1 For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, to have all the riches of assured understanding and the 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 may delude you with fine-sounding arguments. 5 For even though I am absent in flesh, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to human tradition, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and you have been made complete in him, who is the head over all rule and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our sins, 14 having canceled the certificate of debt, which stood against us with its decrees. He took what was hostile away from us, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them through him.
16 Therefore let no one judge you in questions of food or drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. 17 These things are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you for the prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, puffed up without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 If with Christ you died to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you still belonged to it, do you submit to regulations such as, 21 "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" 22 (referring to things which are all destined perish with use), according to human commandments and teachings? 23 These indeed have an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value against fleshly indulgence.