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Wisdom of the World Is Empty

Be careful that no one changes your mind and faith by much learning and big sounding ideas. Those things are what men dream up. They are always trying to make new religions. These leave out Christ. For Christ is not only God-like, He is God in human flesh. 10 When you have Christ, you are complete. He is the head over all leaders and powers. 11 When you became a Christian, you were set free from the sinful things of the world. This was not done by human hands. You were set free from the sins of your old self by what was done in Christ’s body. 12 When you were baptized, you were buried as Christ was buried. When you were raised up in baptism, you were raised as Christ was raised. You were raised to a new life by putting your trust in God. It was God Who raised Jesus from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins, you were not set free from the sinful things of the world. But God forgave your sins and gave you new life through Christ. 14 We had broken the Law many ways. Those sins were held against us by the Law. That Law had writings which said we were sinners. But now He has destroyed that writing by nailing it to the cross. 15 God took away the power of the leaders of this world and the powers of darkness. He showed them to the world. The battle was won over them through Christ.

Watch for Those Who Want to Keep the Law

16 Do not let anyone tell you what you should or should not eat or drink. They have no right to say if it is right or wrong to eat certain foods or if you are to go to religious suppers. They have no right to say what you are to do at the time of the new moon or on the Day of Rest. 17 These things are a picture of what is coming. The important thing is Christ Himself. 18 Do not let anyone rob you of your crown. They will try to get you to bow down in worship of angels. They think this shows you are not proud. They say they were told to do this in a dream. These people are proud because of their sinful minds. 19 Such people are not a part of Christ. Christ is the Head. We Christians make up His body. We are joined together as a body is held together. Our strength to grow comes from Christ.

20 You have died with Christ and become dead to those old ways. Then why do you follow the old ways of worship? Why do you obey man-made rules? 21 These rules say, “You must not put your hand on this.” “Do not put this into your mouth.” “You must not put your finger on that.” 22 All these things come to an end when they are used. You are following only man-made rules. 23 It looks as if it is wise to follow these rules in an act of worship, because they are hard on the body. It looks as if they are done without pride, but they are worth nothing. They do not take away a man’s desire to sin.

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

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

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

Freedom From Human Rules

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you(R) by what you eat or drink,(S) or with regard to a religious festival,(T) a New Moon celebration(U) or a Sabbath day.(V) 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come;(W) the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility(X) and the worship of angels disqualify you.(Y) 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,(Z) from whom the whole body,(AA) supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.(AB)

20 Since you died with Christ(AC) to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,(AD) why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:(AE) 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(AF) with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.(AG) 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility(AH) and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

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  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

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

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