Paul worked hard for Christian people
1 I want you to know that I work very hard for you Christians at Colossae, and also for the Christians at that other town near you called Laodicea. And I work hard for lots of other Christians that have never met me.
2-3 I’m working like this to help you be strong, so that all of you will be joined together by loving each other. Then you will understand God’s secret, and you will be sure about it, and this will make you really happy. You will know the secret message from God. That means you will know Jesus Christ himself. He knows everything and understands everything. Jesus is the only one that can get us to think properly, so that we understand God’s wonderful message. And that message is really dear to us.
4 I’m telling you these things so that you will not listen to people that teach lies. They might talk in a way that sounds good, but they are liars.
5 You know, I’m not there with you right now, that is, my body is not there, but my spirit is there with you. And I’m happy about you. You all work together as a group, and you all keep on trusting Jesus Christ properly.
We are joined to Jesus so we have to live his way
6 You believe in Jesus Christ now, and you let him be your boss, so you have to keep living his way.
7 Keep on believing that message about Jesus Christ, and keep on getting to know him better all the time. Keep on strongly believing the things that we taught you. And always thank God very much for everything.
Don’t believe any message about God that did not come from Jesus Christ
8 Some people might try to make you believe some ideas about God that are wrong. Those ideas didn’t come from Jesus Christ, but they came from the people of this world. A long time ago the bad spirits in this world gave them these ideas, and they taught them to their kids and grand-kids. But they are not true. They might sound good, but they are tricky lies. Be careful. Don’t believe them.
9 Listen. God himself lives in Jesus Christ. God filled up his human body and lived in him, so he is properly God.
10 And you are joined to Jesus Christ, so God is in you too. He gives you everything that you need to live the right way. And Jesus is the winner over all the other spirit bosses.
11 You know that the Jewish people do a young man’s operation on their baby boys. Well, when you joined on to Jesus, God did something like that to you. He didn’t cut away a part of your body, but it was like he did an operation on your spirit. He cut away a bad part from your spirit. That was the bad part that made you want to do bad things.
12 You know, after you became a Christian, the church leaders baptised you. You went into the water, then you came up out of it. This is the ceremony that shows that you are doing what Jesus did. He died, then God made him alive again, and he came up out of the grave. Now you believe that God has strong power and your spirit is joined to Jesus, so God’s power makes your spirit alive too, just like he made Jesus alive again.
God beat the devil mob
13-14 You used to do bad things before. Your spirits still had that bad part that made you go wrong. It is like your spirits were dead. I’m using picture talk to show you what I mean. Whenever you did bad things, it is like somebody wrote it down on paper so they could blame you later. But God let them blame Jesus instead of you, and then he chucked that paper away. It is like they nailed that paper to the cross when they nailed Jesus there. And then God made your spirits alive again, just like he made Jesus alive again. Now he doesn’t blame you for the bad things you did.
15 God did this and he beat all the bad spirit mob. He even beat the most powerful spirit bosses. He beat them at the cross, at the time when Jesus died there. God took away their power and made them his prisoners. He showed everyone that he is the winner over all those bad spirits.
You don’t have to follow laws that people make up
16 You know, some people make up laws, and they reckon that, if you want to make God happy, you have to follow those laws. But remember what I just said. God is already happy with you. So don’t listen to anyone that says you are wrong if you don’t follow their laws. Don’t take any notice of them. They might have laws about things you can’t eat or drink. Or they might have laws about some ceremonies on special days, or lawa about the time of a new moon, or laws about a special day for rest.
17 God gave the Jewish people laws about these things, but they are not for us now. It is like this, and I’m using picture talk again now. Sometimes you see a shadow moving along and you can tell that somebody is coming. Well, God gave them those laws, but those laws are just like a shadow. They are not the real person. The real person is Jesus Christ. And now he has come to us, so we don’t need to look at that shadow any more. That is, we don’t need to follow those laws any more.
18 There are some people that say, “God has shown us special things.” They try to make you think they are not proud, but actually they think up their own ideas and this makes them proud. They tell you to show respect to God’s angel messengers. Don’t take any notice of those people and don’t believe those lies.
19 They are trying to have a church without Jesus.
You see, God set the church up like this. Jesus is the head and his people are his body. Jesus holds his people together just like a body has joints and ligament strings that hold it together. That is the way God makes the church grow, just like a body grows.
20 Remember that you are joined to Jesus Christ. It is like you died with him when he died, and you don’t belong to this world any more. So you don’t have to follow the laws that the people of this world make up about God.
21 They have laws like, “Don’t use that thing,” and, “Don’t eat that,” and, “Don’t touch that thing.”
22 Those laws just come from people, not from God, so you don’t have to take any notice of them. They are laws about things that people use and finish up.
23 Those laws might sound like they are good, but they are useless. They get people to do hard things to themselves, and then they think they are good, and they think it makes God happy. But even when people follow those laws they still can’t stop themselves from going wrong. Their bodies still make them want to do bad things, and then they do those bad things. So those laws are useless.