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Don't Listen to “No One”!

Listen Up To The One In Charge  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction
Title:
Main Idea:
Godliness Doesn’t Come Through What You Do! (vs. 16-17)
Godliness Does Come Through Christ (vs. 19)
Introduction
#Badadvice - a young man name Lee - The left blinker went out on my car when I was 16. My dad told me to “only turn right.”
If only I would have read the Bible, especially Paul’s letter to the Colossians! Paul makes this point abundantly clear and if you have been with us through this journey, you will recognize this theme permeates this letter!
You can’t add anything to the Gospel to save you or grow you in Godliness. And the latter part of this statement is what we will focus on this morning from the text...
#Badadvice - Kayla was told - I was told once to use hairspray so my make-up would stay. Turns out it makes your face sticky…and a little crunchy.
#Badadvice - Hunter admitted - While cooking steaks, I asked my dad if the top of the BBQ was hot. He said, “Try it out” Not thinking, I was actually that dumb.
What is the Biblical Solution?
The church at Colossae was getting some bad advice and some of them were starting to listen! That’s why Epaphras sought Paul’s advice on how to handle this situation! And so Paul wrote a very clear answer to the problem and this leads to the main Idea for our text this morning...
What do the hearers need to know?
Main Textual Idea:
Main Idea: Don’t Listen to “No One”! Listen Only to Christ!
Before we get too far into this, I do want to explain something to you. I’m not losing it in the grammar department! I know from the main idea, it may seem as if I am, but when I say, “Don’t listen to “No One”!
“No One” are the false teachers that the church at Colossae are contending with. We see Paul referencing them in verse 16...
“Therefore let “NO ONE” pass judgment on you...”
And again in verse 18...
“Let “NO ONE” disqualify you...”
John 14:15 ESV
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Paul’s goal? Don’t listen to NO ONE (the false teachers promoting the heresy in Colossae)
Interrogative: What are theses teachers saying that is so bad? Well, this this passage Paul gives two characteristics they should be careful! Be careful not to listen to the judgmental or the Sensual.
Yes, you have to do things in order to grow in Godliness. R. Kent Hughes wrote a wonderful book called “Disciplines of a Godly Man.” I highly recommend it to you. His wife did a follow up book called, “Disciplines of a Godly Woman.” Again, a great resource for you.
Both books extol the necessity for you and I who name Christ as savior to “work out our individual salvation in fear and trembling ().
But this is NOT what Paul is dealing with in . No, He is dealing with something far more insidious. He’s dealing with a heresy that blatantly misconstrues the gospel.
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: Colossians and Philemon 2. The Empty Promise of the False Teaching (2:16–23)

Because it is in Christ that you have spiritual fullness, Paul is saying, do not let anyone impose upon you a program of spiritual development that does not have Christ at its heart.

Let’s take a look at the first...
Transition:
Body (Satisfaction)
1. Don’t Listen to the Judgmental! (vs. 16-17)
Lead in…Another way to think of this is that there is no way you can become Godly on your own. The false teachers were trying to get the Colossian Christians to add things to the simple and glorious message of the gospel. They needed to be stopped. Paul makes it very clear to not listen to them...
Text -
Colossians 2:16–17 ESV
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
Don’t you just love it when someone looks down their nose at you and judges you for something? It’s infuriating!
But, it can also be quite intimidating. Especially if feel inferior to the one passing judgment.
I remember when I was first saved and I came into contact with some “legalist” types. I wasn’t wearing the right clothing or something and I got the “holier than thou, STINK EYE!”
Well, I can imagine that the False teachers were doing a lot of “STINK EYEing” because they saw these newish believers forsaking the long established traditions and they were appalled to say the least!
Look again at the text...
Colossians 2:16–17 ESV
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
16
Paul is clear! “Do not listen to their overzealous, misguided, inappropriate, holier than thou, judgment! Do not let them pass judgement on you.
There is only one judge that you need be concerned about. God Himself. James warns his readers of the same thing...
James 4:11–12 ESV
11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
James 4:12 ESV
12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Jame
Indeed, who are you to judge or condemn anyone? And to be clear, the false teachers were not merely criticizing the Colossian christIan, no! What they were doing was “pronouncing God’s judgment on them.” (PNTC)
Paul lists two sets of issues in particular, where the false teachers were “passing judgment.” Let’s take a look at each...
The first set?
Food and Drink -
Leviticus 11:45–47 ESV
45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” 46 This is the law about beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms on the ground, 47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten.
11 45-47
Leviticus 11 ESV
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. 3 Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. 4 Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. 5 And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. 6 And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. 7 And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8 You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you. 9 “These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. 10 But anything in the seas or the rivers that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you. 11 You shall regard them as detestable; you shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses. 12 Everything in the waters that does not have fins and scales is detestable to you. 13 “And these you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten; they are detestable: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 14 the kite, the falcon of any kind, 15 every raven of any kind, 16 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the short-eared owl, 18 the barn owl, the tawny owl, the carrion vulture, 19 the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. 20 “All winged insects that go on all fours are detestable to you. 21 Yet among the winged insects that go on all fours you may eat those that have jointed legs above their feet, with which to hop on the ground. 22 Of them you may eat: the locust of any kind, the bald locust of any kind, the cricket of any kind, and the grasshopper of any kind. 23 But all other winged insects that have four feet are detestable to you. 24 “And by these you shall become unclean. Whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, 25 and whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. 26 Every animal that parts the hoof but is not cloven-footed or does not chew the cud is unclean to you. Everyone who touches them shall be unclean. 27 And all that walk on their paws, among the animals that go on all fours, are unclean to you. Whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, 28 and he who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you. 29 “And these are unclean to you among the swarming things that swarm on the ground: the mole rat, the mouse, the great lizard of any kind, 30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. 31 These are unclean to you among all that swarm. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening. 32 And anything on which any of them falls when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is an article of wood or a garment or a skin or a sack, any article that is used for any purpose. It must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it shall be clean. 33 And if any of them falls into any earthenware vessel, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it. 34 Any food in it that could be eaten, on which water comes, shall be unclean. And all drink that could be drunk from every such vessel shall be unclean. 35 And everything on which any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean. Whether oven or stove, it shall be broken in pieces. They are unclean and shall remain unclean for you. 36 Nevertheless, a spring or a cistern holding water shall be clean, but whoever touches a carcass in them shall be unclean. 37 And if any part of their carcass falls upon any seed grain that is to be sown, it is clean, 38 but if water is put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you. 39 “And if any animal which you may eat dies, whoever touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening, 40 and whoever eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. And whoever carries the carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. 41 “Every swarming thing that swarms on the ground is detestable; it shall not be eaten. 42 Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, any swarming thing that swarms on the ground, you shall not eat, for they are detestable. 43 You shall not make yourselves detestable with any swarming thing that swarms, and you shall not defile yourselves with them, and become unclean through them. 44 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. 45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” 46 This is the law about beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms on the ground, 47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten.
leviticus 11
The second set?
A Festival - The annual religious celebrations of the Jewish calendar (Passover, Pentecost or Tabernacles)
Leviticus 23:1–6 ESV
1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts. 3 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. 4 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
Leviticus 23 ESV
1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts. 3 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. 4 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 8 But you shall present a food offering to the Lord for seven days. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work.” 9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, 11 and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin. 14 And you shall eat neither bread nor grain parched or fresh until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 “You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked with leaven, as firstfruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations. 22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.” 23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the Lord.” 26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord. 28 And you shall not do any work on that very day, for it is a Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For whoever is not afflicted on that very day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. 32 It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. On the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.” 33 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not do any ordinary work. 36 For seven days you shall present food offerings to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall hold a holy convocation and present a food offering to the Lord. It is a solemn assembly; you shall not do any ordinary work. 37 “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord food offerings, burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day, 38 besides the Lord’s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides all your vow offerings and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord. 39 “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord seven days. On the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest. 40 And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. 41 You shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” 44 Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed feasts of the Lord.
Levi
A New Moon - the monthly sacrifice offered on the first day of each month.
Numbers 10:8–10 ESV
8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets. The trumpets shall be to you for a perpetual statute throughout your generations. 9 And when you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the Lord your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies. 10 On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I am the Lord your God.”
Numbers
A Sabbath - The weekly celebration of the 7th day. A picture of God’s rest from creation. (; Rom 14:5,6)
Leviticus 23:3 ESV
3 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.
Lev 23
According to Paul in verse 17, these activities served their purpose by being “a shadow of the things to come” meaning these activities prescribed in the Old Testament law (dietary regulations, festivals, sacrifices) were incomplete pictures of the glorious painting of Christ!
You can tell that Paul is mystified that the Colossians would be tempted to go backward and follow the law that’s entire purpose was to point to Christ!
I love how the NLT translates these two verses...
Colossians 2:16–17 NLT
16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.
The writer of Hebrews uses the same language of Paul...
Hebrews 8:5 ESV
5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”
Hebrews 10:1 ESV
1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
Mark Maynell said it so well...
“Shadows have many features. They can intrigue and keep children entertained for ages, when someone makes animal silhouettes on the wall using a lamp and contorted hand movements. They can cause alarm and fear, such as in horror movies when a bad guys presence looms larger than life. But when it comes to relationships, we rarely think twice: a friend’s shadow is far less significant than the person herself. If she is in conversation with you, it would be very odd to keep replying to her silhouette on the ground.” (Colossians and Philemon for You, pg. 104-105)
Shadows are great, but they are not the real thing. This is why Paul uses this illustration.
Do you know what the real thing is? Jesus Christ.
And, by the way, Jesus Christ towers over the whole of History and casts a shadow that cannot be ignored!
Christ is the substance! The substance belongs to Him. There is nothing nor no one that is more substantial, more consequential that Jesus Christ!
My friend told me of a story of a church that was really struggling. The pastor had left and so the mission agency affiliated with this church called a missionary from the field to come and care for the congregation.
Well this new missionary / pastor soon found out what part of the problem was.
Apparently there was a self-appointed “PPG” “pants patrol guard” who would walk around the parking lot and when any lady, including guests, arrived to worship and were wearing slacks, he would say, “I think you should go home and change into something more appropriate for our worship service.” I can’t imagine why they were having a problem growing as a church?!
It isn’t what you participate in that make you godly! It’s God that makes you Godly! Christ Jesus is the substance!
Allegedly, Napoleon Bonaparte said this regarding the substantial Christ...
“If Socrates would enter the room, we should rise and do him honour. But if Jesus Christ came into the room, we should fall down on our knees and worship him.” (Colossians and Philemon for You, pg. 105)
Application -
The False Teachers were encouraging the primarily non Jewish church at Colossae to go backward in their thinking. They wanted them to participate in the old rituals promising that they would give some spiritual boost.
God never intended for these laws to be permanent! They were designed by God to give His children in the Old Testament tangible ways for them to express their devotion to God UNTIL THE CHRIST CAME!
This is why Jesus said what He said in...
Mark 7:17–23 ESV
17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Mark 7:17–19 ESV
17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
As you can see from this text, the heart cannot be tamed by the law. Only Jesus can do that! Jesus came to do what you could never accomplish...
Mark 1
Mark 7:17–23 ESV
17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Matthew 5:17 ESV
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
The law was fulfilled by Jesus Christ and those who place their faith in Him, that He fulfilled the law on their behalf, will be freed from the demands of the law and will receive eternal life!
Paul articulates this best in ...
Romans 7:1–6 ESV
1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. 4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
Romans 7
Mark 7
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: Colossians and Philemon 2. The Empty Promise of the False Teaching (2:16–23)

The Colossian Christians should not let anyone insist on their observing the rules and ceremonies of the earlier era that has now passed.

Application -
See page 106
Application -
Application -
Review - Don’t Listen to No One! Listen Only to Christ!
Don’t Listen to the Judgmental
2. Don’t Listen to the Sensual! (vs. 18)
Lead in…Now, did you know that sensual doesn’t just have a sexual connotation? No, it is broader than that. The word “sensuous” is “sarkos” which is translated often as “flesh”. It means “to live by one’s feelings. And boy oh boy, do we live in a time that is characterized by how we feel. A long time ago, people would ask the question, “What do you think about this or that?” Today we ask, “How do you feel about this or that?” Guess what, they struggled with the same thing back in Paul’s day. Look at Paul’s next warning against the “NO ONE.”
Colossians 2:18 ESV
18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,
Colossians 1:18 ESV
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Colossians 2:17 ESV
17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
Text -
Explanation - In verse 16, Pauls warns, “Let no one pass judgment on you...” and now in verse 18 he challenges them by saying, “Let no one disqualify you...”
So “NO ONE” (AKA the false teachers) is still up to NO GOOD. Paul moves from the legalist to the mystical person who is motivated by his or her feelings.
So Paul tells them clearly, “Let no one disqualify you (“cheat you of your reward NKJV), insisting on three things...
Asceticism - a false humility
Worship of Angels - connecting with God through the mediation of angelic beings because of their unworthiness produced an amazing experience that only those who worshiped in this particular way could experience.
This, by the way (according to scholars) was “The beggining of a heresy that was to plague the region around Colossae for several centuries and far beyond.” (MSB)
1 Timothy 2:5 ESV
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
The Scriptures have something to say about this practice...
Matthew 4:10 ESV
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ”
When John worshiped and angel in...
Revelation 19:10 ESV
10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
1 Timothy
The fact is there is only one that stands on our behalf...
1 Timothy 2:5–6 ESV
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
1 tim
Visions - The NASB says, “taking his stand on visions he has seen...”
In other words, the false teacher’s authority came from his experience of seeing something that could not be corroborated, rather than from the Word of God. So then because they had this extraordinary vision, the false teacher became the defector authority. It’s hard to argue against someones experience.
However, and hear me on this, if someones experience does not line up with the scriptures, there is a problem with the experience, not with the HOLY WORD OF GOD!
Of course, when someone become the authority because of their “irrefutable” experience, the inevitable result is...
being “puffed up (prideful) without reason by his sensuous mind...”
The False teacher ends up “thinking more highly of himself than he ought.” ()
And Paul is very concerned that the Colossians are listening and beginning to believe the experiences of the false teachers and potentially being derailed in their walk with Christ because of it!
They shouldn’t be listening to them!
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: Colossians and Philemon 2. The Empty Promise of the False Teaching (2:16–23)

To summarize this difficult verse, then, we find Paul to be asserting four things about the false teachers: (1) they put a great deal of stock in ascetic practices, perhaps to induce visions; (2) they are so concerned with calling on angels as a means of protection from evil forces that they are virtually worshiping them; (3) they focus on visions they have experienced, perhaps citing the content of those visions in their teaching; and (4) they display, perhaps because of their boasting about visions, an arrogance that reveals a worldly orientation.

But isn’t it tempting to want more from you walk in Christ?
“If I could just have some fantastic experience with the Lord, then my faith would increase exponentially! If God would just show up in a powerful way so that I feel and sense His presence more, then I would pray more! If I could just have an overwhelming feeling of His love, then I could love more.
Certainly God gives us tastes and glimpses here and there over the course of our Christian lives. But they are by far the exception, not the rule.
It’s beguiling, folks. Our feelings, our flesh is never satisfied.
Feelings and emotions are wonderful! But they should never be our standard of faith. In other words, how I feel doesn’t dictate or change the truth.
If you call me at three in the morning and wake me out of a sound sleep, I may not feel very much like a Christian, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am!
The false teachers INSISTED on these things. They insisted that the believers at Colossae have a greater experience than they were and they were planting the idea in their heads that if they did not have this experience, they were really missing out on the fuller Christian life that was available to them.
The reality of all of this was they were dead wrong!
God is far more interested in your Faithfulness than how you feel about it!
Application -
Oh, I just can’t pray right now - I just don’t feel close to God. Yet God commands us,
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
17 pray without ceasing,
What are we to do? Listen to our fleshly feelings or obey God?
Oh, I am scared to death to share the gospel with my friend. Yet God commands us,
Matthew 28:19 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Philippians 2:14–16 ESV
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
Matthew 5:14–16 ESV
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
phil 2 14 1
Oh, my friend/spouse/neighbor really hurt me and even though they have asked for forgiveness, I just don’t feel like I can forgive them. Yet, God commands us,
Colossians 3:13 ESV
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
These are just a few examples of what our feelings might say verses what God says. Which will you be faithful in obeying.
Remember, God is far more interested in your faithfulness rather than how you feel about it.
Don’t listen to “NO ONE” who tells to do things that are contrary to God’s HOLY WORD!
Review - Don’t Listen to No One! Listen Only to Christ!
Don’t Listen to the Judgmental
Don’t Listen to the Sensual
3. Don’t Listen to Anyone that Differs with Christ (vs. 19)
Lead in…Take a look at verse 19...
Colossians 2:19 ESV
19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Text -
I’m not sure if you have noticed this yet or not, but there is a real contrast going on here. Paul is giving two options for the Colossians to consider.
The first option is those promoting the heresy or false teaching.
The second option is Christ Himself.
The first option brings division in the body - encouraging those who would have a deeper relationship with God need to engage in particular actions and behaviors. This is what legalism and mysticism inevitably produce.
But not just division from one another, but division from Christ Himself!
“puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, AND NOT HOLDING FAST TO THE HEAD...”
And this was the greatest problem the false teachers faced. They believed they could have a robust relationship with God while being severed from the Head - namely Christ Jesus, Himself.
Hear me well. YOU CANNOT HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD APART FROM JESUS CHRIST!
If you think you can have a relationship with God, you are not a Christian and your eternal reality is Hell and Hell alone. This is the ultimate division - Between God and man.
The second option/Christ Himself - the only real option for the believer, brings sweet and harmonious unity!
This is what Paul says so well...
Colossians 2:19 ESV
19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
The false teachers were not holding to the Head, but if we do, according to Paul, it is through Christ, the Head that the whole body (the church) is nourished (strengthened by the proper feeding on His Word) and knit together (not a bunch of separate body parts lying around) but connected through joints and ligament (unity of body with the unity of purpose)...
This is our purpose as the body! To be unified under the head, that is Christ Jesus...
And the result then is a supernatural growth both as individual body parts but also corporately as the body itself...
This growth is not generated from you or me. It comes for God Himself. Our new life in Christ started by His grace and continues by His grace. It is not by following the antiquated law or by dynamic experiences.
Scott Hubbard says it so well...
“The Christian life does not begin by grace and then proceed in our own strength. We begin, grow, and finally reach home by grace alone. Even though almost every Christian can agree with that statement intellectually, our experience often betrays a tendency toward grace’s two enemies: legalism and license…By grace, we press on to know God more deeply and hold on to what we discover about him. And by grace, he opens our eyes and makes us grow.” - Scott Hubbard, Desiring God Ministries
And so, we do not hold on to what we do or the experiences we have. We hold onto the HEAD!
Illustration -
And as we hold onto the head and live out what He has told us, we will grow up together in him.
Ephesians 4:12–15 ESV
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Ephesians 4:13–15 ESV
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Ephesians 4:13–15 ESV
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Ephesians 4:15 ESV
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Ephesians 4:14–15 ESV
14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
What does “holding fast to Christ” look like?
Simple, really...
John 15:1–5 ESV
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

True spirituality does not come by compliance with laws (which are only a shadow) but by connection with the Life (who is the reality). Without a vital connection to its Head, the body of Christ cannot grow.

Are you Abiding in Christ? Living in Him as He lives in you?
How?
Pursue His Holiness
Love Him and Other
Live His Truth
Review - Don’t Listen to No One! Listen Only to Christ!
Don’t Listen to the Judgmental
Don’t Listen to the Sensual
Godliness Doesn’t Come Through What You Avoid!
Don’t Listen to Anyone Who Differs with Christ
Conclusion (Visualization)
I’m sire you have received some bad advice over the years. But let me give you some very good advice. Hold fast to Jesus Christ and you will never succumb to the foolishness of the false teachers that will come your way!
Action they should take
Land the Plane
Connection Group/Reflection Questions
What challenged you most from this passage? Why?
Which of the traps mentioned in verses 16-19 do you think you think you are more in danger of being attracted to?
Read . How did Jesus understand His relationship to the Law?
What would you say to someone who was caught up in either of these false Ideas of how to relate properly to God?
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