Colossians 2Expanded Bible (EXB)
2 [L For] I want you to know how hard I ·work [contend; struggle] for you, those in Laodicea [C a city northwest of Colossae; 4:16; Rev. 3:14–22], and others who have never ·seen me [met me personally; L seen my face in the flesh]. 2 I want ·them [L their hearts] to be ·strengthened [encouraged; comforted] and joined together with love so that they may be rich in their ·understanding [L assurance of understanding]. This leads to their knowing fully God’s ·secret [mystery; 1:26], that is, Christ himself. 3 In him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are ·safely kept [hidden].
4 I say this so that no one can ·fool [deceive] you by ·arguments that seem good, but are false [persuasive/enticing/specious arguments]. 5 [L For] Though I am absent from you in my body, ·my heart is [in spirit I am] with you, and I ·am happy [rejoice] to see your ·good lives [discipline; orderly lives; or unbroken ranks] and your ·strong [firm; steadfast] faith in Christ.
Continue to Live in Christ
6 [L Therefore] As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to ·live [walk] in him. 7 Keep your roots deep in him and have your lives built on him. Be ·strong [established] in the faith, just as you were taught, ·and always be thankful [abounding/overflowing with gratitude].
8 ·Be sure [Be careful; Watch; See] that no one ·leads you away [takes you captive; captivates you] with ·false [deceptive] and ·empty [worthless] teaching that is ·only human [L according to human traditions], which comes from the ·ruling spirits [elemental spiritual forces (demons); or elementary teachings] of this world, and not from Christ. 9 ·All of God lives fully in Christ [L For in him all the fullness of deity dwells] ·in a human body [bodily; embodied], 10 and you have ·a full and true life in Christ [L been filled in him], who is ·ruler [L head] over every ruler and ·power [authority].
11 In Christ you were also circumcised, but not with a circumcision done by hands [Rom. 2:28; Phil. 3:3]. It was ·a circumcision done by Christ [L the circumcision of Christ], which ·freed you from [put off; cut away] ·the power of your sinful self [your sinful nature; L the body of flesh; C just as OT circumcision cut off the physical flesh, so Christ’s circumcision “cuts off” the “flesh”—the power of our sinful self]. 12 When you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and you were raised up with him through your faith in the ·power [working; active agency] of God, who raised Christ from the dead. 13 When you were ·spiritually dead [L dead] ·because of [or in] your sins and ·because you were not free from the power [L in the uncircumcision] of your ·sinful self [sinful nature; flesh], God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our ·sins [transgressions]. 14 He ·canceled [wiped out; erased] the ·record [certificate] of debt, ·which listed all the rules we failed to follow [L with its decrees that were against us; C the record of sins revealed through the OT law; Eph. 2:15]. He ·took it away [set it aside; destroyed it] and nailed it to the cross. 15 ·God [or Christ; L He] ·stripped the spiritual rulers and powers of their authority [L disarmed/despoiled the rulers and authorities]. With the cross, he won the victory and ·showed the world that they were powerless [publicly shamed them; made a public spectacle of them; C like a triumphant general displaying his captives in a victory parade].
Don’t Follow People’s Rules
16 So do not let anyone ·make rules for [or criticize; judge; or condemn] you about eating and drinking or about a religious ·feast [festival], a New Moon Festival [2 Kin. 4:23; Neh. 10:33], or a Sabbath day [C religious observances that false teachers pressured the Colossians to keep]. 17 These things ·were like [L are] a shadow of what was to come. But ·what is true and real has come and is found in Christ [or the reality/substance belongs to Christ; L the body (is) of Christ]. 18 Do not let anyone disqualify you by ·insisting on [or delighting in] self-denial [asceticism; or false humility] and worship of angels. Such people ·enter into [or talk endlessly about; or pin their hopes on] visions, which ·fill them [puff them up] with ·foolish pride [or empty notions] because of their ·human way of thinking [unspiritual/worldly/carnal minds; L mind of the flesh]. 19 They ·do not hold tightly [or have no connection] to the head [C Christ]. It is from him that all the parts of the body are ·cared for [supported] and held together through its joints and ligaments. So it grows in the way God ·wants [or causes] it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ and were made free from the ·ruling spirits [elemental spiritual forces (demons); or elementary teachings; v. 8] of the world, why do you act as if you still ·belong to [L are living in] this world by following rules like these: 21 “Don’t handle this,” “Don’t taste that,” “Don’t even touch that thing”? 22 These rules refer to ·earthly things that are gone as soon as they are used [L things that all perish with use]. They are only human commands and teachings. 23 They ·seem to be wise [have an appearance of wisdom], with their ·religious devotion [or forced piety; or asceticism], false humility, and ·harsh treatment [severe discipline] of their bodies. But they ·do not really control [have no value against] the ·evil desires [indulgence] of the ·sinful self [sinful nature; flesh].
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.