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Colossians 1

Paul and Timothy say ‘Hello’

1 This letter is from me, Paul. God chose me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. Our friend Timothy is here with me while I write.

2 We are writing to you, God's own people who live in Colossae. You are like brothers and sisters to us because you continue to believe in Christ.

I pray that God, our Father, will continue to help you. I pray that he will give you peace in your minds.

Paul thanks God for the believers at Colossae

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. 4 We thank God because people have told us good things about you. You are continuing to believe Christ Jesus and you are loving all God's people. 5 You are doing these things because you are hoping certainly for good things from God. God is keeping safe the things that you are hoping for. He is storing them in heaven for you. You learned about those things before, when people first told you the true message, the good news.

1:5In the Bible, to ‘hope’ means to wait for the good things that God has promised us. We will live with Christ always. We will be like him and we will be happy. We can be completely sure that these things will happen to us. They will happen if we continue to believe Christ and to obey him.

6 This good news has caused good results among you since the time when you heard it first. At that time, you understood clearly how very kind and good God really is. Also, people all over the world are hearing this good news. And it is causing more and more good results among them too. 7 You heard about this good news from Epaphras. Like us, he is Christ's servant. And we love Epaphras very much. He continues to work well for Christ on our behalf. 8 Epaphras has told us how God's Spirit has caused you to love other people.

Paul prays that they will know God more and more

9 It is because of these things that we have not stopped praying for you. We have prayed ever since the day that Epaphras told us news about you. We ask God that his Spirit will cause you to understand things properly. So you will know completely and clearly what God wants you to do. 10 So then you will be able to do those things that the Lord's people should do. And you will always do the things that make the Lord happy. As a result, you will do many kinds of good things during your lives. And you will know God more and more. 11 God will make you strong inside yourselves because he is so very great and powerful. So, whatever things may happen, you can be patient, brave and happy. 12 And you can thank the Father, who has made it possible for you to join his people. With them, you will receive what he has prepared for his people in the light. 13 God, our Father, has saved us from the dark power of Satan and his servants. They do not rule over us any more. Instead, God has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. So now, his Son rules over us. 14 Because of what God's Son has done, we are now free. God will not punish us. Yes, God has forgiven us for the wrong things that we have done.

1:14Jesus made believers free when he died on the cross. God has forgiven them because Jesus died.

Who Christ is and what he has done for us

15 We cannot see God. But Jesus Christ is completely what God is. Even before God made anything, Jesus was already the Son of the Father. 16 God made everything that is on earth and in heaven by his Son. He made all the things that we can see. And he made those things that we cannot see. He made rulers; and he made leaders. He made them powerful; and he gave authority to them. God made them all by his Son. God made everything by his Son and for his Son. 17 Christ was there before anything else, and he holds all things together. 18 Think about Christ's people as his body. Christ is the head of that body. It is called the church. He is the beginning. And he is the Son of the Father. So he is the leader of everyone who will win the fight against death. As a result, Christ is first and most important in all things.

1:18Christ gives his Spirit to those who are his people. He lives in his people because his Spirit is in them. They are united to him. They are like his body on earth.

19 It really gave God pleasure that all of himself is in Christ. His whole nature is in Christ. 20 Also, it really gave God pleasure to bring all things back to himself. He did that by the cross. There Christ bled and died. His death brought God and all things together, whether things on earth or things in heaven. They are not still enemies.

21 At one time, you were far away from God. You were his enemies because you thought bad things. You were his enemies because you did bad things. 22 But now everything has changed. This happened because Christ died a human death. So God has decided to bring you back to himself. He has decided to make you completely good and clean inside. And nobody will ever be able to say that you have done anything wrong. 23 But you must continue to believe Christ strongly. You must not let anything cause you to stop. You must continue to hope strongly for everything that you have learned from the good news. People have told this good news to everyone in the world. And God has made me, Paul, a servant who tells people this good news.

Paul's work for Christ's people

24 At this time, I am having trouble and pain on your behalf, but I am happy. Christ had pain on behalf of his own people. While I live in my body, I also have pain. In this way, Christ continues to have pain. This is necessary in order to help his people, the church, which is like his body.

1:24The Bible says that Christians must have troubles and pain. See Acts 14:22 and 1 Thessalonians 3:3-4. When his people have pain, Christ continues to have pain too. Christians, like Paul, sometimes have pain because they are helping other Christians. Paul does not mean that we have to do anything else to save ourselves. Christ had pain on our behalf. His death saves us completely, if we believe in him. We have pain because we are his people.

25 God has made me a servant, who helps his people. He has chosen me to tell you his whole message. 26 This message is the secret that God hid from everyone before. He hid it from all the people who lived in past times. But now he is showing this secret to his people. 27 God wanted his people to know how very great this secret is. It is very, very good and it will help people from all countries very, very much. This secret is Christ in you. And because he is in you, you hope certainly for good things. You are sure that you will live with God always. You will be with him in the beautiful place where he lives.

28 That is why we tell everyone about Christ. We teach them everything that we know. We tell them what God wants them to do. We tell them what he does not want. Our purpose, for every person who is united to Christ, is this. We want every person to become completely what he or she should be. We want to bring each person to God like that. 29 That is why I work so very much. Christ makes me very strong for this difficult work. He works powerfully in me to make me strong.