Spiritual Life Warning Signs Col 2:16-23

About this Episode

Spiritual Life Warning Signs Col 2:16-23 is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast

From flashing road signs to Beware of dog signs, warnings are a part of our life. We teach our kids to heed warnings and we too adults must be reminded of them. Sometimes warnings are a matter of life or death. Today we're going to talk about the Spiritual Life Warning Signs we have. Moses warned the Israelites to beware of forgetting the Lord once they got settled into the promised land. Jesus often times use the word beware Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Today we are going to unpack Colossians 2:16-23, in these verses Paul gives us 3 warnings for us to heed if we are to enjoy the fullness in Christ.

First warning we see in vs 16-17 Don’t let anyone pass judgment on you.
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

The false teachers in Colossae were claiming a deeper spiritual life for all who would practice the Law. Outwardly their practices seemed to be spiritual, but in actual fact, these practices accomplished nothing spiritually.

Mathew 26:41 The flesh is weak when it comes to doing spiritual things.

By getting caught up into being condemned by other people we lose site of Gods grace for our lives. Our spiritual life cannot thrive if we let other people’s legalism control us. Paul in verse 17 uses the word shadows. What he is saying is the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming Heb 10:1. Why go back into the shadows when we have the reality in Jesus. Don’t let people condemn you, just seek Jesus and Him crucified.

The reasons why [legalism] is so devastating are:
1. It ignores or underestimates the role of inner attitude and motivation.
2. It focuses upon self-effort rather than on divine enablement.
3. It encourages pride rather than humble dependence upon God.
4. It tends to “use” the Scriptures to reinforce our own preconceived ideas and preferences.
5. It tends to conceive of our acceptance with God as performance-oriented.
6. It arouses the flesh and incites us to sin, rather than the avoidance of sin.
7. It tends to impose one’s personal convictions on others, and to condemn them if they fail to live up to our rules.

The next warning Paul gives them is don’t let man cheat you of your reward
18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[a] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

The word “disqualify” means to declare unworthy of a prize. It’s an athletic term. The umpire disqualifies the contestant because he has not obeyed the rules. Sin separates us from the father but it does not disqualify us of our salvation. 1 Cor 3:8 says we are promised a reward by our faithfulness.


The false teachers in Colossae had visions and made contact with angels. In bypassing the word of God and spirit of God, they were opening themselves up for all kinds of demonic activity. The false teachers were making themselves bigger than they really were. They had all the right connections and knew the right people. They were in the know and you better listen to them.

2 Cor 11:13-15 says that Satan knows how to give counterfeit experiences to people. Any other teaching that does not have Jesus as the main focal point should not be listened to.

How do you know if what you are reading or listening to is of God or not? Does it humble you, does it bring to mind the awe of God? Does it fill your heart with love? If a pastor, business leader, or anybody else that has a so-called status is pushing you to pursue success in any way that does not elevate Jesus, Heed the warning and do not listen to them. If not they are robbing you of your rewards.

The next warning Paul wants us to Heed is he does not want anybody to enslave us.
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

“E-sedik” or “as cet ic” means Suggestion of severe self-discipline and abstaining from all forms of indulgence.

Where is the freedom if there is only a system of rules?

How do we know if you’re enslaved with something?

The people who practice asceticism have a reputation for spirituality but the product does not live up to the promotion. Self-imposed discipline is not true worship of God if it is not done in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

What does “does in spirit and in truth” mean?

If what we are doing is not in accordance with what Christ is asking of you to do then you are being enslaved by the cares of this world and your spiritual life will be found wanting. If this is you take heed to this warning.

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