Tag Archives: Colossians 2:20

Colossians Study: Men of Rules

Men of Rules

[Colossians 2:16-23]

  • Let no one steal your freedom (v. 16)
    • Legalism = slavery/bondage à Christ accomplished the Law
    • Spiritual elitism – believed if circumcised, watched diets, observed days – then elite
    • Asceticism (self-denial and self-modification) – Christ does more than restrain—He puts new desire within a person
  • Let no one disqualify or condemn you (v. 16)
    • There is NO condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1)
    • Your qualification is from God (2 Corinthians 3:5)
  • Let no one beguile you of your reward (v. 18-19)
    • Beguile = to declare unworthy of a prize à “Don’t be cheated”
    • You do receive a different degree of glory (1 Corinthians 3:8)

TRADITION CANNOT BE EQUAL TO THE WORD OF GOD

Tradition of Man or Truth and Grace of Christ…

  • Does is stress man made rules over grace?
  • Is it condemning or discipline in love (truth in love)?
  • Does it focus on knowledge and formulas or on the Word of God?
  • Does it elevate rule keepers over Christ?
  • Does it act like elite group?

Bible Study Questions:

1) In verse 16-17, we read not to let anyone say we must celebrate a list of items.

What are these items we should not be forced to celebrate?

Why are these items not mandatory?

What are we to celebrate? (see v. 17)

2) The message mentioned “asceticism” which is a life of self-discipline. It involves practicing strict punishment and restriction (self-denial) to one’s body to modify or change behavior. What are some examples? What is the difference between it being part of the Law or something more?

3) Read verses 20-23.

            How does following the rules makes you appear? How is this not true?

The end of this passage says all of this doesn’t “have any power over our desires.” If this doesn’t have the power, where do we get this power over our desires?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

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The Do Nots

Rules and regulations are important and certainly needed. If we would not have rules, there would be no boundaries in the world. People could drive on any side of the road. There would be no need to stand in a line. These are only a few examples but it is easy to see things would be very different. Structure would disappear.

Even so, there are two things that are important to remember. We must remember that none of us keep all of the “rules.” We do not follow God’s Law. Read the Law of Moses. Read the Ten Commandments. It won’t take long to see that we fall short. In Romans 3, Paul is quick to profess that we all fall short. Accept it. Second, grace is above the Law. The love of Christ, the grace of God—with this we have salvation because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross.

In Colossians 2, we read of people who were trying to keep the Law. Though Christ fulfilled the Law, though we no longer live by the Law, people were still trying to submit to the Law. Do not handle. Do not taste. Do not touch. Do not. Do not. Living with these regulations enslaved the followers. No longer were these people living by grace; instead, these people were slaves of the Law. They were asked if they still belonged to the world. Why? Because those in the world follow the laws of the world, while those who belonged to Jesus lived by grace. By following the Law, they were basically saying that the blood of Christ wasn’t enough. You decide. Where do you belong? For me, I belong to Jesus.

“Why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations? – as] Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them].” – Colossians 2:20b-21 [AMP]