Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 2

Rules about physical actions do not benefit our spirits

Colossians 2:21-22

Some teachers were trying to separate Christians from this physical world. So, they told the Christians not to touch certain things, and not to eat certain foods. They were trying, by these rules, to make Christians aware of the spirit world. For the same reason, they told Christians to pray to the angels, in other words, the spirits who serve God in heaven (2:18). Their ideas were wrong and dangerous (Revelation 22:8-9).

God really has given to his people positions of high (great) authority in the spirit world (Ephesians 2:6). However, God has not told his people to separate themselves from this physical world – but rather, to serve him in it. To use their authority in the spirit world, they must declare God’s truth, his word, in this physical world (Ephesians 6:10-17). As they trust God and his word in the circumstances of their lives, they stand against the devil and his evil forces.

The rules that the teachers made could not do that. It is only our physical bodies that can touch or eat something. Our spirits do not touch or eat anything in this world (see Luke 24:36-43). So rules about what we eat or touch cannot benefit our spirits (Romans 14:17). They are natural rules about natural things in our physical world.

Those teachers had themselves made those rules for natural, human reasons (2:22). They were proud and they wanted to have authority over people (2:18). They used their rules to try to make Christians’ relationship with Christ weaker. However, Christians must depend completely on Christ. They cannot and must not replace Christ with a system of rules for their lives.

Next part: The dangers of strict self-control in religion (Colossians 2:23)


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