Colossians 1-4 New American Standard Bible

Salutation

1 Paul , an apostle of Jesus Christ [1] by the will of God , and Timothy [2]our brother , 2  To the [3] saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae : Grace to you and peace from God our Father .

Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

3  We give thanks to God , the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ , praying always for you, 4  since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have [4]for all the [5]saints ; 5  because of the hope laid up for you in [6]heaven , of which you previously heard in the word of truth , [7]the gospel 6  which has come to you, just as [8] in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and [9]increasing , even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and [10]understood the grace of God in truth ; 7  just as you learned it from Epaphras , our beloved fellow bond-servant , who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf , 8  and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit .

9  For this reason also , since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the [11] knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding , 10  so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord , [12] to please Him in all respects , bearing fruit in every good work and [13]increasing in the [14]knowledge of God ; 11  strengthened with all power , according to [15]His glorious might , [16]for the attaining of all steadfastness and [17]patience ; joyously

12  giving thanks to the Father , who has qualified us [18]to share in the inheritance of the [19]saints in Light . 13  [20]For He rescued us from the [21] domain of darkness , and transferred us to the kingdom of [22] His beloved Son ,

Reconciliation through Christ's Death

14  in whom we have redemption , the forgiveness of sins . 15  [23]He is the image of the invisible God , the firstborn of all creation . 16  For [24] by Him all things were created , both in the heavens and on earth , visible and invisible , whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17  He [25] is before all things , and in Him all things [26]hold together . 18  He is also head of the body , the church ; and He is the beginning , the firstborn from the dead , so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything . 19  For [27]it was the Father's good pleasure for all the [28]fullness to dwell in Him, 20  and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself , having made peace through the blood of His cross ; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in [29]heaven .

Paul's Ministry to the Church

21  And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind , engaged in evil deeds , 22  yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death , in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach - 23  if indeed you continue in [30]the faith firmly established and steadfast , and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard , which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven , and of which I, Paul , [31]was made a [32] minister . 24  Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake , and in my flesh I [33]do my share on behalf of His body , which is the church , in filling up what is lacking [34]in Christ's afflictions . 25  Of this church I [35]was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit , so that I might [36]fully carry out the preaching of the word of God , 26  that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations , but has now been manifested to His [37]saints , 27  to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles , which is Christ in you, the hope of glory . 28  We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man [38]with all wisdom , so that we may present every man [39] complete in Christ . 29  For this purpose also I labor , striving according to His [40]power , which [41]mightily works within me.

2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea , and for all those who have not personally seen my face , 2  that their hearts may be encouraged , having been knit together in love , and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding , resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery , that is, Christ Himself, 3  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge .

4  I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument . 5  For even though I am absent in body , nevertheless I am with you in spirit , rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ . 6  Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord , so walk in Him, 7  having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith , just as you were instructed , and overflowing with gratitude .

Dead but Risen with Christ

8  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception , according to the tradition of men , according to the elementary principles of the world , rather than e according to Christ . 9  For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form , 10  and in Him you have been made complete , and He is the head over all rule and authority ; 11  and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands , in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ ; 12  having been buried with Him in baptism , in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God , who raised Him from the dead .

13  When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh , He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions , 14  having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way , having nailed it to the cross . 15  When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities , He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

16  Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day- 17  things which are a mere shadow of what is to come ; but the substance belongs to Christ . 18  Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels , taking his stand on visions he has seen , inflated without cause by his fleshly mind , 19  and not holding fast to the head , from whom the entire body , being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments , grows with a growth which is from God . 20  If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world , why , as if you were living in the world , do you submit yourself to decrees , such as, 21  "Do not handle , do not taste , do not touch !" 22  (which all refer to things destined to perish with use )-in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men ? 23  These are matters which have , to be sure , the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body , but are of no e value against fleshly indulgence .

3 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ , keep seeking the things above , where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God . 2  Set your mind on the things above , not on the things that are on earth . 3  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God . 4  When Christ , who is our life , is revealed , then you also will be revealed with Him in glory .

The Old Life and the New

5  Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality , impurity , passion , evil desire , and greed , which amounts to idolatry . 6  For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience , 7  and in them you also once walked , when you were living in them.

8  But now you also , put them all aside : anger , wrath , malice , slander , and abusive speech from your mouth . 9  Do not lie to one another , since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices , 10  and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him- 11  a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew , circumcised and uncircumcised , barbarian , Scythian , slave and freeman , but Christ is all , and in all .

12  So , as those who have been chosen of God , holy and beloved , put on a heart of compassion , kindness , humility , gentleness and patience ; 13  bearing with one another , and forgiving each other , whoever e has a complaint against anyone ; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14  Beyond all these things put on love , which is the perfect bond of unity . 15  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts , to which indeed you were called in one body ; and be thankful . 16  Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs , singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God . 17  Whatever you do in word or deed , do all in the name of the Lord Jesus , giving thanks through Him to God the Father .

Social Duties of the New Life

18  Wives , be subject to your husbands , as is fitting in the Lord . 19  Husbands , love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20  Children , be obedient to your parents in all things , for this is well-pleasing to the Lord . 21  Fathers , do not exasperate your children , so that they will not lose heart . 22  Slaves , in all things obey those who are your masters on earth , not with external service , as those who merely please men , but with sincerity of heart , fearing the Lord . 23  Whatever e you do , do your work heartily , as for the Lord rather than e for men , 24  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance . It is the Lord Christ whom you serve . 25  For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done , and that without partiality .

4 Masters , grant to your slaves justice and fairness , knowing that you too have a Master in heaven .

2  Devote yourselves to prayer , keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving ; 3  praying at the same time for us as well , that God will open up to us a door for the word , so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ , for which I have also been imprisoned ; 4  that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak .

5  Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders e , making the most of the opportunity . 6  Let your speech always be with grace , as though seasoned with salt , so that you will know how you should respond to each person .

Final Greetings

7  As to all my affairs, Tychicus , our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord , will bring you information . 8  For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances e and that he may encourage your hearts ; 9  and with him Onesimus , our faithful and beloved brother , who is one of your number. They will inform you about the whole situation here . 10  Aristarchus , my fellow prisoner , sends you his greetings ; and also Barnabas's cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions ; if he comes to you, welcome him); 11  and also Jesus who is called Justus ; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision , and they have proved to be an encouragement to me. 12  Epaphras , who is one of your number , a bondslave of Jesus Christ , sends you his greetings , always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers , that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God . 13  For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis . 14  Luke , the beloved physician , sends you his greetings , and also Demas . 15  Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house . 16  When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans ; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea . 17  Say to Archippus , "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord , that you may fulfill it." 18  I, Paul , write this greeting with my own hand . Remember my imprisonment . Grace be with you.

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 Lit "through"

[2] 1:1 Lit "the"

[3] 1:2 Or "holy ones"

[4] 1:4 Or "toward"

[5] 1:4 Or "holy ones"

[6] 1:5 Lit "the heavens"

[7] 1:5 Or "of the gospel"

[8] 1:6 Or "it is in the world"

[9] 1:6 Or "spreading abroad"

[10] 1:6 Or "came really to know"

[11] 1:9 Or "real knowledge"

[12] 1:10 Lit "unto all pleasing"

[13] 1:10 Or "growing by the knowledge"

[14] 1:10 Or "real knowledge"

[15] 1:11 Lit "the might of His glory"

[16] 1:11 Lit "unto all"

[17] 1:11 Or "patience with joy"

[18] 1:12 Lit "unto the portion of"

[19] 1:12 Or "holy ones"

[20] 1:13 Lit "Who rescued"

[21] 1:13 Lit "authority"

[22] 1:13 Lit "the Son of His love"

[23] 1:15 Lit "Who is"

[24] 1:16 Or "in"

[25] 1:17 Or "has existed prior to"

[26] 1:17 Or "endure"

[27] 1:19 Or "all the fullness was pleased to dwell"

[28] 1:19 I.e. fullness of deity

[29] 1:20 Lit "the heavens"

[30] 1:23 Or "in faith"

[31] 1:23 Lit "became"

[32] 1:23 Or "servant"

[33] 1:24 Or "representatively...fill up"

[34] 1:24 Lit "of"

[35] 1:25 Lit "became"

[36] 1:25 Lit "make full the word of God"

[37] 1:26 Or "holy ones"

[38] 1:28 Lit "in"

[39] 1:28 Or "perfect"

[40] 1:29 Lit "working"

[41] 1:29 Lit "in power"

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