The old life and the new life
1 God has raised you with Christ to a new life. So you should want more and more the things that belong to heaven. That is where Christ is now. He sits there at God's right side. 2 So think about the good things that are there in heaven above. Do not think only about things that are on the earth. 3 Remember that your old nature has died. God is keeping your new life safe with Christ. 4 You have that new life because you belong to Christ. One day, Christ will show himself clearly to everyone. Then everyone will see that you are with him. They will see that you also are great, like he is.
5 Your old nature likes to do bad things that belong to this earth. But your old nature is dead, so do not do these bad things any more. Do not have sex with someone that you are not married to. Do not think bad, disgusting thoughts. Do not want to have sex in a wrong way. Do not want to do any kinds of bad things. Do not want to have many things for yourselves. That shows that you worship those things as your idol. 6 God will certainly punish people who do those kinds of bad things.
7 At one time, you lived like that. You did those kinds of bad things. 8 But now you must refuse to do all kinds of things like that. Do not become angry with people or shout at them. Do not do anything or say anything that will hurt other people. Do not speak any bad or disgusting words. 9 Do not deceive each other with lies. Remember that you have taken off your old nature, like an old coat. As a result, you can stop doing all the bad things that you liked to do before.
10 Now you have received a new nature. It is God who made it for you so that you can become more and more like him. You will learn to know him better and better. 11 People have this new nature only because they belong to Christ. That is the important thing. Jews are not different from Gentiles. It does not matter whether someone has circumcised you or not. It does not matter which country you come from or how clever you are. It does not matter whether you are a slave or a free person. Christ is all that matters. He lives in every believer.
12 God has chosen you to be his own special people. You belong to him and he loves you very much. So this is how you should live: Be kind to other people and help them. Do not think that you are better than other people. Instead, respect them and be patient with them. 13 Do not become angry with each other. If you think that someone has done something wrong against you, forgive them. Remember that the Lord has forgiven you. So you should also forgive other people. 14 And you must also love each other. That is the most important thing that you should do. Love holds all these good things completely together.
15 Christ has given you peace in your minds. So let that peace rule your thoughts. God has chosen you to be like one body, as his people. So he wants you to live together in peace. Thank God for everything that he gives to you. 16 Let Christ's message always be in your thoughts, with all the good things that it brings. Use that message to teach and to warn each other. Be very wise as you do that. And also sing all kinds of spiritual songs to praise God. Sing psalms and Christian songs. As you sing, thank God from inside yourselves. 17 Show that you belong to the Lord Jesus with everything that you do and with everything that you say. Always thank God the Father in the way that you serve Jesus.
Do what is right, at home and at work
18 Wives, obey your husbands. That is the right thing to do, because you belong to the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives. Do not bring trouble to them.
20 Children, always obey your parents. That pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not cause your children to be upset. If you do, they might think that they never do anything that is good.
22 Slaves, always obey your human masters. Do not do good work only when they can see you. Some people only work to make other people like them. Instead, serve your masters well because you want to. That will show that you respect the Lord as your master. 23 Whatever things you are doing, do them well. Remember that you are serving the Lord. You are not only serving people. 24 You know that you will receive the good things that the Lord has promised to his people. He will give you what is right for you. The Lord Jesus Christ is the master that you serve. 25 Remember that God will punish anyone who does wrong things. He always judges people correctly, whoever they are.