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. Chapter 2.

1 For I want you to know how strenuous are my exertions for you and the Laodiceans and all who have never set eyes on me. 2 I want them to continue in good heart and in the unity of love, and to come to the full wealth of conviction which understanding brings, and grasp God's secret. 3 That secret is Christ himself; in him lie hidden all God's treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this to save you from being talked [Or: What I mean is this: no one must talk you ...] into error by specious arguments. 5 For though absent in body, I am with you in spirit, and rejoice to see your orderly array and the firm front which your faith in Christ presents.

Fullness of Life in Christ

6 THEREFORE, SINCE JESUS was delivered to you as Christ and Lord, live your lives in union with him. 7 Be rooted in him; be built in him; be consolidated in the faith you were taught; [Or: by your faith, as you were taught.] let your hearts overflow with thankfulness. 8 Be on your guard; do not let your minds be captured by hollow and delusive speculations, based on traditions of man-made teaching and centred on the elemental spirits of the universe [Or: the elements of the natural world; Or: elementary ideas belonging to this world.] and not on Christ.

9 For it is in Christ that the complete being of the Godhead dwells embodied, [Or: corporately.] 10 and in him you have been brought to completion. Every power and authority in the universe is subject to him as Head. 11 In him also you were circumcised, not in a physical sense, but by being divested of the lower nature; this is Christ's way of circumcision. 12 For in baptism [Or: ... nature, in the very circumcision of Christ himself; for in baptism ...] you were buried with him, in baptism also you were raised to life with him through your faith in the active power of God who raised him from the dead. 13 And although you were dead because of your sins and because you were morally uncircumcised, he has made you alive with Christ. 14 For he has forgiven us all our sins; he has cancelled the bond which pledged us to the decrees of the law. It stood against us, but he has set it aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 On that cross he discarded the cosmic powers and authorities like a garment; he made a public spectacle of them and led them [Or: he stripped himself of his physical body, and thereby boldly made a spectacle of the cosmic powers and authorities, and led them ... ; Or: he despoiled the cosmic powers and authorities, and boldly made a spectacle of them, leading them ...] as captives in his triumphal procession.

16 ALLOW NO ONE therefore to take you to task about what you eat or drink, or over the observance of festival, new moon, or sabbath. 17 These are no more than a shadow of what was to come; the solid reality is Christ's. 18 You are not to be disqualified by the decision of people who go in for self-mortification and angel-worship, and try to enter into some vision of their own. Such people, bursting with the futile conceit of worldly minds, 19 lose hold upon the Head; yet it is from the Head that the whole body, with all its joints and ligaments, receives its supplies, and thus knit together grows according to God's design.

The New Life in Christ

20 Did you not die with Christ and pass beyond reach of the elemental spirits of the universe? [Or: the elements of the natural world; Or: elementary ideas belonging to this world.] Then why behave as though you were still living the life of the world? 21 Why let people dictate to you: 'Do not handle this, do not taste that, do not touch the other'— 22 all of them things that must perish as soon as they are used? That is to follow merely human injunctions and teaching. 23 True, it has an air of wisdom, with its forced piety, its self-mortification, and its severity to the body; but it is of no use at all in combating sensuality.

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