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1I WISH you could understand how deep is my anxiety for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have never met me personally.

2How I long that they may be encouraged, and find out more and more how strong are the bonds of Christian love. How I long for them to experience the wealth of conviction which is brought by understandingthat they may come to know more fully God's great secret, Christ himself!

3For it is [in him], him alone, that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge lie hidden.

4I write like this to prevent you from being led astray by someone or other's attractive arguments.

5For though I am a long way away from you in body, in spirit I am by your side, rejoicing as I see the solid steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

6Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so go on living in himin simple faith.

7Yes, be rooted in him and founded upon him, continually strengthened by the faith as you were taught it and your lives will overflow with joy and thankfulness.

8Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or highsounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on men's ideas of the nature of the world and disregards Christ!

9Yet it is in him that God gives a full and complete expression of himself in bodily form.

10Moreover, your own completeness is realised in him, who is the ruler over all authorities, and the supreme head over all powers.

11In Christ, you were circumcised, not by any physical act, but by being set free from the sins of the flesh by virtue of Christ's circumcision.

12You shared in that, just as in baptism you shared in his death, and in him shared the rising again to lifeand all this because you have faith in the tremendous power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

13You, who were spiritually dead because of your sins and your uncircumcision, God has now made to share in the very life of Christ! He has forgiven you all your sins:

14he has utterly wiped out the written evidence of broken commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it to the cross.

15And then, having drawn the sting of all the powers and authorities ranged against us, he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his own triumphant victory!

16In view of these tremendous facts, don't let anyone worry you by criticising what you eat or drink, or what holy days you ought to observe, or bothering you over new moons or sabbaths.

17All these things are no more than foreshadowings: the reality belongs to Christ.

18Let no man cheat you out of your joy by wanting you to join him in his false humility and worship of angels. Such a man, presuming on the little he has seen, by using an unspiritual imagination,

19entirely forgets the head. It is from the head alone that the body, through its joints and ligaments, is nourished and built up and grows as God meant it to grow.

20So if, through your faith in Christ, you are dead to the principles of this world's life, why, as if you were still part and parcel of this worldwide system, do you take the slightest notice of these purely human prohibitions

21"Don't touch this," "Don't taste that" and "Don't handle the other"?

22"This", "that" and "the, other" will all pass away after use!

23I know that these regulations look wise with their selfinspired efforts at piety, their policy of selfhumbling, and their studied neglect of the body. But in actual practice they are of no moral value, but simply pamper the flesh.


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 <<  Kolose 2 >> 


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