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The Book of Colossians - Summary

The Book of Colossians is Paul's letter to the Christians at Colosse. Paul had not visited Colosse. But he often prayed for the Christians there (Colossians 1:3-14).

Paul reminded the Christians about the importance of Jesus. Jesus is God, and he created everything. Then, Jesus became a man, so that he could die for us. Because Jesus died, God will forgive us. If we invite Jesus into our lives, we will become friends of God (Colossians 1:15-23).

Then, Paul warned the Christians about some people (Colossians 2). These people wanted the Christians to obey the ancient rules of the Hebrew nation. And these people said that real Christians must obey all such rules. Paul did not agree. He wrote that these rules were human traditions (Colossians 2:8). Christians ought to obey Christ, instead of tradition. Traditions might seem wise, but they cannot help us to live good lives (Colossians 2:23).

Paul reminded the Christians how they should live. They should think about the things in heaven (Colossians 3:2), because they belong with Christ (Colossians 3:3-4). They should not do evil deeds (Colossians 3:5-11). Instead, they should love other people (Colossians 3:12-14). And they should serve God (Colossians 3:15-17).

Listen Download Introduction
Listen Download Chapter 1 Greeting; Thanksgiving, Prayer for Spiritual Growth; The Centrality of Christ.
Listen Download Chapter 2 Paul's Ministry; Christ versus the Colossian Heresy.
Listen Download Chapter 3 The Life of the New Man; The Christian Life; Christ in Your Home.
Listen Download Chapter 4 Speaking to God and Others; Christian Greetings.

Book of Colossians Outlines by J.Vernon McGee PDF format <Link>


About this letter

Colossae was a city in *Roman Asia. ‘Asia’ was the south and west part of the country that we call Turkey now. At that time, the *Roman people were very powerful and they ruled many countries. (Rome is the capital of the country that we call Italy now.)

We think that Paul himself never visited Colossae. Instead, a man called Epaphras went there to tell the good news about Jesus Christ to the people. Epaphras had heard about the good news from Paul.

After that, when Paul was in a prison somewhere, Epaphras visited him. Epaphras told Paul the news about the Christians who lived at Colossae. Then Paul wrote this letter to them while he was still in the prison.

Epaphras had told Paul that false teachers were teaching wrong things to the Christians at Colossae. The false teachers were saying that the Christians must be more like the *Jews. ‘You must obey the same rules that God wanted the *Jews to obey’, they were saying. Also, they were teaching other wrong ideas and rules.

So, Paul tells the Christians that they should not believe the false teachers. Only Jesus Christ can save us from our old nature and from all the wrong things that we do. By ‘old nature’, we mean ‘the kind of person that we are before we become a Christian’. Jesus made the world. And he wants to save the people who live in it. We only need to believe him. Then, in our *spirits, we can die with Christ and we can become alive again with him. So, we can be new people, with a new nature. We must continue to believe Jesus. We must continue also to obey him. If we do that, we will be safe.

Chapter 1

v1 We, Paul and our Christian friend, Timothy, are writing this letter. God has chosen me, Paul, to be a special worker and teacher on behalf of Christ Jesus. v2 We are writing to you, God’s people who live at Colossae. You are like brothers and sisters to us because you are united to Christ. And you are continuing to believe Christ. We pray that God, our Father, will continue to be very kind to you. We pray also that he will cause you to be without trouble inside yourselves.

Paul thanks God for the *believers at Colossae

v3 We always thank God, the Father of our *Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. v4 We thank God because people have told us good things about you. You are continuing to believe Christ Jesus and you are loving all God’s people. v5 You are doing these things because you are hoping certainly for good things from God. God is keeping safe the things that you are hoping for. He is storing them in *heaven for you. You learned about those things before, when people first told you the true message, the good news.

Verse 5 In the Bible, to ‘hope’ means to wait for the good things that God has promised us. We will live with Christ always. We will be like him and we will be happy. We can be completely sure that these things will happen to us. They will happen if we continue to believe Christ and to obey him.

v6 This good news has caused good results among you since the time when you heard it first. At that time, you understood clearly how very kind and good God really is. Also, people all over the world are hearing this good news. And it is causing more and more good results among them too. v7 You heard about this good news from Epaphras. Like us, he is Christ’s servant. And we love Epaphras very much. He continues to work well for Christ on our behalf. v8 Epaphras has told us how God’s Spirit has caused you to love other people.

Paul prays that they will know God more and more

v9 It is because of these things that we have not stopped praying for you. We have prayed ever since the day that Epaphras told us news about you. We ask God that his Spirit will cause you to understand things properly. So you will know completely and clearly what God wants you to do. v10 So then you will be able to do those things that the *Lord’s people should do. And you will always do the things that make the *Lord happy. As a result, you will do many kinds of good things during your lives. And you will know God more and more. v11 God will make you strong inside yourselves because he is so very great and powerful. So, whatever things may happen, you can be patient, brave and happy. v12 And you can thank the Father, who has made it possible for you to join his people. With them, you will receive what he has prepared for his people in the light. v13 God, our Father, has saved us from the authority of bad, dark powers. He loves his Son. And he has caused us to be his Son’s people. And so now, his Son rules over us. v14 God’s Son has made us free, so that God will not *punish us. Because of his Son, God has *forgiven us for the wrong things that we have done.

Verse 13 God’s Son in this verse is Jesus Christ. That is why we have written ‘Son’ with a capital S.

Verse 14 Jesus made *believers free when he died on the *cross. God has forgiven them because Jesus died.

Who Christ is and what he has done for us

v15 We cannot see God. But Jesus Christ is completely what God is. Even before God made anything, Jesus was already the Son of the Father. v16 God made everything that is on earth and in *heaven by his Son. He made all the things that we can see. And he made those things that we cannot see. He made rulers; and he made leaders. He made them powerful; and he gave authority to them. God made them all by his Son. God made everything by his Son and for his Son. v17 Christ was there before anything else, and he holds all things together. v18 Think about Christ’s people as his body. Christ is the head of that body. It is called the *church. He is the beginning. And he is the Son of the Father. So he is the leader of everyone who will win the fight against death. As a result, Christ is first and most important in all things.

v19 It really gave God pleasure that all of himself is in Christ. His whole nature is in Christ. v20 Also, it really gave God pleasure to bring all things back to himself. He did that by the *cross. There Christ bled and died. His death brought God and all things together, whether things on earth or things in *heaven. They are not still enemies.

v21 At one time, you were far away from God. You were his enemies because you thought bad things. You were his enemies because you did bad things. v22 But now everything has changed. This happened because Christ died a human death. So God has decided to bring you back to himself. He has decided to make you completely good and clean inside. And nobody will ever be able to say that you have done anything wrong. v23 But you must continue to believe Christ strongly. You must not let anything cause you to stop. You must continue to hope strongly for everything that you have learned from the good news. People have told this good news to everyone in the world. And God has made me, Paul, a servant who tells people this good news.

Paul’s work for Christ’s people

v24 At this time, I am having trouble and pain on your behalf, but I am happy. Christ had trouble and pain on behalf of his own people. And, while I live in my body, I am having trouble and pain also. I am helping to finish the full quantity of troubles and pain that Christ must still have. He must still have troubles and pain because of his body, which is his people.

Verse 24 Christ gives his Spirit to those who are his people. He lives in his people because his Spirit is in them. They are united to him. They are like his body on earth (verse 18). The Bible says that Christians must have troubles and pain. (See, for example, Acts 14:22 and 1 Thessalonians 3:3-4.) So, when his people have troubles and pain, Christ continues to have troubles and pain too. Christians, like Paul, sometimes have troubles and pain on behalf of other Christians.

Christ’s death saves us completely, if we believe him. Paul does not mean that we need anything else to save us. Christ had trouble and pain on our behalf. We have troubles and pain because we are his people.

v25 God has made me a servant, who helps his people. He has chosen me to tell you his whole message. v26 This message is the secret that God hid from everyone before. He hid it from all the people who lived in past times. But now he is showing this secret to his people. v27 God wanted his people to know how very great this secret is. It is very, very good and it will help people from all countries very, very much. This secret is Christ in you. And because he is in you, you hope certainly for good things. You are sure that you will live with God always. You will be with him in the beautiful place where he lives.

v28 That is why we tell everyone about Christ. We teach them everything that we know. We tell them what God wants them to do. We tell them what he does not want. Our purpose, for every person who is united to Christ, is this. We want every person to become completely what he or she should be. We want to bring each person to God like that. v29 That is why I work so very much. Christ makes me very strong for this difficult work. He works powerfully in me to make me strong.

Chapter 2

v1 I want you to know how very much I am working for you and for the people at Laodicea. I am also working for all those people who have never met me. v2 I am working like this because I want all of you to become strong inside yourselves for Christ. I want you to be united because you love Christ and each other. So then you will really be rich, because you will really understand God’s secret. You will be completely sure about it. You will know that secret, which is Christ. v3 Christ knows and understands everything. Only Christ can cause us to understand things properly. He can cause us to understand the really valuable things that we need to know.

v4 I am telling you these things so that you will not listen to false teachers. Those teachers will try to teach you false things that may seem good. v5 My body is not there with you, but my *spirit is with you. And I am happy about you. You are doing the things that Christ’s people should do. Also, I am happy that you are continuing to believe Christ so strongly.

What Christ’s people, who are united to Christ, should do

v6 You have agreed that Christ Jesus should be your *Lord. And you have become united to him. So, you must continue to do the things that Christ’s people ought to do. v7 You must be like trees that have their *roots deep in Christ. Continue to obey Christ, so that you become stronger and stronger as Christians. You must believe more and more strongly the things that we taught you. And you should always thank God very much for everything.

Verse 7 Roots are the parts of a plant that grow under the ground. They help to hold the plant up. They also supply water and other good things from under the ground that help the plant to grow well. When Christians are really united to Christ, he will supply everything for them. He will supply everything that they need. So, like trees that have their roots deep under good ground, they will become stronger and stronger.

v8 Some people may try to teach you false ideas. Be careful that you do not believe them. Those ideas may seem clever, but they will take you away from God. Those ideas are the result of things that people have taught for many years. But those ideas belong to this world. They do not come from Christ. v9 The whole of God himself lives in Christ, in his human body. v10 And because you are united to Christ, God has filled you. He has given you everything that you need in Christ. And Christ rules over all *spirits that have authority.

v11 Also, because you are united to Christ, God has *circumcised you. No human person used his hands to *circumcise you. But God has *circumcised you, in the way that Christ has made possible. He has made you free from the power of your old nature (the kind of people that you were before you became Christians). He has taken away your old nature, which could never make God happy. v12 By *baptism, God has buried you with Christ. And then he has raised you with Christ, so that you have become alive again with him. God raised you because you believe him. You believe that he is very powerful. And you believe that he raised Christ. He made him alive again after he had died.

Verse 11 To ‘circumcise’ means to cut off the skin that covers the end of a boy’s or a man’s sex part. God had told Abraham that he must do this. (See Genesis 17:9-14.) They circumcised men and boys like this to show that Israel’s people were God’s people. It was like a picture, to show that they were separate from bad things. But Paul says that Christians have something better than a mark on their bodies. They are God’s people because Christ died for them (on their behalf). God has *circumcised them in their *spirits, not in their bodies. He has ‘cut off’ their old nature. Their *spirits are God’s. Because of Christ, we can really be separate from everything that is bad.

Verse 12 Christian baptism is when they put a *believer into water. (Or sometimes they put water on a believer.) Baptism by water is very important. It is like a picture of what God does in our *spirits. Baptism means ‘to put a person or a thing completely into something else (for example, into water)’. When God ‘baptises’ us into Christ, he ‘puts us into’ Christ. He makes us completely united with Christ in our *spirits. So, in our *spirits, we die with Christ and then we rise again, to live with him. So we have a new nature, a new life, because of Christ. (See also Romans 6:1-4.)

v13 At one time, you were like dead people because of all the wrong things that you did. Nobody had *circumcised you in your bodies. And God had not *circumcised you in your *spirits. But now God has caused you to become alive with Christ. God has *forgiven us for all the wrong things that we have done. v14 He has chosen to forget that we have not obeyed all his rules. He has taken away the list of all the wrong things that we have done. He should have *punished us because of that list. But instead, it is like he fixed that list to Christ’s *cross. So, he destroyed that list. v15 On the *cross, Christ won the fight against all the bad *spirits that have authority. He beat them completely. He took all their *weapons away from them. He showed everyone that he is the ruler over all these other powerful *spirits.

Christ’s people should not obey men’s ideas

v16 So do not let anybody else say what is right for you to eat or to drink. Do not let anybody make rules about special days, new moons or sabbaths (the *Jews’ seventh day of the week). v17 Rules like that are only like shadows. In past times, they showed people about the good things that would happen. But those good things really have happened now because of Christ.

v18 Some people may say that God has shown them special things. They may tell you that you should do certain things to your bodies to become better people. They may tell you that you should *worship *angels. But you must not believe those false things. If you listen to them, you may lose something really important. People like that may think that they know a lot of things. But they are only thinking men’s ideas. They do not understand how God thinks. v19 False teachers like that do not agree to be united to Christ. They do not obey Christ, who is the head of his body. His people are like a body. Christ holds the whole body together. Through the parts that join the body together, Christ supplies the body. He supplies what the body needs. And so, the body grows, because God causes it to grow.

v20 You have died with Christ. So you do not have to obey the rules that belong to this world. You do not belong to this world now. So you should not still obey its rules! You do not need to obey rules like this: v21 ‘Do not touch this thing! Do not taste that food! Keep away from that thing!’ v22 Rules like that are only about things that will finish. Those things are like things that people use. But they are destroying those things while they are using them. Rules like that are only rules that people teach. v23 Rules like that may seem to be clever people’s rules. They try to cause people to *worship in certain ways. They cause people to hurt themselves, so that they can rule their bodies. So those people seem to be obeying God. But really, they are not obeying him. Those rules cannot really help people to rule what their bodies want. Those rules are not really worth anything. By those rules people can still do all the bad things that they want to do.

Chapter 3

The old life and the new life

v1 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. v2 Continue to think about things that are above. Do not think about things that are on the earth. v3 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. v4 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.

v5 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. v6 God will be very angry with people who do those bad things. And he will *punish those people.

v7 At one time, you were doing these kinds of bad things. These things were ruling your lives then. v8 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. v9 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.

v10 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. v11 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.

v12 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. v13 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. v14 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.

v15 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. v16 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. v17 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

v18 Wives, obey your husbands. That is the right thing to do, because you are the *Lord’s.

v19 Husbands, love your wives and be kind to them.

v20 Children, you must obey your parents about everything. That is how you can make the *Lord happy.

v21 Fathers, do not make your children angry with you. They might think that they can never do anything to make you happy with them.

v22 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. v23 Whatever things you do, do them for the *Lord. Do them as well as you can for him. Do not work only for people. v24 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. v25 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.

Chapter 4

v1 Masters, give your servants what is right and fair. Remember that you have a Master also, in *heaven.

Paul tells the *believers that they should pray

v2 Continue to pray. Do not let anything cause you to stop praying. Be like people who watch carefully. They watch carefully to see what is happening. And thank God when you pray. v3 Pray for us, too. Ask God to make it possible for us to tell people his message. We want to tell people the secret things about Christ that God has caused us to know. I am in a prison because I told people those things. v4 I want to tell people this message clearly, as I ought to do. Pray that I will be able to do that.

v5 Sometimes you are with people who do not believe Christ. Be careful when you are with those people. Be careful about what you say. Be careful about what you do. Use your time with them as well as you can. Do everything that you can to help them to believe Christ. v6 Always speak words that are kind and proper. Speak words that will be good for those who hear you. When someone asks you a question, you should know what to say. You should know how you ought to answer each person.

Paul finishes his letter

v7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a Christian *brother that we love. He continues to work well for the *Lord. Like me, he is the *Lord’s servant. v8 I am sending him to you for this purpose. He will tell you all the news about us. And he will help you to be braver and stronger for Christ. v9 Onesimus, who belongs to your group, is travelling with him. Onesimus is another Christian *brother that we love. He continues to believe and to obey Christ. These men will tell you everything that is happening here.

v10 Aristarchus, who is with me in the prison, says ‘hello’ to you. Mark also says ‘hello’ to you. He is Barnabas’s cousin. Mark may come to visit you. You should say ‘welcome’ to him if he comes. I have told you this already. I have told you that you should be kind to him. v11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also says ‘hello’ to you. These three men are the only *Jews who are working with me. We work so that more people will believe Christ. So then they will belong to God’s people, the people that he rules over. These men have helped me very much. And they have caused me to feel better.

v12 Epaphras says ‘hello’ to you. He also belongs to your group, and he is Christ Jesus’ servant. He is always praying strongly for you. He prays like someone who fights on behalf of you. He prays that you will continue to obey God. So you will always do everything that God wants. He asks God to make you completely as God wants you to be. v13 I tell you this about Epaphras, which is true. He is working very much for you, and for the people at Laodicea and at Hierapolis.

v14 Our good friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas say ‘hello’ to you. v15 Say ‘hello’ for me to all the *believers at Laodicea. Also say ‘hello’ for me to Nympha and to the Christians who meet in her house.

v16 After someone has read this letter to all of you, send it to the *church at Laodicea. Tell them that they must read it aloud too. And you must also read the letter that the Christians at Laodicea will send to you. v17 Say to Archippus, ‘Remember the work that the *Lord gave you to do. You must be careful to finish it completely.’

v18 I, Paul, am writing these words here with my own hand. Remember that I am in a prison. I pray that God will continue to be very kind to you.

Word List

angel ~ *spirit *being. Good angels come from God’s home above the earth. They are God’s servants and they bring messages from God to people.

baptism ~ See the note on chapter 2, verse 12.

being ~ a person or animal that is alive.

believer ~ a person who knows and accepts Christ.

brother ~ another man who believes in Christ.

church ~ a group of Christians who meet together. A church is not only the building that they meet in.

circumcise ~ to cut off the skin that covers the end of a man’s or a boy’s sex part. God told Israel’s people that they should do this. It was to show that they were his people. It was like a picture, to show that God’s people had to be completely good and clean. Now, because of Christ, God can circumcise us in our *spirits, to make us really good and clean.

cross ~ a piece of wood that someone has fastened across another piece. People put Jesus on a cross to kill him.

forgive ~ when God (or another person) chooses to forget the wrong things that we have done.

heaven ~ the place above the earth where God and Jesus Christ live.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Lord ~ master; another name for God; it means that he is greater than everyone else.

punish ~ to hurt someone, or to cause trouble for them, because they have done bad things.

Roman ~ a person or thing from Rome. Rome was a powerful city; it had a strong army.

roots ~ the parts of a plant that grow under the ground.

spirit ~ a *being that is always alive, even without a body. A person’s spirit is the part of them that will always be alive. It will be alive even after their body is dead. There are good spirits, like God’s Spirit and his *angels. And there are bad spirits, like Satan (God’s enemy) and his *angels.

weapon ~ something to fight people with.

worship ~ to love and thank someone (God) more than anyone else.

Book List

N. T. Wright ~ Tyndale NT Commentaries ~ Colossians & Philemon ~ IVP

P. T. O’Brien ~ Word Biblical Commentary ~ Colossians, Philemon

A. Marshall ~ The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament

Various Bible versions



Book 51 Colossians
King James Version
001:001 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
001:002 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
001:003 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
001:004 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
001:005 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
001:006 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
001:007 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
001:008 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
001:009 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
001:010 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
001:011 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
001:012 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
001:013 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
001:014 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
001:015 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
001:016 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
001:017 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
001:018 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.
001:019 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
001:020 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
001:021 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
001:022 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
001:023 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
001:024 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
001:025 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
001:026 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
001:027 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:
001:028 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
001:029 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

002:001 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
002:002 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 the Father, and of Christ;
002:003 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
002:004 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
002:005 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
002:006 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
002:007 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
002:008 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.
002:009 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
002:010 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
002:011 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
002:012 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
002:013 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
002:014 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;
002:015 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
002:016 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
002:017 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
002:018 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
002:019 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
002:020 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
002:021 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
002:022 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
002:023 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

003:001 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
003:002 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
003:003 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
003:004 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
003:005 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
003:006 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
003:007 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
003:008 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
003:009 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
003:010 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
003:011 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
003:012 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
003:013 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
003:014 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
003:015 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
003:016 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.
003:017 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
003:018 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
003:019 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
003:020 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
003:021 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
003:022 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;
003:023 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
003:024 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
003:025 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

004:001 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
004:002 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
004:003 Withal 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:
004:004 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
004:005 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
004:006 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
004:007 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
004:008 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
004:009 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
004:010 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
004:011 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
004:012 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
004:013 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
004:014 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
004:015 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
004:016 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
004:017 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
004:018 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.



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Note: Chapter topic headings from "The Holman Illustrated Study Bible"; Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. ISBN: 978-1-58640-275-4.
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