Colossians , CHAPTER 1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
to the holy ones and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae grace to you and peace from God our Father.
We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the holy ones
because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. Of this you have already heard through the word of truth, the gospel,
that has come to you. Just as in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing, so also among you, from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth,
as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow slave, who is a trustworthy minister of Christ on your behalf
and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Therefore, from the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding
to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God,
strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy
giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven.
And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds
he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him,
provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church,
of which I am a minister in accordance with God's stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God,
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.