1 Paul, by God's will an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Timothy,
2 to the devoted and steadfast Christian brothers in Colossae; God our Father bless you and give you peace.
3 We never pray for you without thanking God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 for what we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love you have for all God's people, 5 and for the hope of what is stored up for you in heaven. You first heard of it long ago when the true message of the gospel 6 came among you, to thrive and bear its fruit among you, as it does all over the world, from the time when you first heard about the mercy of God, 7 and really came to know it, in the form in which Epaphras, my dear fellow-slave, taught it to you. He is my faithful representative as a servant of Christ, 8 and it is he who has told me of the love the Spirit has awakened in you.
9 That is why, from the day I first heard of it, I have never given up praying for you and asking God to fill you, through full spiritual wisdom and insight, with a clear knowledge of what his will is, 10 so that the lives you live may be worthy of your Master and wholly pleasing to him, and you may be fruitful in all kinds of good deeds, and may grow into fuller knowledge of God. 11 Then, so mighty is his majesty, he will nerve you perfectly with strength for the cheerful exercise of endurance and forbearance in every situation, 12 and you will thank the Father who has entitled you to share the lot of God's people in the realm of light. 13 He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the realm of his dear Son, 14 by whom we have been ransomed from captivity through having our sins forgiven.
15 He is a likeness of the unseen God, born before any creature, 16 for it was through him that everything was created in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen, angelic thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities??ll things were created through him and for him. 17 He existed before all things and he sustains and embraces them all. 18 He is the head of the church, it is his body; for he is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead??hat he might come to stand first in everything. 19 For all the divine fulness chose to dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to God all things on earth or in heaven, making this peace through his blood shed on the cross.
21 And it has brought you, who were once estranged from him, hostile in attitude and engaged in doing wrong (though now he has reconciled you 22 through dying in his human body) in holiness, and free from reproach or blame, into God's presence??23 if at least you continue firm and steadfast in the exercise of faith, and never shift from the hope held out in the good news to which you listened, which has been preached all over the world, and for which I, Paul, became a worker.
24 At present I am glad to be suffering in your interest, and I am making up in my own person what is lacking in Christ's sufferings for the church, which is his body. 25 In it, by divine appointment, I became a worker, that I might preach among you the message of God in its fulness??26 that secret, hidden from the ages and generations, but now disclosed to those who are consecrated to him, 27 to whom God has chosen to make known among the heathen how glorious this mystery of Christ in you, the promise of glorification, really is. 28 And in spreading the news of him, we warn everyone and teach everyone all our wisdom, in order to bring everyone to Christian perfection. 29 That is what I am working for, fighting with all the energy with which he so mightily endows me.