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¶ I WOULD that you knew how I struggled for your sakes and for the sake of those who are at Laodicea and for the rest who have not seen me personally,
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That their hearts may be comforted, and that they may be brought near by love to all the riches of the full assurance of understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God the Father and of Christ,
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In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
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¶ And I say this so that no man may beguile you with enticing words.
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For though I am far away from you in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your orderliness and the sincerity of your faith in Christ.
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Just as you have therefore accepted Jesus Christ our Lord, so you must be led by him,
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Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
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Beware lest any man mislead you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the teaching of men, after the principles of the world, and not after Christ.
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For in him is embodied all the fulness of the Godhead.
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And it is through him that you also have been made complete, for he is the head of all angelic orders and powers,
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In whom also you are circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in putting off the sinful body by the circumcision of Christ;
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And you were buried with him in baptism, and by him you were raised with him, for you believed in the power of God who raised him from the dead.
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¶ And you, who once were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has granted to live with him, and he has forgiven you all your sins;
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And by his commandments he cancelled the written bond of our sins, which stood against us;
and he took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
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And by putting off his mortal body, he exposed the powers of evil, and through his person put them openly to shame.
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¶ Let no man therefore create a disturbance among you about eating and drinking, or about the division of the feast days, the beginning of the months and the day of the sabbath.
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These are shadows of things to come;
but the main objective is Christ.
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Let no man, by pretense of sincerity, doom you so that you worship angels;
for he is bold about the things he has not seen, and foolishly he is proud of his intellectual powers;
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That very person does not uphold the Head by whom the whole body is constructed and stands with the joints and members, and grows through the discipline of God.
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Therefore, if you have died with Christ and are apart from the principles of the world, why then should you be doomed as though living in the world?
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Do not touch;
do not taste;
do not follow;
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For these things are customs which are changeable and they are the commandments and doctrines of men.
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And it appears there is some word of wisdom in these things when presented by the humble person in reverence for God, provided they disregard the things of the flesh, not those things which are honourable but only those things which satisfy the pleasure of the flesh.