Alive with ChristFor I want you to understand how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 so that their hearts may be encouraged, having been held together in love, even unto all the wealth of the full assurance of understanding, unto the full 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 will delude you with persuasive argument. 5 For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the stability of your faith in Christ. 6 Therefore as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and being built up in Him, and having been established in your faith—just as you were instructed—and abounding with thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells bodily, 10 and in Him you have been filled, who is the head over all rule and authority; 11 in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh, in 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 And you being dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him, having graciously forgiven us all our transgressions. 14 Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which was hostile to us, He also has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them in Him. 16 Therefore, no one is to judge you in food and drink, or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, going into detail about visions he has seen, being puffed up for nothing by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. 20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees: 21 “Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch”? 22 Which deal with everything destined to perish with use, which are in accordance with the commands and teachings of men; 23 which are matters having, to be sure, a word of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.