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16 Don’t let anyone tell you what you must eat or drink. Don’t let them say that you must celebrate the New Moon festival, the Sabbath, or any other festival. 17 These things are only a shadow of what was to come. But Christ is real!

18 Don’t be cheated by people who make a show of acting humble and who worship angels.[a] They brag about seeing visions. But it is all nonsense, because their minds are filled with selfish desires. 19 They are no longer part of Christ, who is the head of the whole body. Christ gives the body its strength, and he uses its joints and muscles to hold it together, as it grows by the power of God.

Christ Brings New Life

20 You died with Christ. Now the forces of the universe[b] don’t have any power over you. Why do you live as if you had to obey such rules as, 21 “Don’t handle this. Don’t taste that. Don’t touch this.”? 22 After these things are used, they are no longer good for anything. So why be bothered with the rules that humans have made up? 23 Obeying these rules may seem to be the smart thing to do. They appear to make you love God more and to be very humble and to have control over your body. But they don’t really have any power over our desires.

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Footnotes

  1. 2.18 worship angels: Or “worship with angels (in visions of heaven).”
  2. 2.20 forces of the universe: See the note at 2.8.