He has taken us out of the power of darkness and created a place for us in the Kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.
The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory. This is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ.
Make sure that no one deceives you with specious arguments.
You must live your whole life according to the Christ you have received, Jesus the Lord. You must be rooted in Him and built on Him and held firm by the faith you have been taught, and full of thanksgiving.
Make sure that no one traps you and deprives you of your freedom by some secondhand, empty, rational philosophy based on the principles of this world instead of on Christ.
Since you have been brought back to true life with Christ, you must look for the things that are in heaven where Christ is sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth.
You must kill everything in you that belongs only to earthly life: fornication, impurity, guilty passion, evil desires, and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshiping a false god. All this is the sort of behavior that makes God angry.
You must give all these things up: getting angry, being bad-tempered, spitefulness, abusive language and dirty talk, and never tell each other lies.
You have stripped off your old behavior with your old self, and you have put on a new self which will progress toward true knowledge the more it is renewed in the Image of its Creator. In that Image there is no room for distinction. There is only Christ. He is everything, and He is in everything.
You are God’s chosen race, His saints. He loves you. You should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another. Forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you. Now you must do the same. Over all these clothes to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
Let the message of Christ in all its richness find a home with you. Teach each other and advise each other in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God. Never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Wives, give way to your husbands, as you should in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness.
Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord.
Parents, never drive your children to resentment or you will make them feel frustrated.
Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as if it were for the Lord and not for men, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you His heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.
Be persevering in your prayers and be thankful as you stay awake to pray.
Be tactful with those who are not Christians and be sure you make the best use of your time with them. Talk to them agreeably and with a flavor of wit, and try to fit your answers to the needs of each one.
All texts are taken from the Jerusalem Bible (1966).