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Colossians - Self-Imposed Religion

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Theme: Understanding Paul’s plea for Christians. Col. 2:20-24


A.     We would all agree with the apostle Paul that self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body are contrary to a life in Christ.

  1. So, if Christians would agree with the apostle, why his need to boldly speak out against it?
  2. Further, how does this affect the walk of Christians today?

B. In this lesson we look at what Paul was dealing with regarding these statements and its ramifications to our lives today.

Review of Exhortations (Colossians 2)

A. Verse 4 – Let no one deceive you. cp. Rom. 16:17-18; Eph. 4:14

B. Verse 8 – Let no one rob (cheat) you. cp. 1 Tim. 4:1-5; 1 Tim. 6:20-21

C. Verse 16 – Let no one judge you. cp. Gal. 5:1; Rom. 14:1-12

D. Verse 18 – Let no one defraud (deprive) you. cp. 1 Tim. 4:3

We Have Died With Christ to the Elementary Principles Of The World

A. As Christians, why would we ever go back to those “requirements” that were against us (that condemned and brought about sin)? v. 20 (cp. v. 14)

  1. Christ took away the Law (law?): the handwriting of requirements.
  2. He brought freedom by belief in Him.

B.     Those who deceive, rob, judge and defraud…have an appearance of wisdom through:

  1. Self-imposed religion: make up commandments that somehow is suppose to bring us closer to God.
  2. False (air of) humility (self-abasement): the imposing of laws that seem to
  3. Neglect of the body: asceticism. 1 Tim. 4:3

C.     These principles have no value against the indulgence of the flesh. V. 23

  1. Those who walk in the Spirit will not be lead away by the works of the flesh. Cp. Gal. 5:24
  2. These place their faith in Jesus Christ for all that they do…unto God’s glory. Col. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 10:31
  3. Those, however, who walk according to the flesh will indulge themselves anyway and prove to be sons of disobedience (walking in darkness). cp. Col. 3:1-6


A.     To the demise of the body and the shipwreck of many souls too many Christians have created a system of decrees in the name of a pure and undefiled religion…but such could not be further from the truth.

B.     While we strive to abide by the teachings God’s word has clearly (explicitly) revealed to us, let us not add burdens upon one another and refer to them as “commandments” from God.

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