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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.  This is do-it-yourself religion.  Christianity is not religion.  Religion places the emphasis upon man’s responsibility.  Grace puts the emphasis upon what God does. 
Everyone thinks their religion is right.  Most of these people are sincere.  However, the more sincere we are, if we are wrong, the farther astray we will go from the truth.  Sincerity becomes a facade for sloppiness.  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.
PRINCIPLE:
The Bible does not give us the right to superimpose our standards on someone else.
APPLICATION:
Jesus did not live an ascetic life.  He went to feasts and weddings when asked.  He did not sit in a corner mourning over the wickedness of the world.  He went to the party like an ordinary guest. 
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. Some Christians believe that it is wrong for boys and girls to swim in the same pool.  “Mixed bathing” is a taboo in certain parts of the United States.  Wearing make up is wrong in other circles. The Bible does not say these things are sin.
We all have a trend toward asceticism.  We love to put ourselves into new bondage.  Regulation is the back-bone of religion.  Note the next verse “Touch not, taste not, handle not.” Keeping rules gives people the idea that they are pious. 
Not all taboos are bad.  Some people look for any daylight whereby they might justify their sin.  The mature Christian takes care to not offend the weaker brother (Romans 14,15; I Corinthians 8-10).
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