1 For I would have you know how great a contest I am waging for you and the brethren in Laodicea, and for all who have never seen my face.
2 May their hearts be comforted! May they be knit together in love! May they gain in all its riches the full assurance of their understanding! May they come to a perfect knowledge of the secret truth of God, which is Christ himself.
3 In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!
4 And this I say, lest any one should mislead you with enticing words.
5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am with you in spirit, happy to note your discipline and the solid front of your faith in Christ.
6 As then you have received Jesus Christ, your Lord, in him live your lives;
7 since you are rooted in him, and in him continually built up. Be firmly established in the faith as you were taught it, and continually abound in it with thanksgiving.
8 Take care lest any man drag you away captive by his philosophy which is a vain deceit, following the traditions of men and the worlds crude notions, and not Christ.
9 For it is in Christ that all the fullness of deity dwells bodily,
10 and in him you have your fulness, and he is the Lord of all the principalities and powers.
11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands; even in putting off your sensual nature in Christs own circumcision,
12 when you were buried with him in baptism. In baptism also you were raised with him, through your faith in the energy of that God who raised him from the dead.
13 And you also, at one time dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your sensual nature, he has made alive together with himself. For he forgave us all our transgressions,
14 blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that stood against us and was hostile to us, and took it out of our way, nailing it to his cross.
15 Principalities and powers he disarmed, and openly displayed them as his trophies, when he triumphed over them in the cross.
16 Therefore do not permit any one to sit in judgment on you in regard to what you may eat or drink, or in regard to feast-days or new moons or sabbaths.
17 These were a shadow of things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
18 Let no man at his will defraud you of your prize through his false humility and worship of the angels, taking his stand on the visions he has seen, and vainly puffed up by his material mind;
19 instead of keeping connection with the Head from the whole body draws nourishment for all its needs by the joints which bind it; and is knit together, and grows with a divine growth.
20 If you died with Christ to the worlds rudimentary notions, why, as if you still lived in the world, do you submit yourselves to dogmatisms found on teachings and doctrines of men -
21 such as "Do not handle this," "You must not taste that," "Do not touch this" -
22 all things which are intended to perish in the using?
23 For these precepts, although they have a show of wisdom with their self-imposed devotions and fastings and bodily austerities, are of no real value against the indulgence of the carnal appetites.