If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy,
make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.
Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmuring and arguing,
so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.
It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
But even if I am being poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you—
and in the same way you also must be glad and rejoice with me.
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you.
I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.
All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
But Timothy’s worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me;
and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.
Still, I think it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus—my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier, your messenger and minister to my need;
for he has been longing for all of you, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.
He was indeed so ill that he nearly died. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, so that I would not have one sorrow after another.
I am the more eager to send him, therefore, in order that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.
Welcome him then in the Lord with all joy, and honor such people,
because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for those services that you could not give me.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,
because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel
that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God.
This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf,
and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully
giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
] him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him.
He himself is before all things, and in[
] him all things hold together.
He is 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.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him—
provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.
I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.
I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,
the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.