Paul's work for Christ's people
24 At this time, I am receiving trouble on your behalf, but I am still happy. Christ himself received pain on behalf of his people, the church. Now, while I live in my human body, I also have pain. 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 have pain because they are helping other Christians. Paul does not mean that we have to do anything else to save ourselves. Christ received pain on our behalf. His death saves us completely, if we believe in him. We also have pain 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.
1 I want you to know that I am doing a difficult work on your behalf. I am also working to help the people at Laodicea and other people who have never met me. 2 I want all the believers to become strong in their spirits. I want them to help each other because they love one another. Then God will bless them very much, because they understand God's secret message very well. They will be completely sure of it. And they will know Christ himself, who is God's secret. 3 Christ is the one who holds everything that makes people wise. He helps people to know the true message that God had hidden.
4 I am telling you these things so that false teachers will not deceive you. They may teach ideas that seem good, but do not listen to them. 5 My body is not there with you, but I think about you a lot. I hear that you are living and working well together. I also hear that you continue to trust Christ strongly. That makes me very happy.