COLOSSIANS 2:16-23 – BORN FREE!

CHRIST SUPREME #9 (COLOSSIANS)

When I was growing up, we would celebrate Washington’s Birthday on February 22nd. George Washington is known as “The Father of Our Country.” Washington led the army that defeated the British, hence giving us freedom. He was also the first President of the United States.

Also, when I was growing up, we would celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12. Abraham Lincoln was the one who officially gave slaves their freedom and stood firm for the equality of all men.

Now in February, we celebrate President’s Day, with these two men who fought for freedom being, in my estimation, at the top of the list of all our presidents.

The true author of freedom is our Lord Jesus Christ! John 8:31-36 – The Lord Jesus came to deliver people everywhere from their biggest problem, sin. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection secured true freedom to all who trust Him, those who are born into the family of God.

  • Freedom from the penalty of sin when we trust Christ.
  • Freedom from the power of sin, as we allow Him to control us in this life.
  • Freedom from the presence of sin, for all eternity where we will be free to love and serve God as He intended.

John 3:4-7 – Born of water, indicates cleansing. Borth of the Spirit indicates new birth. These are secure by faith John 3:16.

Each of us who born again have new life that makes us free indeed. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

This freedom is not a freedom to do as we please. It is a freedom to live as God wants us to live!

When a person trusts the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior, he is free from bondage, free to love, free to serve, free to forgive and free to obey! We are born free.

This brings us back to Colossians 2, where false teachers were trying to “kidnap”, or “take captive” Colossian believers and put them under a philosophy that would add legalism and/or worship of angels to their Christianity.

In the Book of Colossians, we see Christ Supreme. In Colossians 2:8-15, we saw Christ as all we need. Through Him:

WE HAVE THE FULNESS OF GOD Vs. 9

WE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM Vs. 10

WE ARE CIRCUMCISED Vs. 11

WE ARE BAPTIZED Vs. 12

WE ARE ALIVE Vs. 13

WE ARE FORGIVEN Vs. 14

We ARE VICTORIOUS Vs. 15

Because we have all these things in Christ, we have been born again, free! Now Paul warns against three “isms” that will plague us if we don’t stand for our freedom in Christ.

He is saying:

DON’T ADD LEGALISM Vss. 16-17

DON’T ADD MYSTICISM Vss. 18-19

DON’T ADD ASCETICISM Vss. 20-23

DON’T ADD LEGALISM Vss. 16-17

Vs. 16 – Paul is warning us not to let anyone judge us.

Paul is warning against the person who judges people, counts them as qualified by rules they made up or follow that someone else made up.

In Paul’s day Jewish legalists judged Gentile Christians if they did not follow Old Testament rules, concerning dietary laws, celebrations, such as Passover, sacrifices offered with a new moon or sabbath keeping.

Vs. 17 – Paul says, “These are a shadow of things to come.” These pictured Christ. Paul says, now we have Christ. We don’t need to add things to do to stay saved.

We must be careful not to judge others or allow ourselves to be judged by others who are born again, but don’t have the same standards we might have.

DON’T ADD MYSTICISM Vss. 18-19

Vs. 18 – The word “beguile” pictures a referee or a judge of a sporting event who declares you disqualified for not following the rules. Mysticism not considering the Holy Spirit, looks inwardly to a personal “spiritual” experience that would look to other spirits or even “saints” to draw them closer to God. They often claim a false humility says they are not good enough to God on their own. They intimate that the Work of Christ is insufficient.

These are people who are entering into a world of spirits and the occult. They call themselves “Spiritual”, but it is not the Holy Spirit. Notice that Paul calls it “vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind”. Ephesians 6:10

Vs. 19 – The sin they are committing is not holding on the head, who is Christ. The head is the control center that nourishes everything. And as Colossians 2:10 reminds us we are complete in Him, and He is the head of all things.

It is by being connected to Christ, and His Spirit, that causes the church and us as individuals to be knit together and growing together. Yes, we are to be Spiritual as individuals and as a Church when we are holding on to Christ. John 15:4-5, Ephesians 5:18

And remember, one of the best ways to hold on to the head is to be knit together with fellow believers.

Hebrews 10:23-25

DON’T ADD ASCETICISM – Vss. 20-23

Vs. 20 – Asceticism says “I can be holy if I deny myself certain foods. The more I deny myself, the holier I become.”

Vss. 21-22 – These rules did not come from God. They came from men. Abstaining for the sake of holiness is an exercise in self-effort. Works do not make us holy. Christ has made us holy!

Food is temporary and was made to be enjoyed now in moderation by mankind. 1 Timothy 6:17, 1 Timothy 4:3-4

Vs. 23 – Here is a interesting insight. Denial of self to the extreme only stirs up more fleshly lusts. It’s very simple. If you tell me I cannot do something, I want to do it!

Vs. 20 shows the better way. I died with Christ, I need not be subject to legalism, mysticism, or asceticism.

Galatians 2:20

WE HAVE BEEN BORN FREE, LET US REMAIN FREE!

DON’T ADD LEGALISM Vss. 16-17

DON’T ADD MYSTICISM Vss. 18-19

DON’T ADD ASCETICISM Vss. 20-23