The old life and the new life
1 God has raised you from death, so that you are alive with Christ. So, you should continue to look up. You should want more and more the things that are in heaven, with Christ. Christ is sitting next to God, at his right side. 2 Continue to think about things that are above. Do not think about things that are on the earth. 3 Think like that, because you have died. And now you are alive with Christ, who is united to God. God is keeping your life safe with Christ. 4 It is Christ who causes us to be alive. And when Christ shows himself clearly to everyone, then everyone will see you also with him. You will be like him and you will shine with him.
5 So you must refuse to do bad things that belong to this earth. So then those things will stop being part of your life. You must not have sex with someone who is not your husband or your wife. You must not think bad, dirty thoughts. You must not want to have sex with other people. You must not want to do bad things. You must not want to have more and more things for yourselves. People who want things strongly like that are making those things more important than God. So they are really worshipping those things. 6 God will be very angry with people who do those bad things. And he will punish those people.
7 At one time, you were doing these kinds of bad things. These things were ruling your lives then. 8 But now you must refuse to do these kinds of things. You must not become angry easily. You must not continue to be angry with people. You must not want to do bad things to people. You must not say bad things that are not true about people. You must not speak bad and dirty words. 9 Stop saying things that are not true to each other. You should be like someone who has taken off old clothes. You have taken off the old nature. And, with that old nature, you have taken off all the bad things that you did before. That is why you should stop doing those things.
10 Instead, you have put on the new nature, which God has made. And God is continuing to make you more and more like him. So then you will know him more and more completely. 11 When people have this new nature, they are not different from each other. Jews are not different from people who are not Jews. It does not matter whether someone has circumcised you or not. It does not matter which country you come from. It does not matter whether you are a slave or a free person. But Christ is what matters. He is everything, and he is in everything.
12 God has chosen you to be his own special people. He loves you very much. So, you should choose to do good things, as God's people should do. You should be good and kind to other people. You should want to help them. You should not think that you are better or more important than other people. But you should be patient with them. 13 Do not get angry with each other, but be patient. You may not be happy about something that someone else has done. But you should forgive that person. Forgive them as the Lord forgave you. 14 And you should love each other. That is the most important thing that you should do. Love is like clothes that go over all your other clothes. Love holds everything and everybody together. Love makes everything completely as it should be.
15 Let Christ rule what you think. Let him rule what you feel. If you do that, you will have no trouble inside yourselves or with other Christians. God wants you to be united like this, because all of you belong to one body really. And always thank God for everything. 16 Let Christ's message live in you. Let it work in you. It will do many good things in you. It will help you to teach each other. It will help you to understand things correctly. God's Spirit will cause you to sing different kinds of songs to each other, while you worship God. You will sing like this to thank him for everything that he has done. 17 Everything that you do should make the Lord Jesus happy. Everything that you say should make him happy. And whatever things you do, you should thank God the Father by the Lord Jesus' name.
Do what is right, at home and at work
18 Wives, obey your husbands. That is the right thing to do, because you are the Lord's.
19 Husbands, love your wives and be kind to them.
20 Children, you must obey your parents about everything. That is how you can make the Lord happy.
21 Fathers, do not make your children angry with you. They might think that they can never do anything to make you happy with them.
22 Slaves, always obey your human masters in everything. Do not work well only when they can see you. So then they will be happy with you. Instead, always do your work well, because you really love the Lord. So you want to make him happy. 23 Whatever things you do, do them for the Lord. Do them as well as you can for him. Do not work only for people. 24 So then the Lord will give to you all the good things that he has promised you. You know that. You are the Lord Christ's servants. 25 But the Lord will punish anyone who does wrong things. That is what ought to happen to people like that. God uses the same rules to decide what should happen to each person. It does not matter who that person is.