Colossians 1:1-14, 3:1-17
1 I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. Our brother Timothy joins me in writing.
2 We are sending this letter to you, our brothers and sisters in Colosse. You belong to Christ. You are holy and faithful.
May God our Father give you grace and peace.
Paul Prays and Gives Thanks
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. 4 We thank him because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus. We have also heard that you love all of God’s people.
5 Your faith and love are based on the hope you have. What you hope for is stored up for you in heaven. You have already heard about it. You were told about it when the message of truth was given to you. I’m talking about the good news 6 that has come to you.
All over the world the good news is bearing fruit and growing. It has been doing that among you since the day you heard it. That is when you understood God’s grace in all its truth.
7 You learned the good news from Epaphras. He is dear to us. He serves Christ together with us. He faithfully works for Christ and for us among you. 8 He also told us about your love that comes from the Holy Spirit.
9 That’s why we have not stopped praying for you. We have been praying for you since the day we heard about you. We have been asking God to fill you with the knowledge of what he wants. We pray that he will give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.
10 We pray that you will lead a life that is worthy of the Lord. We pray that you will please him in every way. So we want you to bear fruit in every good thing you do. We want you to grow to know God better. 11 We want you to be very strong, in keeping with his glorious power. We want you to be patient. Never give up. Be joyful 12 as you give thanks to the Father.
He has made you fit to share with all his people. You will all receive a share in the kingdom of light.
13 He has saved us from the kingdom of darkness. He has brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. 14 Because of what the Son has done, we have been set free. Because of him, all of our sins have been forgiven.
Rules for Holy Living
3 You have been raised up with Christ. So think about things that are in heaven. That is where Christ is. He is sitting at God’s right hand. 2 Think about things that are in heaven. Don’t think about things that are on earth.
3 You died. Now your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 Christ is your life. When he appears again, you also will appear with him in heaven’s glory.
5 So put to death anything that belongs to your earthly nature. Get rid of your sexual sins and unclean acts. Don’t let your feelings get out of control. Remove from your life all evil longings. Stop always wanting more and more. You might as well be worshiping statues of gods. 6 God’s anger is going to come because of those things. 7 That’s the way you lived at one time in your life.
8 But now here are the kinds of things you must get rid of. You must put away anger, rage, hate and lies. Let no dirty words come out of your mouths. 9 Don’t lie to each other.
You have gotten rid of your old way of life and its habits. 10 You have started living a new life. It is being made new so that what you know has the Creator’s likeness.
11 Here there is no Greek or Jew. There is no difference between those who are circumcised and those who are not. There is no rude outsider, or even a Scythian. There is no slave or free person. But Christ is everything. And he is in everything.
12 You are God’s chosen people. You are holy and dearly loved. So put on tender mercy and kindness as if they were your clothes. Don’t be proud. Be gentle and patient. 13 Put up with each other. Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.
14 And over all of those good things put on love. Love holds them all together perfectly as if they were one.
15 Let the peace that Christ gives rule in your hearts. As parts of one body, you were appointed to live in peace. And be thankful.
16 Let Christ’s word live in you like a rich treasure. Teach and correct each other wisely. Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing with thanks in your hearts to God. 17 Do everything you say or do in the name of the Lord Jesus. Always give thanks to God the Father through Christ.