For I want you to know 1how great a 2struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face,
that 3their hearts may be encouraged, being 4knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of 5God's mystery, which is Christ,
6in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I say this in order 7that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.
For 8though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your 9good order and 10the firmness of your faith in Christ.
11Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
12rooted and 13built up in him and 14established in the faith, just 15as you were taught, abounding 16in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one takes you captive by 17philosophy and 18empty deceit, according to 19human tradition, according to the 20elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
For 21in him the whole fullness of deity dwells 22bodily,
and 23you have been filled in him, who is 24the head of all rule and authority.
In him also 25you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by 26putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
27having been buried with him in baptism, in which 28you were also raised with him through faith in 29the powerful working of God, 30who raised him from the dead.
31And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God 32made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
by 33canceling 34the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
35He disarmed the rulers and authorities and 36put them to open shame, by 37triumphing over them in him.
Therefore let no one 38pass judgment on you 39in questions of food and drink, or with regard to 40a festival or 41a new moon or a Sabbath.
42These are a shadow of the things to come, but 43the substance belongs to Christ.
Let no one 44disqualify you, 45insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, 46going on in detail about visions,47puffed up without reason by 48his sensuous mind,
and 49not 50holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
If with Christ 51you died to the 52elemental spirits of the world, 53why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations--
54"Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"
(55referring to things that all perish as they are used)--according to 56human precepts and teachings?
These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in 57promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are 58of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.