And indeed, I must let you know what anxiety I feel over you, and the Laodiceans, and those others who have never seen me in person. I would bring courage to their hearts; I would see them well ordered in love, enriched in every way with fuller understanding, so as to penetrate the secret revealed to us by God the Father, and by Jesus Christ, in whom the whole treasury of wisdom and knowledge is stored up. I tell you this, for fear that somebody may lead you astray with high-flown talk. In person, I am far away from you, but I am with you in spirit; and I rejoice to see how well disciplined you are, how firm is your faith in Christ. Go on, then, ordering your lives in Christ Jesus our Lord, according to the tradition you have received of him. You are to be rooted in him, built up on him, your faith established in the teaching you have received, overflowing with gratitude. Take care not to let anyone cheat you with his philosophizings, with empty phantasies drawn from human tradition, from worldly principles; they were never Christ's teaching. In Christ the whole plenitude of Deity is embodied, and dwells in him, and it is in him that you find your completion; he is the fountain head from which all dominion and power proceed. In him you have been circumcised with a circumcision that was not man's handiwork. It was effected, not by despoiling the natural body, but by Christ's circumcision; you, by baptism, have been united with his burial, united, too, with his resurrection, through your faith in that exercise of power by which God raised him from the dead. And in giving life to him, he gave life to you too, when you lay dead in your sins, with nature all uncircumcised in you. He condoned all your sins; cancelled the deed which excluded us, the decree made to our prejudice, swept it out of the way, by nailing it to the cross; and the dominions and powers he robbed of their prey, put them to an open shame, led them away in triumph, through him. So no one must be allowed to take you to task over what you eat or drink, or in the matter of observing feasts, and new moons, and sabbath days; all these were but shadows cast by future events, the reality is found in Christ. You must not allow anyone to cheat you by insisting on a false humility which addresses its worship to angels. Such a man takes his stand upon false visions; his is the ill-founded confidence that comes of human speculation. He is not united to that head of ours, on whom all the body depends, supplied and unified by joint and ligament, and so growing up with a growth which is divine. If, by dying with Christ, you have parted company with worldly principles, why do you live by these prescriptions, as if the world were still your element? Prescriptions against touching, or tasting, or handling those creatures which vanish altogether as we enjoy them, all based on the will and the word of men? They will win you, no doubt, the name of philosophers, for being so full of scruple, so submissive, so unsparing of your bodies; but they are all forgotten, when nature asks to be gratified.