As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.I see here a sharp contrast between the works of man and those of God. The former consist of "philosophy and empty deception," and traditions rooted in the elementary principles of this world, enforced by rulers and authorities. God's work, by contrast, is organic in character. The believer is identified so completely with Him that he or she is compared to a plant, firmly rooted and growing. Circumcision is shown to be an illustration of the removal of our corrupt nature ("the body of the flesh"), by His work, not ours; and baptism a picture of our own death and resurrection -- also a matter of our complete identification with Him. Disarmed rulers and authorities, made a public spectacle? Certificates of debt nailed to the cross? Yes, yes, yes! Bring it on. It is, as they say, all good.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
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