You Are Built Up in Christ

For I want you to know how great a (A)struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at (B)Laodicea, and for all those who have not [a]personally seen my face, that their (C)hearts may be encouraged, having been (D)knit together in love, and attaining to all (E)the wealth [b]that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a (F)true knowledge of (G)God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all (H)the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (I)I say this so that no one will delude you with (J)persuasive argument. For even though I am (K)absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing [c]to see [d]your (L)good discipline and the (M)stability of your faith in Christ.

Therefore as you have received (N)Christ Jesus the Lord, so [e](O)walk in Him, having been firmly (P)rooted and now being (Q)built up in Him and (R)established [f]in your faith, just as you (S)were instructed, and overflowing [g]with gratitude.

(T)See to it that no one takes you captive through (U)philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the (V)elementary principles of the world, [h]rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the (W)fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been (X)made [i]complete, and (Y)He is the head [j]over all (Z)rule and authority; 11 and in Him (AA)you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of (AB)the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been (AC)buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also (AD)raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who (AE)raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were (AF)dead [k]in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He (AG)made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out (AH)the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and (AI)He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had [l](AJ)disarmed the (AK)rulers and authorities, He (AL)made a public display of them, having (AM)triumphed over them through [m]Him.

16 Therefore no one is to [n](AN)act as your judge in regard to (AO)food or (AP)drink or in respect to a (AQ)festival or a (AR)new moon or a (AS)Sabbath [o]day— 17 things which are (AT)a mere shadow of what is to come; but the [p]substance [q]belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep [r](AU)defrauding you of your prize by (AV)delighting in [s]self-abasement and the worship of the angels, [t]taking his stand on visions he has seen, [u](AW)inflated without cause by his (AX)fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to (AY)the head, from whom (AZ)the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and [v]ligaments, grows with a growth [w]which is from God.

20 (BA)If you have died with Christ [x]to the (BB)elementary principles of the world, (BC)why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to (BD)decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer (BE)to things destined to perish [y]with use)—in accordance with the (BF)commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the [z]appearance of wisdom in [aa](BG)self-made religion and self-abasement and (BH)severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against (BI)fleshly indulgence.


  1. Colossians 2:1 Lit in the flesh
  2. Colossians 2:2 Lit of the full assurance
  3. Colossians 2:5 Lit and seeing
  4. Colossians 2:5 Or your good order
  5. Colossians 2:6 Or lead your life
  6. Colossians 2:7 Or by
  7. Colossians 2:7 One early ms reads in it with
  8. Colossians 2:8 Lit and not
  9. Colossians 2:10 Lit full
  10. Colossians 2:10 Lit of
  11. Colossians 2:13 Or by reason of
  12. Colossians 2:15 Or divested Himself of
  13. Colossians 2:15 Or it; i.e. the cross
  14. Colossians 2:16 Lit judge you
  15. Colossians 2:16 Or days
  16. Colossians 2:17 Lit body
  17. Colossians 2:17 Lit of Christ
  18. Colossians 2:18 Or deciding against you
  19. Colossians 2:18 Or humility
  20. Colossians 2:18 Or going into detail about
  21. Colossians 2:18 Or conceited
  22. Colossians 2:19 Lit bonds
  23. Colossians 2:19 Lit of God
  24. Colossians 2:20 Lit from
  25. Colossians 2:22 Or by being consumed
  26. Colossians 2:23 Lit report; Gr logos
  27. Colossians 2:23 Or would-be religion

I want you to know how hard I am contending(A) for you and for those at Laodicea,(B) and for all who have not met me personally. My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart(C) and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery(D) of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(E) I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.(F) For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit(G) and delight to see how disciplined(H) you are and how firm(I) your faith in Christ(J) is.

Spiritual Fullness in Christ

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,(K) continue to live your lives in him, rooted(L) and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,(M) and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,(N) which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world(O) rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness(P) of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head(Q) over every power and authority.(R) 11 In him you were also circumcised(S) with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[b](T) was put off when you were circumcised by[c] Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism,(U) in which you were also raised with him(V) through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.(W)

13 When you were dead in your sins(X) and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive(Y) with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,(Z) 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,(AA) which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.(AB) 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities,(AC) he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them(AD) by the cross.[e]

Freedom From Human Rules

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you(AE) by what you eat or drink,(AF) or with regard to a religious festival,(AG) a New Moon celebration(AH) or a Sabbath day.(AI) 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come;(AJ) the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility(AK) and the worship of angels disqualify you.(AL) Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head,(AM) from whom the whole body,(AN) supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.(AO)

20 Since you died with Christ(AP) to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,(AQ) why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:(AR) 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish(AS) with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.(AT) 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility(AU) and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.


  1. Colossians 2:8 Or the basic principles; also in verse 20
  2. Colossians 2:11 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verse 13.
  3. Colossians 2:11 Or put off in the circumcision of
  4. Colossians 2:13 Some manuscripts us
  5. Colossians 2:15 Or them in him

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