The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ©2001 Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.
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11Paul, aan apostle of Christ Jesus bby the will of God, and Timothy cour brother,
2To the dsaints and faithful brothers1 in Christ at Colossae:
eGrace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3fWe always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
4since we heard of gyour faith in Christ Jesus and of gthe love that you have for all the saints,
5because of hthe hope ilaid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in jthe word of the truth, the gospel,
6which 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,
7just as you learned it from oEpaphras our beloved pfellow servant.2 He is pa faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf
8and has made known to us your qlove in the Spirit.
9And 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,
10so 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.
11yMay you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for zall endurance and patience awith joy,
12bgiving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in cthe inheritance of the saints in light.
13He dhas delivered us from ethe domain of darkness and transferred us to fthe kingdom of ghis beloved Son,
14hin whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Preeminence of Christ
15iHe is the image of jthe invisible God, kthe firstborn of all creation.
16For 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.
17And phe is before all things, and in him all things qhold together.
18And 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.
19For uin him all the vfullness of God was pleased to dwell,
20and wthrough him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, xmaking peace yby the blood of his cross.
21zAnd you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, adoing evil deeds,
22he has now reconciled bin his body of flesh by his death, cin order to present you holy and blameless and dabove reproach before him,
23eif 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
24Now 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,
25nof 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,
26pthe mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
27qTo 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.
28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that twe may present everyone umature in Christ.
29For this vI toil, wstruggling xwith all his energy that he powerfully works within me.