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I am exerting myself very greatly on your behalf in order that you might truly know the message abou

1In particular, I want you to realize that I am …exerting myself very greatly/working very hard† on your behalf, on behalf of those who are in Laodicea city, and on behalf of all those others who have not seen me personally.

2I am doing this in order that they and you [SYN] might be strengthened spiritually as you are united in loving one another. And I am doing this in order that they and you might fully and thoroughly [DOU] understand the message that God has now revealed; that is, in order that they and you might truly know the message from God our Father and about Christ,

3who alone is able to cause them and you to understand thoroughly [MTY] this very important message.

4I am telling you this in order that no one may deceive you by means of arguing persuasively;

5because, even though I am absent from you physically, I am very concerned about you. At the same time, I am rejoicing because I know that you are united with each other and that you believe firmly in Christ.

Conduct yourselves as those who are united to such a one as Christ Jesus our Lord should conduct the

6In a way that is …consistent/in harmony† with the message that you received about Christ Jesus, who is our Lord, conduct yourselves as you should, since you have a close relationship with such a one as he is.

7Specifically, continue believing and practicing [MET, DOU] what you were first taught about Christ. Continue to do this more and more; continue to be sure about all the true teaching, just like Epaphras taught it to you. And continue thanking God, our Father, very much for all that he has done for you.

Make sure that no one makes you become his disciples by teaching you a false religious philosophy, s

8Make sure that no one forces you(pl) to become his disciples [MET] by his teaching you a religious philosophy/doctrine that is valueless and false. It is false because it teaches what mere human beings think, because it teaches people elementary regulations/rules that are concerned merely with what is external/physical, and because it teaches what is contrary to the true teaching about Christ.

9Make sure of this, because it is in Christ’s body that God lives completely.

10And make sure of it because you are spiritually complete because you have a close relationship with Christ, who rules over every being that rules.

11Specifically, because of your close relationship with him, it is as though [MET] you were circumcised {Christ circumcised you} spiritually. This does not mean that someone circumcised you physically [MTY], but it means that Christ completely removed your entire self-directed nature.

12And specifically, when you were baptized, it was as though [MET] you had died and were buried with Christ, and it was as though [MET] God caused you to live again with Christ as a result of your believing that God acted powerfully, specifically, by your believing that God raised Christ from among dead people.

13And specifically, you who are non-Jews, because of your sins, you were spiritually dead before you trusted in Christ. You were uncircumcised spiritually; that is, your self-directed nature controlled you. Nevertheless, it was you whom God caused to become alive spiritually [MET] with Christ. And specifically, God forgave us all our sins.

14It is just like though he canceled the document/paper that stated …the charges against us/the sins that we had committed† for which God will punish us. And it was just like though [MET] it was that document/paper that he removed by nailing it to the cross when they nailed Christ on the cross.

15And specifically, God defeated the evil spirit beings that rule, and he demonstrated/showed that publicly; that is, he triumphed over them as a result of what Christ did.

Disregard those who condemn you because you do not obey certain regulations and because you do not w

16So disregard anyone who says that God will punish you because you eat certain foods and because you drink certain drinks or because you do not celebrate special yearly festivals or celebrate the time when the new moon appears or weekly …Sabbaths/Jewish days of rest†.

17Disregard such people because those regulations/rules about food and drink and festivals are only like a shadow [MET] that is cast by something that is approaching; that is, they merely represent the real spiritual blessings that Christ has given to you.

18Disregard those who say that God will punish you because you do not worship God in the way that they say that you should; that is, they insist that you should humiliate yourselves and that you should worship the angels. Disregard such people since they base their authority on things that they have never seen, and since they are proud without reason because their self-directed nature controls what they think,

19and since they do not teach the true teaching about Christ [MET]. Christ is the one who causes all of his people to develop/grow spiritually as God plans that they should develop/grow, just like [MET] a person’s head directs how his body grows, as it is held together by its joints and ligaments.

Do not submit to elementary regulations, which are concerned merely with what is external.

20It is as though [MET] you died with Christ. So you no longer have to obey elementary regulations/rules that are concerned merely with what is external/physical, just like a dead person no longer has to do anything. So, do not submit to regulations/rules

21such as ‘Do not handle certain things,’ ‘Do not taste certain things,’ ‘Do not touch certain things,’ as if you still had to obey such regulations/rules.

22All those things are intended to cease to exist when we use them. And do not submit to such regulations/rules, because they are what mere human teachers command and teach.

23Do not obey such regulations/rules because they only cause people to do what their self-directed nature wants to do. Those regulations seem to be wise because they urge people to worship as mere human teachers have decided. They urge that people should humiliate themselves, and that people should treat their bodies harshly. But those regulations/rules do not help people at all to not do the sinful things that their self-directed nature wants to do.

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