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Read Introduction to Colossians


“Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—”


“do you subject yourselves to regulations—”

“Regulations” are man-made rules. They have no basis in the Bible. Living by external rules to Scripture is a do-it-yourself religion. Christianity is not a religion. Religion places emphasis on man’s responsibility. Grace emphasizes what God did and does. 

Everyone thinks their religion is right. Most of these people are sincere. However, the more earnest we are, the farther astray we will go from the truth if we are wrong in our sincerity. Sincerity, in this case, becomes a facade for avoiding the truth. Sincerity is no virtue if we are sincerely wrong. Sincerity can be counterfeit. Most do-gooders are sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. Do-gooders try to improve things. When it comes to suffering for sin, we cannot improve on the death of Christ. God will reject all human good when we face him. Only the work of Christ on the cross impresses Him.


The Bible does not give us the right to superimpose our standards on someone else.


Jesus did not live an ascetic life. He went to feasts and weddings when asked. He went to the party like an ordinary guest. Our Lord did not sit in a corner mourning over the world’s wickedness.  

Christians love taboos. Religion sucks them into false ideas all the time. A taboo is something a Christian thinks is wrong, but the Bible says nothing about it. Years ago, some Christians believed it was inappropriate for boys and girls to swim in the same pool. “Mixed bathing” was a taboo in certain parts of the United States. Wearing makeup is wrong in other circles. The Bible does not say these things are sins.

We all have a trend toward asceticism. We love to put ourselves into new bondage. Regulation is the backbone of religion. Keeping rules gives people the idea that they are pious. Note the next verse, “Touch not, taste not, handle not.”  

Not all taboos are harmful. The mature Christian does not offend the weaker brother who holds a taboo (Romans 14,15; 1 Corinthians 8-10). However, some people look for any daylight whereby they might justify their sin.