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Colossians chapter 1

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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and Timothy our brother:
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To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae. Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
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We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
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for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints
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because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about [this hope] in the message of truth,
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the gospel that has come to you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God's grace in the truth.
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You learned this from Epaphras, our much loved fellow slave. He is a faithful minister of the Messiah on your behalf,
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and he has told us about your love in the Spirit.
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For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven't stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
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so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
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May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy
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giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints' inheritance in the light.
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He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,
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in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
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He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation;
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because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.
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He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.
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He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything.
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For God was pleased [to have] all His fullness dwell in Him,
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and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross-- whether things on earth or things in heaven.
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And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions.
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But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him--
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if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith, and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. [This gospel] has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a minister of it.
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Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for His body, that is, the church.
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I have become its minister, according to God's administration that was given to me for you, to make God's message fully known,
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the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints.
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God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
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We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
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I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.

Colossians chapter 2

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For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person.
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[I want] their hearts to be encouraged and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding, and have the knowledge of God's mystery-- Christ.
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In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.
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I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments.
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For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the strength of your faith in Christ.
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Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him,
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rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
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Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.
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For in Him the entire fullness of God's nature dwells bodily,
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and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
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In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah.
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Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
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And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses.
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He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.
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He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.
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Therefore don't let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day.
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These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.
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Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his fleshly mind.
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He doesn't hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God.
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If you died with Christ to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations:
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"Don't handle, don't taste, don't touch"?
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All these [regulations] refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are human commands and doctrines.
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Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value against fleshly indulgence.

Colossians chapter 3

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So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God.
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Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.
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For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.
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When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
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Therefore, put to death whatever in you is worldly: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.
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Because of these, God's wrath comes on the disobedient,
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and you once walked in these things when you were living in them.
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But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.
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Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices
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and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator.
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Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.
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Therefore, God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
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accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must [forgive].
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Above all, [put on] love-- the perfect bond of unity.
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And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.
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Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.
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And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
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Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
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Husbands, love your wives and don't become bitter against them.
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Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord.
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Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so they won't become discouraged.
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Slaves, obey your human masters in everything; don't work only while being watched, in order to please men, but [work] wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.
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Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men,
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knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord-- you serve the Lord Christ.
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For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong he has done, and there is no favoritism.

Colossians chapter 4

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Masters, supply your slaves with what is right and fair, since you know that you too have a Master in heaven.
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Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.
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At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah-- for which I am in prison--
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so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak.
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Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the time.
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Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.
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Tychicus, a loved brother, a faithful servant, and a fellow slave in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me.
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I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are, and so that he may encourage your hearts.
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He is with Onesimus, a faithful and loved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.
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Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, as does Mark, Barnabas' cousin (concerning whom you have received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him),
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and so does Jesus who is called Justus. These alone of the circumcision are my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
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Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills.
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For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.
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Luke, the loved physician, and Demas greet you.
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Give my greetings to the brothers in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
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And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.
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And tell Archippus, "Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it."
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This greeting is in my own hand-- Paul. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.