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2:1  I want you to realize how greatly I am struggling for you as well as for those in Laodicea and all the others who have never seen me face to face.
2:2  I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love so that they may grow rich in their complete understanding as they come to the knowledge of the mystery of God, that is, Christ,
2:3  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
2:4  I am telling you all this so that no one may deceive you with deceptive arguments.
2:5  Even if I am not physically present to you, I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your unity and the resolute firmness of your faith in Christ.
2:6  Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to walk in him.
2:7  Be rooted and built up in him, and remain established in the faith as you were taught, overflowing with thanksgiving.
2:8  Make sure that no one leads you astray with an empty and deceitful philosophy that depends on human tradition and worldly principles, and not on Christ.
2:9  For it is in him that the entire fullness of deity dwells in bodily form,
2:10  and you share this fullness in him who is the head of every ruler and power.
2:11  In him also you were circumcised, not with a physical circumcision but with a spiritual stripping away of the old nature with the circumcision of Christ.
2:12  When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God who raised him from the dead.
2:13  And even when you were dead in your sins and your flesh was uncircumcised, God gave you new life along with him. He has forgiven us all our sins,
2:14  erasing the record against us with its decrees that are hostile to us. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.
2:15  Disarming the rulers and powers, he made a public spectacle of them, parading them in his triumphal procession.
2:16  Therefore, do not allow anyone to pass judgment on you in regard to what you eat or drink, or about the observance of Festivals, New Moons, or Sabbaths.
2:17  These are only a shadow of what is to come. The reality is Christ.
2:18  Do not allow yourself to be declared disqualified by those who revel in false humility and worship angels and visions, their vanity foolishly inflated by a human way of thinking.
2:19  They are not united with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, achieves the growth that comes from God.
2:20  Since you died with Christ to the elemental principles of this world, why are you living in the world as if you were subject to it?
2:21  “Do not handle!” “Do not taste!” “Do not touch!”
2:22  All this refers to things that perish as they are used. They are simply human commands and teachings.
2:23  Rules of this type indeed appear to be wise in promoting self-imposed piety, false humility, and harsh treatment of the body, but they are of no value in combating the flesh.