Rom 1 & 3 & 8 & 12
1 Cor 1 & 13 & 15
2 Cor 1 & 4 & 5
1 Thess 5
2 Thess 3
1 Tim 1
2 Tim 3
1:1 From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. 1:2 This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 1:3 concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh, 1:4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1:5 Through him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name. 1:6 You also are among them, called to belong to Jesus Christ. 1:7 To all those loved by God in Rome, called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Paul’s Desire to Visit Rome
1:8 First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 1:9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit by preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness that I continually remember you 1:10 and I always ask in my prayers, if perhaps now at last I may succeed in visiting you according to the will of God. 1:11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 1:12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine. 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I often intended to come to you (and was prevented until now), so that I may have some fruit even among you, just as I already have among the rest of the Gentiles. 1:14 I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 1:15 Thus I am eager also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome.
The Power of the Gospel
1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 1:17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”
The Condemnation of the Unrighteous
1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, 1:19 because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 1:20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.
1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. 1:29 They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, 1:31 senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless. 1:32 Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.
3:1 Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? 3:2 Actually, there are many advantages. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? 3:4 Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified in your words and will prevail when you are judged.”
3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he? (I am speaking in human terms.) 3:6 Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? 3:7 For if by my lie the truth of God enhances his glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? – as some who slander us allege that we say. (Their condemnation is deserved!)
The Condemnation of the World
3:9 What then? Are we better off? Certainly not, for we have already charged that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin, 3:10 just as it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one,
3:11 there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
3:12 All have turned away,
together they have become worthless;
there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.”
3:13 “Their throats are open graves,
they deceive with their tongues,
the poison of asps is under their lips.”
3:14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
3:16 ruin and misery are in their paths,
3:17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 3:20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 3:21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – 3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 3:24 But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 3:25 God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. 3:26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.
3:27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! 3:28 For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. 3:29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! 3:30 Since God is one, he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 3:31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law.
The Believer’s Relationship to the Holy Spirit
8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 8:2 For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 8:4 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
8:5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 8:7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. 8:10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. 8:11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you.
8:12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 8:13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children. 8:17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.
8:18 For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. 8:19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly but because of God who subjected it – in hope 8:21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 8:23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 8:24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.
8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. 8:27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 8:29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
8:31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 8:32 Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 8:33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 8:34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 8:37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Consecration of the Believer’s Life
12:1 Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. 12:2 Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
Conduct in Humility
12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith. 12:4 For just as in one body we have many members, and not all the members serve the same function, 12:5 so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another. 12:6 And we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith. 12:7 If it is service, he must serve; if it is teaching, he must teach; 12:8 if it is exhortation, he must exhort; if it is contributing, he must do so with sincerity; if it is leadership, he must do so with diligence; if it is showing mercy, he must do so with cheerfulness.
Conduct in Love
12:9 Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. 12:10 Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. 12:11 Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. 12:12 Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints, pursue hospitality. 12:14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 12:16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited. 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 12:19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 12:20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(1 Corinthians 1)
1:1 From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother, 1:2 to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
1:4 I always thank my God for you because of the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus. 1:5 For you were made rich in every way in him, in all your speech and in every kind of knowledge – 1:6 just as the testimony about Christ has been confirmed among you – 1:7 so that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divisions in the Church
1:10 I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree together, to end your divisions, and to be united by the same mind and purpose. 1:11 For members of Chloe’s household have made it clear to me, my brothers and sisters, that there are quarrels among you. 1:12 Now I mean this, that each of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” or “I am with Cephas,” or “I am with Christ.” 1:13 Is Christ divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you in fact baptized in the name of Paul? 1:14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 1:15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name! 1:16 (I also baptized the household of Stephanus. Otherwise, I do not remember whether I baptized anyone else.) 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – and not with clever speech, so that the cross of Christ would not become useless.
The Message of the Cross
1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1:19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.” 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. 1:22 For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom, 1:23 but we preach about a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 1:24 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1:26 Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. 1:27 But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. 1:28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, 1:29 so that no one can boast in his presence. 1:30 He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 1:31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 13)
The Way of Love
13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 13:2 And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 13:3 If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit.
13:4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 13:5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. 13:6 It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. 13:7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
13:8 Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, 13:10 but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. 13:12 For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 15)
15:1 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, 15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. 15:3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 15:4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 15:8 Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also. 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, this is the way we preach and this is the way you believed.
15:12 Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty. 15:15 Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised. 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins. 15:18 Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 15:19 For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.
15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 15:21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. 15:22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him. 15:24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he has brought to an end all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 15:26 The last enemy to be eliminated is death. 15:27 For he has put everything in subjection under his feet. But when it says “everything” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include the one who put everything in subjection to him. 15:28 And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.
15:29 Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they baptized for them? 15:30 Why too are we in danger every hour? 15:31 Every day I am in danger of death! This is as sure as my boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. 15:32 If from a human point of view I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what did it benefit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 15:34 Sober up as you should, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God – I say this to your shame!
The Resurrection Body
15:35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 15:36 Fool! What you sow will not come to life unless it dies. 15:37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare seed – perhaps of wheat or something else. 15:38 But God gives it a body just as he planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 15:39 All flesh is not the same: People have one flesh, animals have another, birds and fish another. 15:40 And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. The glory of the heavenly body is one sort and the earthly another. 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory.
15:42 It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 15:43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 15:45 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living person”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 15:46 However, the spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. 15:47 The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven. 15:48 Like the one made of dust, so too are those made of dust, and like the one from heaven, so too those who are heavenly. 15:49 And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven.
15:50 Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 15:51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – 15:52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 15:54 Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen,
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
15:55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 15:58 So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
(2 Corinthians 1)
1:1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia. 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Thanksgiving for God’s Comfort
1:3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 1:4 who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 1:5 For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow toward us, so also our comfort through Christ overflows to you. 1:6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort that you experience in your patient endurance of the same sufferings that we also suffer. 1:7 And our hope for you is steadfast because we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you will share in our comfort. 1:8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living. 1:9 Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. 1:10 He delivered us from so great a risk of death, and he will deliver us. We have set our hope on him that he will deliver us yet again, 1:11 as you also join in helping us by prayer, so that many people may give thanks to God on our behalf for the gracious gift given to us through the help of many.
Paul Defends His Changed Plans
1:12 For our reason for confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that with pure motives and sincerity which are from God – not by human wisdom but by the grace of God – we conducted ourselves in the world, and all the more toward you. 1:13 For we do not write you anything other than what you can read and also understand. But I hope that you will understand completely 1:14 just as also you have partly understood us, that we are your source of pride just as you also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1:15 And with this confidence I intended to come to you first so that you would get a second opportunity to see us, 1:16 and through your help to go on into Macedonia and then from Macedonia to come back to you and be helped on our way into Judea by you. 1:17 Therefore when I was planning to do this, I did not do so without thinking about what I was doing, did I? Or do I make my plans according to mere human standards so that I would be saying both “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? 1:18 But as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the one who was proclaimed among you by us – by me and Silvanus and Timothy – was not “Yes” and “No,” but it has always been “Yes” in him. 1:20 For every one of God’s promises are “Yes” in him; therefore also through him the “Amen” is spoken, to the glory we give to God. 1:21 But it is God who establishes us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, 1:22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.
Why Paul Postponed His Visit
1:23 Now I appeal to God as my witness, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth. 1:24 I do not mean that we rule over your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy, because by faith you stand firm.
(2 Corinthians 4)
Paul’s Perseverance in Ministry
4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, just as God has shown us mercy, we do not become discouraged. 4:2 But we have rejected shameful hidden deeds, not behaving with deceptiveness or distorting the word of God, but by open proclamation of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience before God. 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, 4:4 among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. 4:5 For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 4:6 For God, who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the one who shined in our hearts to give us the light of the glorious knowledge of God in the face of Christ.
An Eternal Weight of Glory
4:7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 4:8 We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; 4:9 we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed, 4:10 always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body. 4:11 For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body. 4:12 As a result, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 4:13 But since we have the same spirit of faith as that shown in what has been written, “I believed; therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak. 4:14 We do so because we know that the one who raised up Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus and will bring us with you into his presence. 4:15 For all these things are for your sake, so that the grace that is including more and more people may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. 4:16 Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 4:17 For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison 4:18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
(2 Corinthians 5)
Living by Faith, Not by Sight
5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens. 5:2 For in this earthly house we groan, because we desire to put on our heavenly dwelling, 5:3 if indeed, after we have put on our heavenly house, we will not be found naked. 5:4 For we groan while we are in this tent, since we are weighed down, because we do not want to be unclothed, but clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5:5 Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment. 5:6 Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord – 5:7 for we live by faith, not by sight. 5:8 Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 5:9 So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil.
The Message of Reconciliation
5:11 Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade people, but we are well known to God, and I hope we are well known to your consciences too. 5:12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may be able to answer those who take pride in outward appearance and not in what is in the heart. 5:13 For if we are out of our minds, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, since we have concluded this, that Christ died for all; therefore all have died. 5:15 And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised. 5:16 So then from now on we acknowledge no one from an outward human point of view. Even though we have known Christ from such a human point of view, now we do not know him in that way any longer. 5:17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come! 5:18 And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 5:19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. 5:20 Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” 5:21 God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.
Freedom of the Believer
5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery. 5:2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all! 5:3 And I testify again to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 5:4 You who are trying to be declared righteous by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace! 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness. 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight – the only thing that matters is faith working through love.
5:7 You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? 5:8 This persuasion does not come from the one who calls you! 5:9 A little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise! 5:10 I am confident in the Lord that you will accept no other view. But the one who is confusing you will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 5:11 Now, brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 5:12 I wish those agitators would go so far as to castrate themselves!
5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. 5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 5:15 However, if you continually bite and devour one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. 5:16 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 5:17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 5:21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!
5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 5:23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit. 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another.
New Life Individually
2:1 And although you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2:2 in which you formerly lived according to this world’s present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience, 2:3 among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest…
2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, 2:5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved! – 2:6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 2:7 to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 2:9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.
New Life Corporately
2:11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh – who are called “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” that is performed on the body by human hands – 2:12 that you were at that time without the Messiah, alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 2:14 For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, 2:15 when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, 2:16 and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, 2:18 so that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 2:19 So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 2:20 because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 2:21 In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
True and False Righteousness
3:1 Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! To write this again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.
3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! 3:3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials 3:4 – though mine too are significant. If someone thinks he has good reasons to put confidence in human credentials, I have more: 3:5 I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. 3:6 In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless. 3:7 But these assets I have come to regard as liabilities because of Christ. 3:8 More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ, 3:9 and be found in him, not because I have my own righteousness derived from the law, but because I have the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness – a righteousness from God that is in fact based on Christ’s faithfulness. 3:10 My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, 3:11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Keep Going Forward
3:12 Not that I have already attained this – that is, I have not already been perfected – but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, 3:14 with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 3:15 Therefore let those of us who are “perfect” embrace this point of view. If you think otherwise, God will reveal to you the error of your ways. 3:16 Nevertheless, let us live up to the standard that we have already attained.
3:17 Be imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and watch carefully those who are living this way, just as you have us as an example. 3:18 For many live, about whom I have often told you, and now, with tears, I tell you that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. 3:19 Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, they exult in their shame, and they think about earthly things. 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven – and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 3:21 who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself.
1:1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 1:2 to the saints, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, at Colossae. Grace and peace to you from God our Father!
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Church
1:3 We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 1:4 since we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. 1:5 Your faith and love have arisen from the hope laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel 1:6 that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. 1:7 You learned the gospel from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave – a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf – 1:8 who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Paul’s Prayer for the Growth of the Church
1:9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 1:10 so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 1:13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
1:15 The Supremacy of Christ
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,
1:16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him.
1:17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.
1:18 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.
1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son
1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Paul’s Goal in Ministry
1:21 And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, 1:22 but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – 1:23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.
1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body – for the sake of his body, the church – what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. 1:25 I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship from God – given to me for you – in order to complete the word of God, 1:26 that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. 1:27 God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 1:28 We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. 1:29 Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me.
(1 Thessalonians 5)
The Day of the Lord
5:1 Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. 5:2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night. 5:3 Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape. 5:4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would. 5:5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. 5:6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. 5:7 For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 5:8 But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. 5:9 For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 5:10 He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him. 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.
5:12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you in the Lord and admonish you, 5:13 and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 5:14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all. 5:15 See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 5:16 Always rejoice, 5:17 constantly pray, 5:18 in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 5:19 Do not extinguish the Spirit. 5:20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt. 5:21 But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. 5:22 Stay away from every form of evil.
5:23 Now may the God of peace himself make you completely holy and may your spirit and soul and body be kept entirely blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 5:24 He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this. 5:25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us too. 5:26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. 5:27 I call on you solemnly in the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
(2 Thessalonians 3)
Request for Prayer
3:1 Finally, pray for us, brothers and sisters, that the Lord’s message may spread quickly and be honored as in fact it was among you, 3:2 and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil people. For not all have faith. 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 3:4 And we are confident about you in the Lord that you are both doing – and will do – what we are commanding. 3:5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and the endurance of Christ.
Response to the Undisciplined
3:6 But we command you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from any brother who lives an undisciplined life and not according to the tradition they received from us. 3:7 For you know yourselves how you must imitate us, because we did not behave without discipline among you, 3:8 and we did not eat anyone’s food without paying. Instead, in toil and drudgery we worked night and day in order not to burden any of you. 3:9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give ourselves as an example for you to imitate. 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this command: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither should he eat.” 3:11 For we hear that some among you are living an undisciplined life, not doing their own work but meddling in the work of others. 3:12 Now such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and so provide their own food to eat. 3:13 But you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing what is right. 3:14 But if anyone does not obey our message through this letter, take note of him and do not associate closely with him, so that he may be ashamed. 3:15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 3:17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter. 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
(1 Timothy 1)
1:1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, 1:2 to Timothy, my genuine child in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!
Timothy’s Task in Ephesus
1:3 As I urged you when I was leaving for Macedonia, stay on in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to spread false teachings, 1:4 nor to occupy themselves with myths and interminable genealogies. Such things promote useless speculations rather than God’s redemptive plan that operates by faith. 1:5 But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. 1:6 Some have strayed from these and turned away to empty discussion. 1:7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not understand what they are saying or the things they insist on so confidently.
1:8 But we know that the law is good if someone uses it legitimately, 1:9 realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 1:10 sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers – in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching. 1:11 This accords with the glorious gospel of the blessed God that was entrusted to me.
1:12 I am grateful to the one who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me faithful in putting me into ministry, 1:13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I was treated with mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief, 1:14 and our Lord’s grace was abundant, bringing faith and love in Christ Jesus. 1:15 This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them! 1:16 But here is why I was treated with mercy: so that in me as the worst, Christ Jesus could demonstrate his utmost patience, as an example for those who are going to believe in him for eternal life. 1:17 Now to the eternal king, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.
1:18 I put this charge before you, Timothy my child, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, in order that with such encouragement you may fight the good fight. 1:19 To do this you must hold firmly to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck in regard to the faith. 1:20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
(2 Timothy 3)
Ministry in the Last Days
3:1 But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 3:2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. 3:5 They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power. So avoid people like these. 3:6 For some of these insinuate themselves into households and captivate weak women who are overwhelmed with sins and led along by various passions. 3:7 Such women are always seeking instruction, yet never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 3:8 And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people – who have warped minds and are disqualified in the faith – also oppose the truth. 3:9 But they will not go much further, for their foolishness will be obvious to everyone, just like it was with Jannes and Jambres.
Continue in What You Have Learned
3:10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, 3:11 as well as the persecutions and sufferings that happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra. I endured these persecutions and the Lord delivered me from them all. 3:12 Now in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 3:13 But evil people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. 3:14 You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you 3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 3:16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 3:17 that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
Conduct Toward Those Outside the Church
3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work. 3:2 They must not slander anyone, but be peaceable, gentle, showing complete courtesy to all people. 3:3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another. 3:4 But “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 3:5 he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 3:6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. 3:7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life.”
Summary of the Letter
3:8 This saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on such truths, so that those who have placed their faith in God may be intent on engaging in good works. These things are good and beneficial for all people. 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, quarrels, and fights about the law, because they are useless and empty. 3:10 Reject a divisive person after one or two warnings. 3:11 You know that such a person is twisted by sin and is conscious of it himself.
Final Instructions and Greeting
3:12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 3:13 Make every effort to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; make sure they have what they need. 3:14 Here is another way that our people can learn to engage in good works to meet pressing needs and so not be unfruitful. 3:15 Everyone with me greets you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
1:1 From Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our dear friend and colaborer, 1:2 to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church that meets in your house. 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Thanks for Philemon’s Love and Faith
1:4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 1:5 because I hear of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 1:6 I pray that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ. 1:7 I have had great joy and encouragement because of your love, for the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
Paul’s Request for Onesimus
1:8 So, although I have quite a lot of confidence in Christ and could command you to do what is proper, 1:9 I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love – I, Paul, an old man and even now a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus – 1:10 I am appealing to you concerning my child, whose spiritual father I have become during my imprisonment, that is, Onesimus, 1:11 who was formerly useless to you, but is now useful to you and me. 1:12 I have sent him (who is my very heart) back to you. 1:13 I wanted to keep him so that he could serve me in your place during my imprisonment for the sake of the gospel. 1:14 However, without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your good deed would not be out of compulsion, but from your own willingness. 1:15 For perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated from you for a little while, so that you would have him back eternally, 1:16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, as a dear brother. He is especially so to me, and even more so to you now, both humanly speaking and in the Lord. 1:17 Therefore if you regard me as a partner, accept him as you would me. 1:18 Now if he has defrauded you of anything or owes you anything, charge what he owes to me. 1:19 I, Paul, have written this letter with my own hand: I will repay it. I could also mention that you owe me your very self. 1:20 Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. 1:21 Since I was confident that you would obey, I wrote to you, because I knew that you would do even more than what I am asking you to do. 1:22 At the same time also, prepare a place for me to stay, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you.
1:23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you. 1:24 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my colaborers, greet you too. 1:25 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.