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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #10
Posted: November 16, 2007

COLOSSIANS 2:18-23

Let us turn to our study in Colossians this week of Chapter 2 and verses 18-23 which says, Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. And not holding the Head from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why as tough living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

I have entitled the book “The Suffering Of Christ Alone”.  In our section of study this week I want to deal with ‘Paul’s Warnings About Christ Plus Anything’.

In verses 18-19 Paul deals with ‘The Secrets Of Ritual’.  One of the great areas of deception today is in the mysticism of extra Biblical revelation.  The Charismatic movement speaks of a word of knowledge and visions.  Paul tells us not to be ‘beguiled’.  The word is defrauded or tricked.  Paul says these will have a fake humility.  There is such a syrupy humility among the Joel Osteen’s, and Benny Hinn’s. So much so that it makes one gag.  “Pride is never more ugly than when it is pretending to be humble”. They are always, Paul tells us, into mystic things such as angels.  They are into things that cannot be seen or proven to exist.  It seems to puff one up.  The word ‘intrude’ here means to tread on air and ‘puffed up’ means to be inflated with air.  Most of what they teach, Paul says, is not Bible but hot air and they are full of it.  Paul speaks in verse 19 of unity of the body.  The unity that he speaks of gives the increase of God in doctrinal unity.  The unity today of your mega church is the Catholic, Jews, Cults, and Protestants of all flavors holding hands and running barefoot through fields of grass. The Purpose Driven Life, Joel Osteen, and Benny Hinn will offend no man’s religion.  You can listen to them, feel good about yourself, and stay in your doctrinal apostate church.

In verses 20-22 of the warning Paul mentions ‘The Standard Of Regulations’.  Paul says if you ‘be dead with Christ’ why return to the rudiments of ordinances.  If you are righteous why emphasize rules?  If you have a position in Christ, why talk about your practice?  In so many of our churches today the emphasis is on the outward man or touch, taste, and handle.  Paul says they will all perish with the use.  How many preachers, with a hard law message, have gone to seed?  They set a standard they couldn’t keep themselves.  In verse 22 Paul says they are always going after commandments and doctrines.  In the New Testament when it speaks of the doctrine of God it is always singular, when man devises commandments it is always plural.  We are not free to sin but free from sin.  The Bible is not a rulebook but a book of principles.  One verse of Scripture is worth more than ten thousand books of man’s rules.

Martin Luther flogged himself, did penance and long prayer.  While on a pilgrimage to Rome he was painfully making the assent on his knees up Pilate’s staircase praying to the Virgin Mary when the light came on.  He realized the ‘Just shall live by faith’.  The bubble of standards or regulations burst and all of Rome’s horsemen and king’s men could not put the bubble together again.  Thus began the ‘Protestant Reformation’.

In verse 23 we are confronted by way of warning with ‘The Shew Of Regulation’.  Paul tells us that religion likes to ‘shew’ its wisdom by imposing needs of will power over the body. The word ‘will worship’ is self imposed regulations over the body.  The sad thing Paul says it is to no ‘satisfying of the flesh’.  In the end the flesh is still as fierce, strong, and as wicked as ever.  Let us rest in the fact that it is Christ plus nothing equals sufficiency.  Let us in these last days preach the principle of the Bible and not the rules of regulation.  May God be pleased to send us a reformation of holiness and not the goodness of regulations.

          

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