1 Striving? Yes, I want you to understand my deep concern for you and for those at Laodicea, for all who have never seen my face. 2 May their hearts be encouraged! May they learn the meaning of love! May they have all the wealth of conviction that comes from insight! May they learn to know that open secret of God, the Father of Christ, 3 in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge lie hidden!
4 I say this to prevent you from being deluded by plausible arguments from anybody; 5 for although I am absent in body I am with you in spirit, and it is a joy to note your steadiness and the solid front of your faith in Christ.
6 Since you have had the messiah, even Jesus the Lord, brought to you, lead your life in him, 7 fixed and founded in him, confirmed in the faith as you have been taught it, and overflowing with thankfulness to God.
8 Beware of anyone getting hold of you by means of a theosophy which is specious make-believe, on the lines of human tradition, corresponding to the Elemental spirits of the world and not to Christ. 9 It is in Christ that the entire Fulness of deity has settled bodily, 10 it is in him that you reach your full life, and he is the Head of every angelic Ruler and Power; 11 in him you have been circumcised with no material circumcision that cuts flesh from the body, but with Christ's own circumcision, 12 when you were buried with him in your baptism and thereby raised with him as you believed in the power of the God who raised him from the dead. 13 For though you were dead in your trespasses, your flesh uncircumcised, He made you live with Christ, He forgave us all our trespasses, 14 He cancelled the regulations that stood against us ??all these obligations he set aside when he nailed them to the cross, 15 when he cut away the angelic Rulers and Powers from us, exposing them to all the world and triumphing over them in the cross.
16 So let no one take you to task on questions of eating and drinking or in connexion with the observance of festivals or new moons or sabbaths. 17 All that is the mere shadow of what is to be; the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one lay down rules for you as he pleases, with regard to fasting and the cult of angels, presuming on his visions and inflated by his sensuous notions, 19 instead of keeping in touch with that Head under whom the entire Body, supplied with joints and sinews and thus compacted, grows with growth divine.
20 As you died with Christ to the Elemental spirits of the world, why live as if you still belonged to the world? Why submit to rules and regulations like 21 "Hands off this!" "Taste not that!" "Touch not this!" ??22 referring to things that perish by being used? These rules are determined by human precepts and tenets; 23 they get the name of 'wisdom' with their self-imposed devotions, with their fasting, with their rigorous discipline of the body, but they are of no value, they simply pamper the flesh!