2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have in your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not [a]personally seen my face,2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and that they would attain to all the wealth [b]that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.4 I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments.5 For even though I am absent in body, I am nevertheless with you in spirit, rejoicing [c]to see [d]your orderly manner and the stability of your faith in Christ.
6 Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so[e]walk in Him,7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established [f]in [g]your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing [h]with gratitude.
8 See to it that there is no one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception in accordance with human tradition, in accordance with the elementary principles of the world, [i]rather than in accordance with Christ.9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,10 and in Him you have been made [j]complete, and He is the head [k]over every ruler and authority;11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.13 And [l]when you were dead [m]in your wrongdoings and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our wrongdoings,14 having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.15 When He had [n]disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through [o]Him.
16 Therefore, no one is to [p]act as your judge in regard to food and drink, or in respect to a festival or a new moon, or a Sabbath [q]day—17 things which are only a shadow of what is to come; but the [r]substance [s]belongs to Christ.18 Take care that no one keeps [t]defrauding you of your prize by delighting in humility and the worship of the angels, [u]taking his stand on visions he has seen, [v]inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,19 and not holding firmly to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and [w]ligaments, grows with a growth [x]which is from God.
20 If you have died with Christ [y]to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”22 (which all referto things destined to perish [z]with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of man?23 These are matters which do have the [aa]appearance of wisdom in [ab]self-made religion and humility and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
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