December 13

Colossians 1:1 — 4:18


1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through God’s will, and Timothy [our] brother 2 to the holy ones and faithful brothers in union with Christ at Colossae:
      May YOU have undeserved kindness and peace from God our Father.

3 We thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ always when we pray for YOU, 4 since we heard of YOUR faith in connection with Christ Jesus and the love YOU have for all the holy ones 5 because of the hope that is being reserved for YOU in the heavens. This [hope] YOU heard of before by the telling of the truth of that good news 6 which has presented itself to YOU, even as it is bearing fruit and increasing in all the world just as [it is doing] also among YOU, from the day YOU heard and accurately knew the undeserved kindness of God in truth. 7 That is what YOU have learned from Epaphras our beloved fellow slave, who is a faithful minister of the Christ on our behalf, 8 who also disclosed to us YOUR love in a spiritual way.

9 That is also why we, from the day we heard [of it], have not ceased praying for YOU and asking that YOU may be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension, 10 in order to walk worthily of Jehovah to the end of fully pleasing [him] as YOU go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God, 11 being made powerful with all power to the extent of his glorious might so as to endure fully and be long-suffering with joy, 12 thanking the Father who rendered YOU suitable for YOUR participation in the inheritance of the holy ones in the light.

13 He delivered us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, 14 by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, 18 and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things; 19 because [God] saw good for all fullness to dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile again to himself all [other] things by making peace through the blood [he shed] on the torture stake, no matter whether they are the things upon the earth or the things in the heavens.

21 Indeed, YOU who were once alienated and enemies because YOUR minds were on the works that were wicked, 22 he now has again reconciled by means of that one’s fleshly body through [his] death, in order to present YOU holy and unblemished and open to no accusation before him, 23 provided, of course, that YOU continue in the faith, established on the foundation and steadfast and not being shifted away from the hope of that good news which YOU heard, and which was preached in all creation that is under heaven. Of this [good news] I Paul became a minister.

24 I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for YOU, and I, in my turn, am filling up what is lacking of the tribulations of the Christ in my flesh on behalf of his body, which is the congregation. 25 I became a minister of this [congregation] in accordance with the stewardship from God which was given me in YOUR interest to preach the word of God fully, 26 the sacred secret that was hidden from the past systems of things and from the past generations. But now it has been made manifest to his holy ones, 27 to whom God has been pleased to make known what are the glorious riches of this sacred secret among the nations. It is Christ in union with YOU, the hope of [his] glory. 28 He is the one we are publicizing, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in union with Christ. 29 To this end I am indeed working hard, exerting myself in accordance with the operation of him and which is at work in me with power.

For I want YOU to realize how great a struggle I am having in behalf of YOU and of those at Laodicea and of all those who have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be comforted, that they may be harmoniously joined together in love and with a view to all the riches of the full assurance of [their] understanding, with a view to an accurate knowledge of the sacred secret of God, namely, Christ. 3 Carefully concealed in him are all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge. 4 This I am saying that no man may delude YOU with persuasive arguments. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, all the same I am with YOU in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding YOUR good order and the firmness of YOUR faith toward Christ.

6 Therefore, as YOU have accepted Christ Jesus the Lord, go on walking in union with him, 7 rooted and being built up in him and being stabilized in the faith, just as YOU were taught, overflowing with [faith] in thanksgiving.

8 Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry YOU off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; 9 because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily. 10 And so YOU are possessed of a fullness by means of him, who is the head of all government and authority. 11 By relationship with him YOU were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands by the stripping off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision that belongs to the Christ, 12 for YOU were buried with him in [his] baptism, and by relationship with him YOU were also raised up together through [YOUR] faith in the operation of God, who raised him up from the dead.

13 Furthermore, though YOU were dead in YOUR trespasses and in the uncircumcised state of YOUR flesh, [God] made YOU alive together with him. He kindly forgave us all our trespasses 14 and blotted out the handwritten document against us, which consisted of decrees and which was in opposition to us; and He has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the torture stake. 15 Stripping the governments and the authorities bare, he exhibited them in open public as conquered, leading them in a triumphal procession by means of it.

16 Therefore let no man judge YOU in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath; 17 for those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ. 18 Let no man deprive YOU of the prize who takes delight in a [mock] humility and a form of worship of the angels, “taking his stand on” the things he has seen, puffed up without proper cause by his fleshly frame of mind, 19 whereas he is not holding fast to the head, to the one from whom all the body, being supplied and harmoniously joined together by means of its joints and ligaments, goes on growing with the growth that God gives.

20 If YOU died together with Christ toward the elementary things of the world, why do YOU, as if living in the world, further subject yourselves to the decrees: 21 “Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch,” 22 respecting things that are all destined to destruction by being used up, in accordance with the commands and teachings of men? 23 Those very things are, indeed, possessed of an appearance of wisdom in a self-imposed form of worship and [mock] humility, a severe treatment of the body; but they are of no value in combating the satisfying of the flesh.

If, however, YOU were raised up with the Christ, go on seeking the things above, where the Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Keep YOUR minds fixed on the things above, not on the things upon the earth. 3 For YOU died, and YOUR life has been hidden with the Christ in union with God. 4 When the Christ, our life, is made manifest, then YOU also will be made manifest with him in glory.

5 Deaden, therefore, YOUR body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of those things the wrath of God is coming. 7 In those very things YOU, too, once walked when YOU used to live in them. 8 But now really put them all away from YOU, wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of YOUR mouth. 9 Do not be lying to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, 10 and clothe yourselves with the new [personality], which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ is all things and in all.

12 Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, mildness, and long-suffering. 13 Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Even as Jehovah freely forgave YOU, so do YOU also. 14 But, besides all these things, [clothe yourselves with] love, for it is a perfect bond of union.

15 Also, let the peace of the Christ control in YOUR hearts, for YOU were, in fact, called to it in one body. And show yourselves thankful. 16 Let the word of the Christ reside in YOU richly in all wisdom. Keep on teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, praises to God, spiritual songs with graciousness, singing in YOUR hearts to Jehovah. 17 And whatever it is that YOU do in word or in work, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, thanking God the Father through him.

18 YOU wives, be in subjection to [your] husbands, as it is becoming in [the] Lord. 19 YOU husbands, keep on loving [your] wives and do not be bitterly angry with them. 20 YOU children, be obedient to [your] parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing in [the] Lord. 21 YOU fathers, do not be exasperating your children, so that they do not become downhearted. 22 YOU slaves, be obedient in everything to those who are [your] masters in a fleshly sense, not with acts of eye-service, as men pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, with fear of Jehovah. 23 Whatever YOU are doing, work at it whole-souled as to Jehovah, and not to men, 24 for YOU know that it is from Jehovah YOU will receive the due reward of the inheritance. SLAVE for the Master, Christ. 25 Certainly the one that is doing wrong will receive back what he wrongly did, and there is no partiality.

YOU masters, keep dealing out what is righteous and what is fair to [your] slaves, knowing that YOU also have a Master in heaven.
 Be persevering in prayer, remaining awake in it with thanksgiving, 3 at the same time praying also for us, that God may open a door of utterance to us, to speak the sacred secret about the Christ, for which, in fact, I am in prison bonds; 4 so that I shall make it manifest as I ought to speak.
 Go on walking in wisdom toward those on the outside, buying out the opportune time for yourselves. 6 Let YOUR utterance be always with graciousness, seasoned with salt, so as to know how YOU ought to give an answer to each one.
 All my affairs Tychicus, [my] beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow slave in [the] Lord, will make known to YOU. 8 For the very purpose of YOUR knowing the things having to do with us and that he may comfort YOUR hearts, I am sending him to YOU 9 along with Onesimus, my faithful and beloved brother, who is from among YOU. All the things here they will make known to YOU.

10 Aristarchus my fellow captive sends YOU his greetings, and so does Mark the cousin of Barnabas, (concerning whom YOU received commands to welcome him if ever he comes to YOU,) 11 and Jesus who is called Justus, these being of those circumcised. Only these are my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and these very ones have become a strengthening aid to me. 12 Epaphras, who is from among YOU, a slave of Christ Jesus, sends YOU his greetings, always exerting himself in YOUR behalf in [his] prayers, that YOU may finally stand complete and with firm conviction in all the will of God. 13 I indeed bear him witness that he puts himself to great effort in behalf of YOU and of those at Laodicea and of those at Hierapolis.

14 Luke the beloved physician sends YOU his greetings, and so does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea and to Nympha and to the congregation at her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among YOU, arrange that it also be read in the congregation of the Laodiceans and that YOU also read the one from Laodicea. 17 Also, tell Archippus: “Keep watching the ministry which you accepted in [the] Lord, that you fulfill it.”
 [Here is] my greeting, Paul’s, in my own hand. Continue bearing my [prison] bonds in mind. The undeserved kindness be with YOU.