THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS

  1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace unto you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of your love which you have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof you heard before in the word of the truth, of the gospel, which has come unto you as in all generations of the world, and brings forth fruit — as also in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth, as you also learned of Epaphras, our dear fellow servant who is for you a faithful minister of Christ, who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
  3. For this cause, we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, who has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son — in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins — who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
  4. For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell, and having made peace through the blood of his cross by him, to reconcile all things unto himself by him, whether things in earth or things in heaven.
  5. And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled in the body of his flesh, through death, to present you holy and blameless and unreproveable in his sight, if you continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, whereof I, Paul, am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his body’s sake — which is the church — whereof I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints, to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles, which is Christ, in you the hope of glory, whom we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus, for which I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.
  6. For I would that you knew what great conflict I have, for you and them at Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God and of Christ, who is of God, even the Father, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say lest any man should beguile you with enticing words, for though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
  7. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ; for in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily. And you are complete in him who is the head of all principality and power, in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with him in baptism, wherein you are also risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead.
  8. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us — which was contrary to us — and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
  9. Let no man therefore judge you in food or in drink, or in respect of a holiday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath, which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God.
  10. Wherefore, if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances which are after the doctrines and commandments of men who teach you to touch not, taste not, handle not all those things which are to perish with the using? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in self-willed worship and humility, and neglecting the body as to the satisfying the flesh, not in any honor in God.
  11. If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth; for you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.
  12. Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience, in the which you also walked sometime when you lived in them. But now you also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man — with his deeds — and have put on the new, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, bond, free, but Christ is all and in all.
  13. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, hearts of mercies, kindness, humility of mind, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. If any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. And above all these things, charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you are also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
  14. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love wives and be not bitter against them. Children, obey parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children, lest they be discouraged.
  15. Servants, obey in all things masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ. But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done, and there is no respect of persons. Masters, give unto servants that which is just and equal, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
  16. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving, at the same time praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ (for which I am also in bonds), that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.
  17. All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, a beloved brother, and a faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate and comfort your hearts with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother who is of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are here. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, salutes you; and Mark, sister’s son to Barnabas (concerning whom you received commandments — if he come unto you, receive him); and Jesus, who is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellow workers in the kingdom of God, who have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God; for I bear him record, that he has a great zeal for you, and them in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
  18. Salute the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nympha, and the church which is in his house. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it.
  19. The salutation by the hand of me, Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
  20. Written from Rome to the Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus.

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