MNT(i) 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 to the holy and believing brothers in Christ who are in Colosse. Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father. 3 Whenever I pray for you I am continually thanking God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ 4 (since I heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love to all the saints) 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Long ago you heard of this hope in the message which came to you of the truth of the gospel. 6 And just as it is spreading through the whole world, bearing fruit and increasing, so also is it among you, from the day in which you heard it, and came truly to know the grace of God, 7 as you learned it from Epaphras, our dearly loved fellow slave. He is a faithful minister of Jesus Christ in your behalf, 8 and it is he who has told me of your love for me in the spirit. 9 For this reason from the day I heard of it I have never ceased to pray for you, asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will with every kind of wisdom and spiritual insight; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord in every kind of pleasing; that you may be fruitful in every kind of good work, and may increase in the knowledge of God; 11 that you may be strengthened in every kind of strength by the might of his glory for every kind of patience and fortitude with good cheer. 12 I ask that you may give thanks to the Father who has made us fit to receive our share of the heritage of the saints in the light. 13 For he has delivered us out of the dominion of the darkness, and transplanted us into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. 15 He is a visible image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him was the universe created, things in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen, thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; by him and for him all have been created; 17 and HE IS before all, and in him all things subsist. 18 He is the head of his Body, the Church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, in order that in all things he may become preeminent. 19 For in him all the divine fulness chose to dwell; 20 and by him it chose to reconcile all things alike on earth or in heaven to himself; making peace by him, through the blood of his cross. 21 And you, alienated as you once were, hostile at heart in your evil deeds, 22 he has now in his human body reconciled to God by his death, in order that he may bring you into his presence, holy and unblemished and irreproachable. 23 And this he will do if, indeed, you continue in the faith, firmly founded and stedfast, and never moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, and which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, that gospel of which I, Paul, was made a minister. 24 I am now rejoicing in my sufferings on your behalf; and I am filling up in my own body what is yet lacking of the sufferings of Christ in behalf of the church, his Body. 25 It is of this I was made a minister, according to the stewardship entrusted to me by God for you, fully to declare God's message; 26 that secret truth, which, although hidden from ages and generations of old, has now been made manifest to his saints. 27 To them God willed to make known among the Gentiles how glorious are the riches of that secret truth, which is "Christ in you, the hope of glory." 28 Him I am ever proclaiming, warning every one and teaching every one, in all wisdom; that I may bring every man into his presence, full grown in Christ. 29 For that end I am ever toiling, wrestling with all that energy of his which is mightily at work within me.