1 For I wish you to know how great a conflict I have for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being firmly united in love in order to gain all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may acknowledge the mystery of God, even the Father, and of Christ, 3 in whom are stored up all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge.
4 Now I say this, that no one may deceive you by persuasive words. 5 For, though I am absent in flesh, yet I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing to behold your order, and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
6 As, therefore, you received Christ Jesus our Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted, and built up in him, and strengthened in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
8 See that no one make you the victims of imposture by means of philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not ac cording to Christ: 9 for in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhood bodily. 10 And you are complete in him who is the head of all principality and authority: 11 in whom you have been also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 when you were buried with him in immersion, in which you were also raised with him by your faith in the energy of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead to your offenses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all your offenses; 14 having blotted out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us, which was opposed to us, he also took it out of the way, driving a nail through it by means of his cross; 15 and having spoiled the principalities and authorities, he made a show of them openly by triumphing over them through it.
16 Let no one judge you, therefore, in meat or in drink, or in respect to a feast, or the new moon, or sabbaths, 17 which things are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is in Christ, 18 Let no one gain his purpose in depriving you of the palm by an affected humility and worship of angels, prying into things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding the head, from which the whole body gathering vigor, and firmly united by joints and bands, increases with the increase of God.
20 If, then, you have died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you submit to ordinances? 21 Touch not, taste not, handle not, 22 (all of which are for the destruction of those who use them,) according to the commandments and teachings of men; 23 and these have a show of wisdom in will-worship and affected humility and neglect of the body, and in no regard for the gratification of the flesh.