Author: Ron Graham
¶“1From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and from Timothy our brother, 2To the holy people at Colossae. You are our faithful brethren in Christ. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” (Colossians 1:1-2).
¶“3We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ as we pray for you. We've kept on praying for you ever 4since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all God’s holy people. 5The hope being kept for you in heaven also makes us thankful. This is the same hope you heard about before, when the word of truth, the gospel, 6came to you. That same gospel came to all the world. It yields fruit in the world. Likewise, it has yielded fruit among you since you heard and knew the grace of God in that truth” (Colossians 1:3-6).
¶“7You also learned that truth from Epaphras. What a dear fellow servant he is —a faithful minister of Christ to serve you. 8He is the one who told us all about your love in the Spirit” (Colossians 1:7-8).
¶“9And so, from the day we heard [his news about you] we have not given up praying for you. We ask [God] that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10Then you can walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. You can be fully pleasing to him. You can bear fruit in every good work. You can grow in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10).
¶“11So you will be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might. This will enable you to endure patiently with joy. 12You can then thank the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the the holy ones in light” (Colossians 1:9-11).
¶“ 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. 14His Son has redeemed us and in him our sins are forgiven” (Colossians 1:13-14).
¶“15He is the exact image of the unseen God. He is the firstborn [from the dead] of all creation. 16All things were created by him, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. 17And he is before all things and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).
¶“18And he is the head of the body of his called out people. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he should have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. 20He reconciles to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven. He makes peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:18-20).
¶“21You were once, in your evil thoughts and deeds, strangers and hostile [to God]. Yet now Christ has reconciled you [to God]. He did this by the death of his fleshly body. So he can present you [to God] holy and faultless. You are above reproach in God’s presence 22—so long as you continue grounded and firm in your faith, unmoved from the hope of the gospel that you heard. [This was the gospel] preached to all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, came into that service” (Colossians 1:21-23).
¶“24[That service causes me] sufferings, but I rejoice in them for your sake. In my fleshly body I am filling up what is lacking in [my share of] Christ’s afflictions. I do this for the sake of his [spiritual] body —his called out people. 25I became a servant of this body in line with the stewardship from God that was given to me for your benefit. [The goal of my service is] to make the word of God fully known. 26[That word] is the mystery hidden for ages and generations, but now revealed to his holy people.” (Colossians 1:24-26).
¶“27And God chose to make known to his holy people how great, even among the Gentiles, is this mystery. It's an immense treasure of glory. It is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28So we proclaim him, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom. Our goal is to present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil, struggling with all Christ’s energy that powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:27-29).