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

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 continue to trust Christ Jesus. You also love all God's people. 5 You live like that because you hope to receive good things from God. You know that God has prepared those good things for you. He is keeping them safe in heaven. You learned that when people first told you God's true message, his good news.

1:5In the Bible, to ‘hope’ means to trust God for what will happen. We wait to receive the good things that he has promised to give us. We know that we will live with Christ for ever. As believers we can be completely sure that these things will happen to us.

6 You have heard this good news, like people all over the world have heard it. It has caused good results among you since the time when you heard it first. At that time, you understood the true message about how kind God really is. As a result, God is blessing you more and more, like he blesses his people everywhere. 7 It was our good friend Epaphras who first told you this good news. Like us, he is Christ's servant. He serves Christ on our behalf. 8 He has told us about the love that God's Spirit has given to you.

Paul prays that they will know God more and more

9 Because of all that, we have not stopped praying for you, ever since the day that we heard about you. We ask God that his Spirit will make you truly wise. He will help you to know clearly what he wants you to do. You will understand his true message. 10 Then you will be able to live in a way that the Lord wants you to live. Everything that you do will please him. We pray that all these good things will have good results. We pray that you will know God better and better. 11 God rules from heaven with great power. We pray that he will make you strong with every kind of strength. Then, when troubles come, you can still be patient and strong. 12 You will be able to thank God, our Father, and be happy. God has prepared good things for his people to receive in heaven. Because God has included you among his people, you will also share those good things in the kingdom of light. 13 God has saved us from the dark kingdom where Satan rules. He has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. 14 God's Son, Jesus, paid the price for our sins and made us free. Yes, God has forgiven us.

1:13A place of light is a place where God rules. If we belong to God's kingdom, we live ‘in the light’. Any place where Satan rules is a dark place. Bad things happen in places like that.
1:14Jesus made believers free from their sins when he died on the cross. God has forgiven us because Jesus died as a sacrifice on our behalf.

Who God's Son, Jesus Christ, is

15 We cannot see God. But Jesus Christ shows us completely who God is. Even before God made anything, Jesus was already there as God's Son who rules everything. 16 When God created everything, it was his Son who did it. His Son made everything that is on earth and in heaven. He created everything that we can see, as well as the things that we cannot see. He made rulers and leaders. He made everything that has power and authority. God gave his Son the authority to create everything, so that his Son would receive praise. 17 God's Son was there before anything else was there. And now he causes everything to continue in its proper place. 18 The church is like Christ's body and he is its head. He is where it all begins. As God's special Son, he was the first person who became alive again after death. As a result, Christ is first and most important in all things.

1:18Christ gives his Spirit to those people who belong to him. He lives in his people because his Spirit is in them. They are united to him. They are like his body on earth.
1:18Other people had become alive again after they died, but Jesus never died again. He became alive again to show us that we also will become alive again after death, if we believe in him. So he was the first and believers will follow him.

19 God chose to put his nature in Christ completely. 20 He decided that Christ would die on the cross as a sacrifice. In that way, God would bring all things back to himself. Then everything could live in peace with God. That includes everything on the earth and everything in heaven.

21 As for you, you were far away from God at one time. You thought bad things and you did bad things. As a result, you were God's enemies. 22 But now you have become God's friends. This happened because Christ's human body died on the cross. As a result, God has brought you to himself. As you stand in front of him, you are completely good and clean inside. He sees nothing in you that is bad.

23 But you must continue to believe God's true message. Do not turn away from it. Continue to trust God, as you did when you first heard the good news. People have told this good news to everyone all over the world. And God has chosen me, Paul, as his servant to tell this good news.

Paul's work for Christ's people

24 At this time, I am suffering on your behalf, but I am still happy. Christ himself suffered on behalf of his people, the church. Now, while I live in my human body, I also suffer. I continue to receive the pain that Christ received, so that it may be complete. In that way, I help the church, which is like Christ's own body.

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

25 I have become God's servant, so that I can help the church. God chose me to do that. He chose me to explain his message to you completely. 26 That message is a secret that God hid from everyone before now. He hid it from all the people who lived in past times. But now he has shown this secret to his people. 27 God wanted them to understand how great this secret is. It shows that God will bless people who live in all countries of the world. This secret message is that Christ lives in you. And because of that, you know that you will live with God in heaven one day.

28 That is why we tell everyone the message about Christ. God helps us to be very wise as we warn people and we teach them. We want every person who belongs to Christ to become complete, as God sees them. 29 That is why I work very hard. Christ works powerfully in me to make me strong for this difficult work.