yours naccording to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To oour God and Father be pglory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. qThe brothers who are with me greet you. 22 rAll the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.

23 sThe grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Colossians Illustration

Colossians

Greeting

Paul, aan apostle of Christ Jesus bby the will of God, and Timothy cour brother,

To the dsaints and faithful brothers1 in Christ at Colossae:

eGrace to you and peace from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

fWe always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of gyour faith in Christ Jesus and of gthe love that you have for all the saints, because of hthe hope ilaid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in jthe word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed kin the whole world it is lbearing fruit and increasingas it also does among you, since the day you mheard it and understood nthe grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from oEpaphras our beloved pfellow servant.2 He is pa faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf and has made known to us your qlove in the Spirit.

And so, rfrom the day we heard, swe have not ceased to pray for you, asking that tyou may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all uspiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as vto walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, wfully pleasing to him: xbearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 ybeing strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for zall endurance and patience awith joy; 12 bgiving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in cthe inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He dhas delivered us from ethe domain of darkness and transferred us to fthe kingdom of ghis beloved Son, 14 hin whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Preeminence of Christ

15 iHe is the image of jthe invisible God, kthe firstborn of all creation. 16 For by6 him all things were created, lin heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether mthrones or ndominions or rulers or authoritiesall things were created othrough him and for him. 17 And phe is before all things, and in him all things qhold together. 18 And rhe is the head of the body, the church. He is sthe beginning, tthe firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For uin him all the vfullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and wthrough him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, xmaking peace yby the blood of his cross.

21 zAnd you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, adoing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled bin his body of flesh by his death, cin order to present you holy and blameless and dabove reproach before him, 23 eif indeed you continue in the faith, fstable and steadfast, not shifting from gthe hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed hin all creation7 under heaven, iand of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Paul's Ministry to the Church

24 Now jI rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh kI am filling up lwhat is lacking in Christ's afflictions mfor the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 nof which I became a minister according to othe stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 pthe mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 qTo them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are rthe riches of the glory of pthis mystery, which is Christ in you, sthe hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that twe may present everyone umature in Christ. 29 For this vI toil, wstruggling xwith all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

For I want you to know yhow great a wstruggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that ztheir hearts may be encouraged, being aknit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of bGod's mystery, which is Christ, cin whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order dthat no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For ethough I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your fgood order and gthe firmness of your faith in Christ.

Alive in Christ

hTherefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, irooted and jbuilt up in him and kestablished in the faith, just las you were taught, abounding min thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by nphilosophy and oempty deceit, according to phuman tradition, according to the qelemental spirits1 of the world, and not according to Christ. For rin him the whole fullness of deity dwells sbodily, 10 and tyou have been filled in him, who is uthe head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also vyou were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by wputting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 xhaving been buried with him in baptism, in which yyou were also raised with him through faith in zthe powerful working of God, zwho raised him from the dead. 13 aAnd you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God bmade alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by ccanceling dthe record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 wHe disarmed the rulers and authorities2 and eput them to open shame, by ftriumphing over them in him.3

Let No One Disqualify You

16 Therefore let no one gpass judgment on you hin questions of food and drink, or with regard to ia festival or ja new moon or a Sabbath. 17 kThese are a shadow of the things to come, but lthe substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one mdisqualify you, ninsisting on asceticism and worship of angels, ogoing on in detail about visions,4 ppuffed up without reason by qhis sensuous mind, 19 and rnot sholding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ tyou died to the uelemental spirits of the world, vwhy, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations 21 wDo not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch 22 (xreferring to things that all perish as they are used)according to yhuman precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in zpromoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are aof no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Put On the New Self

bIf then you have been raised with Christ, seek cthe things that are above, where Christ is, dseated at the right hand of God. eSet your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For fyou have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ gwho is your1 life happears, then you also will appear with him iin glory.

jPut to death therefore kwhat is earthly in you:2 lsexual immorality, impurity, mpassion, evil desire, and covetousness, nwhich is idolatry. oOn account of these the wrath of God is coming.3 pIn these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now qyou must put them all away: ranger, wrath, malice, sslander, and obscene talk from your mouth. tDo not lie to one another, seeing that uyou have put off vthe old self4 with its practices 10 and whave put on xthe new self, ywhich is being renewed in knowledge zafter the image of aits creator. 11 bHere there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,5 free; but Christ is call, and in all.

12 dPut on then, as eGod's chosen ones, holy and beloved, fcompassionate hearts, gkindness, hhumility, meekness, and patience, 13 hbearing with one another and, iif one has a complaint against another, gforgiving each other; gas the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on jlove, which kbinds everything together in lperfect harmony. 15 And let mthe peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called nin one body. And obe thankful. 16 Let pthe word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, qsinging psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, rwith thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And swhatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, tgiving thanks to God the Father through him.

Rules for Christian Households

18 uWives, submit to your husbands, as vis fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and wdo not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents xin everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey xin everything those who are your earthly masters,6 not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 yWhatever you do, work heartily, zas for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord ayou will receive the inheritance as your reward. bYou are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.