Colossians 2 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 I want you to realize that I continue to work as hard as I know how for you, and also for the Christians over at Laodicea. Not many of you have met me face-to-face, but that doesn't make any difference. Know that I'm on your side, right alongside you. You're not in this alone. 1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.
2 I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,
3 All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we've been shown the mystery! 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 I'm telling you this because I don't want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or "the Secret." 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
5 I'm a long way off, true, and you may never lay eyes on me, but believe me, I'm on your side, right beside you. I am delighted to hear of the careful and orderly ways you conduct your affairs, and impressed with the solid substance of your faith in Christ. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
6 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,
7 You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that's not the way of Christ. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
9 Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don't need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,
10 When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
11 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It's not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you're already in - insiders - not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,
12 If it's an initiation ritual you're after, you've already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive - right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
14 the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's Cross. 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
15 He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
16 So don't put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
17 All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
18 Don't tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They're a lot of hot air, that's all they are. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.
19 They're completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 So, then, if with Christ you've put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? 20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:
21 "Don't touch this! Don't taste that! Don't go near this!" 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"?
22 Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.
23 Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they're just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.