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Paraphrase of Colossians 3

I'm working on a new writing project. The meat of it comes from the truths found in Colossians chapter 3, so I've spent hours, literally days worth of hours, studying this passage--background, context, translation, definitions, etc. Then I paraphrased it verse by verse. I found it beneficial for my own heart, so I though I'd share. :)

Colossians 3 (written to those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ)
1. Jesus Christ has ultimate authority, the same authority as God the Father. Jesus took the punishment for our wrongdoings--He died in our place. But He defeated death by rising from the grave. Because we have accepted this, we share in His defeat of death. We are made alive in a new way! So [Command:] we are to pursue righteousness--God and a life that reflects His qualities.
2. Because of our righteousness in Christ, [Command:] change direction, go opposite of the rest of the world. Start with your thoughts.
3. Our sin died with Christ--not just the bad things we have done in the past, but also our rebellious nature has died. Our forgiveness and eternal life is secure & fulfilled through Christ’s death on the cross.
4. Christ is in us, but we have yet to experience His full glory in ourselves. We will be complete, fully in glory when He returns.
5. Because He is in us, [Command:] end the behaviors that reflect the sin that no longer controls us. These behaviors include: any sexual activity outside of marriage, either in action or in thought. Also greed and wanting what others have. Desiring more than you have is worship of the world.
6. God’s wrath exists because sin exists. Our loving and perfect God is justly hostile towards rebellion.
7. We were once under God’s wrath when we were dead in sin.
8. Since we are alive in Christ, we turn our backs on the sins of the world. We leave it behind like junk. [Command:] Stop the behaviors of the world, specifically those that demonstrate hate. What you think and what you say matter just as much as how you act.
9. [Command:] Don't lie. Lying is also characteristic of someone who is dead in sin.
10. [Command:] Choose the opposite practices, which reflect Christ’s righteousness in you, knowing that you are not perfect in this, but God, the creator, continues to grow your “newness” by making you reflect Him more. It’s an ongoing process.
11. There is no distinction of righteousness by race or culture. Christ is all that matters, and He is equally available and equally reflected in all who share in his death and resurrection.
12. In order to reflect God’s image to the world, and because we are co-heirs with Christ, [Command:] choose righteousness, specifically practices that show love in a way that puts others first and yourself last.
13. [Command:] Remember that God has forgiven us for everything we’ve ever done, so in order to reflect His love, we must forgive others in the same way.
14. Love is the priority. It holds us together. It creates unity and peaceful relationships and allows for all the other good things to flow from us.
15. Christ will bring peace to our hearts if we let Him. Peace doesn’t mean happiness. Peace = freedom from war; harmony between groups; an agreement that ends war; tranquility (calm); serenity (clear); undisturbed (uninterrupted rest, not out of order, no interference) [Command:] Let go of control, and He will hold His order in your heart. Christ is the Great Reconciler. He has pacified God’s wrath against us. He is the agreement that ended the war between you and God! In the same way, He brings people together into one big family. [Command:] Be thankful for all of this!
16. [Command:] Continue thanking God, starting in your heart, then moving outward: in worship to Him through songs, psalms, hymns, etc. These songs contain messages from His Word! Stay in His Word! Surrender to its wisdom so that it fills your whole being, again from the inside out so that you can teach others this message, and warn them!
17. [Command:] No matter what you do, whatever task, action, or thought, remember that you reflect our God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank Him for this, and carry out your day as such.  

Which of these truths from God's word encourages you especially today?

For your reference, here is Colossians 3:1-17 from the ESV Bible.

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