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.

Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,(AV) set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.(AW) Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.(AX) For you died,(AY) and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[f] life,(AZ) appears,(BA) then you also will appear with him in glory.(BB)

Put to death,(BC) therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:(BD) sexual immorality,(BE) impurity, lust, evil desires and greed,(BF) which is idolatry.(BG) Because of these, the wrath of God(BH) is coming.[g] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.(BI) But now you must also rid yourselves(BJ) of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander,(BK) and filthy language from your lips.(BL) Do not lie to each other,(BM) since you have taken off your old self(BN) with its practices 10 and have put on the new self,(BO) which is being renewed(BP) in knowledge in the image of its Creator.(BQ) 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew,(BR) circumcised or uncircumcised,(BS) barbarian, Scythian, slave or free,(BT) but Christ is all,(BU) and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves(BV) with compassion, kindness, humility,(BW) gentleness and patience.(BX) 13 Bear with each other(BY) and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.(BZ) 14 And over all these virtues put on love,(CA) which binds them all together in perfect unity.(CB)

15 Let the peace of Christ(CC) rule in your hearts, since as members of one body(CD) you were called to peace.(CE) And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ(CF) dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom(CG) through psalms,(CH) hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.(CI) 17 And whatever you do,(CJ) whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks(CK) to God the Father through him.

Footnotes

  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
  6. Colossians 3:4 Some manuscripts our
  7. Colossians 3:6 Some early manuscripts coming on those who are disobedient