1 Paul, 1an apostle of Christ Jesus 2by the will of God, and Timothy 3our brother,
2 To the 4saints and faithful brothersa in Christ at Colossae: 5Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3 6We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
4 since we heard of 7your faith in Christ Jesus and of 8the love that you have for all the saints,
5 because of 9the hope 10laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in 11the word of the truth, the gospel,
6 which has come to you, as indeed 12in the whole world it is 13bearing fruit and growing--as it also does among you, since the day you 14heard it and understood 15the grace of God in truth,
7 just as you learned it from 16Epaphras our beloved 17fellow servant.b He is 18a faithful minister of Christ on yourc behalf
8 and has made known to us your 19love in the Spirit.
9 And so, 20from the day we heard, 21we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that 22you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all 23spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10 so as 24to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, 25fully pleasing to him, 26bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
11 27May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for 28all endurance and patience 29with joy,
12 30giving thanksd to the Father, who has qualified youe to share in 31the inheritance of the saints in light.
13 He 32has delivered us from 33the domain of darkness and transferred us to 34the kingdom of 35his beloved Son,
14 36in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Preeminence of Christ

15 37He is the image of 38the invisible God, 39the firstborn of all creation.
16 For byf him all things were created, 40in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether 41thrones or 42dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created 43through him and for him.
17 And 44he is before all things, and in him all things 45hold together.
18 And 46he is the head of the body, the church. He is 47the beginning, 48the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
19 For 49in him all the 50fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
20 and 51through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, 52making peace 53by the blood of his cross.
21 54And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, 55doing evil deeds,
22 he has now reconciled 56in his body of flesh by his death, 57in order to present you holy and blameless and 58above reproach before him,
23 59if indeed you continue in the faith, 60stable and steadfast, not shifting from 61the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed 62in all creationg under heaven, 63and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Paul's Ministry to the Church

24 Now 64I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh 65I am filling up 66what is lacking in Christ's afflictions 67for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
25 68of which I became a minister according to 69the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,
26 70the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.
27 71To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are 72the riches of the glory of 73this mystery, which is Christ in you, 74the hope of glory.
28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that 75we may present everyone 76mature in Christ.
29 For this 77I toil, 78struggling 79with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.