1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have about you, and those at Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in flesh. 2 So that their hearts may be encouraged, having been united together in love, and for all wealth of the full assurance of understanding, to knowledge of the mystery of the God and Father of the Christ. 3 In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 And I say this so that not any man may delude you with persuasive speech. 5 For even though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your orderliness, and the steadfastness of your faith for Christ.
6 As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as ye were taught, abounding in it with thankfulness.
8 Take heed lest there will be any man taking you captive through the love of wisdom and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 Because in him all the fullness of the divinity dwells bodily. 10 And ye are men who have been made full in him, who is the head of every principal office and position of authority. 11 In whom also ye were circumcised a circumcision not made with hands, in the removal of the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of the Christ. 12 Having been buried with him in immersion, in which also ye were raised together through faith of the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you he made alive together with him, having forgiven us all the transgressions, 14 having erased the handwriting against us in the regulations that were hostile to us, and he has taken it up from the midst, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having stripped the principal offices and the positions of authority, he exposed them openly, having triumphed over them by it.
16 Let not any man therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of the things coming, but the body is Christ's. 18 Let no man umpire against you insisting on self-mortification, and worship of the heavenly agents, intruding in things that he has not seen, vainly puffed up by the mind of his flesh, 19 and not holding to the head, from whom all the body, being supplied and held together through the connections and bonds, develops its growth from God.
20 If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why do ye submit to rules, as though living in the world? 21 Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch 22 (which are all things for consumption by use), according to the commandments and teachings of men? 23 Which having, are indeed a matter of wisdom in will-worship, and self-mortification, and austerity of the body--not in any value against indulgence of the flesh.