2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, 1 and for those in Laodicea, and for those who have not met me face to face. 2 2 My goal is that 3 their hearts, having been knit together 4 in love, may be encouraged, and that 5 they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 6 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this so that no one will deceive you through arguments 7 that sound reasonable. 8 5 For though 9 I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing to see 10 your morale 11 and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
6 Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, 12 continue to live your lives 13 in him, 7 rooted 14 and built up in him and firm 15 in your 16 faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you 17 through an empty, deceitful philosophy 18 that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits 19 of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him all the fullness of deity lives 20 in bodily form, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 11 In him you also were circumcised – not, however, 21 with a circumcision performed by human hands, but by the removal 22 of the fleshly body, 23 that is, 24 through the circumcision done by Christ. 12 Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your 25 faith in the power 26 of God who raised him from the dead. 13 And even though you were dead in your 27 transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless 28 made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. 14 He has destroyed 29 what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness 30 expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 Disarming 31 the rulers and authorities, he has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 32
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – 17 these are only 33 the shadow of the things to come, but the reality 34 is Christ! 35 18 Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths 36 about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. 37 19 He has not held fast 38 to the head from whom the whole body, supported 39 and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 40
20 If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits 41 of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” 22 These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are 42 on human commands and teachings. 43 23 Even though they have the appearance of wisdom 44 with their self-imposed worship and false humility 45 achieved by an 46 unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence. 47
3 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3 for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ (who is your 1 life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 5 So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: 2 sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, 3 evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 4 7 You also lived your lives 5 in this way at one time, when you used to live among them. 8 But now, put off all such things 6 as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 10 and have been clothed with the new man 7 that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. 11 Here there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave 8 or free, but Christ is all and in all.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, 9 kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving 10 one another, if someone happens to have 11 a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. 12 14 And to all these 13 virtues 14 add 15 love, which is the perfect bond. 16 15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body 17 to this peace), and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ 18 dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace 19 in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
18 Wives, submit to your 20 husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord. 21 Fathers, 21 do not provoke 22 your children, so they will not become disheartened. 22 Slaves, 23 obey your earthly 24 masters in every respect, not only when they are watching – like those who are strictly people-pleasers – but with a sincere heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you are doing, 25 work at it with enthusiasm, 26 as to the Lord and not for people, 27 24 because you know that you will receive your 28 inheritance 29 from the Lord as the reward. Serve 30 the Lord Christ. 25 For the one who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, 31 and there are no exceptions. 32