1 2 3 4
D. The Mystery of God
1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those in Laodicea, even all who have not seen my face in the flesh,
2 That their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love and unto all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the full knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,
3 In whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.
4 This I say that no one may delude you with persuasive speech.
5 For even though I am absent in the flesh, yet in the spirit I am with you, rejoicing and seeing your order and the solid basis of your faith in Christ.
6 As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him,
7 Having been rooted and being built up in Him, and being established in the faith even as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
E. The Body of All the Shadows
8 Beware that no one carries you off as spoil through his philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ;
9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,
10 And you have been made full in Him, who is the Head of all rule and authority.
11 In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ,
12 Buried together with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised together with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead.
13 And you, though dead in your offenses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our offenses;
14 Wiping out the handwriting in ordinances, which was against us, which was contrary to us; and He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.
15 Stripping off the rulers and the authorities, He made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no one therefore judge you in eating and in drinking or in respect of a feast or of a new moon or of the Sabbath,
17 Which are a shadow of the things to come, but the body is of Christ.
18 Let no one defraud you by judging you unworthy of your prize, in self-chosen lowliness and the worship of the angels, dwelling on the things which he has seen, vainly puffed up by his mind set on the flesh,
19 And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances:
21 Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch,
22 (Regarding things which are all to perish when used) according to the commandments and teachings of men?
23 Such things indeed have a reputation of wisdom in self-imposed worship and lowliness and severe treatment of the body, but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.