1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power.
2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.
3 For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 And when Christ, who is your* real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.1
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don't be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry.
6 God's terrible anger will come upon those who do such things.
7 You used to do them when your life was still part of this world.
8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.
9 Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds.
10 In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you.
11 In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile,* circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized,* slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.2
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
13 You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
14 And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.
15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
17 And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.
18 You wives must submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.
19 And you husbands must love your wives and never treat them harshly.
20 You children must always obey your parents, for this is what pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, don't aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying.
22 You slaves must obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Obey them willingly because of your reverent fear of the Lord.
23 Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.
25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites who can get away with evil.
Read Colossians 4