1 FOR I wish you to know how I am wrestling for you and for those in Laodicea and for all who have not seen my face in the flesh,
2 that your hearts may be encouraged and that joined together in love you may reach all the wealth of the full assurance of insight into the knowledge of the mystery of God, which is Christ.
3 In him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge lie hidden.
4 I say this that no one may deceive you by plausible arguments.
5 For even though I am absent in the flesh, yet in the spirit I am with you, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
6 Since, then, you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, live in him,
7 rooted and built up in him, growing strong in the faith as you have been taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.
8 Beware that no one carries you away captive by his philosophy and empty deceit according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary teachings of the world and not according to Christ.
9 For in him dwells all the fullness of God in bodily form,
10 and you have been filled in him. He is the head of every archangel and authority.
11 In him you were circumcised with a circumcision not done by hands, by laying aside your fleshly body in the circumcision of Christ.
12 You were buried with him in baptism and raised again through faith in the inworking of God who raised him from the dead.
13 You who were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh God has made alive with him, and has forgiven us all our sins.
14 He erased the writing that was against us in the rules, the writing that was opposed to us. He has taken it out of the way by nailing it to his cross.
15 He despoiled the archangels and authorities and fearlessly made an example of them when he triumphed over them on the cross.
16 Let no one then judge you in the matter of food or drink or in regard to a festival or new moon or Sabbath.
17 These were a shadow of coming things, but the body is Christ's.
18 Let no one as umpire defraud you of your prize, if he delights in excessive humility and ceremonial worship of the angels, searching into his own visions, emptily puffed up by his fleshly mind
19 and not holding to the Head, from whom the whole body, supplied and held together by joints and bands, grows as God gives it growth.
20 If you died with Christ to the elementary teachings of the world, why do you, as if still living in the world, have such rules as,
21 "Do not touch," "Do not taste," "Do not handle"
22 referring to things that perish when used?
23 These rules follow the commandments and teachings of men. They have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed ceremonial and excessive humility and severity to the body, but have no value against the indulgence of the flesh.