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Colossians, Chapter Two, Lesson Four

STRENGTHENING THE FLOCK            Page 5

V.23 ** Why are people so easily fooled by religious asceticism, by the erroneous teachings of men, to do spiritual works for the promoting of their souls?

Because they have "to be sure, the appearance of wisdom..." This is the politically correct view of religion. Whatever seems right for you, if you are sincere and respectable before others.

** Even though going to "church", or acting piously can look good, there are three areas in which all man centered religion will fail. What are they according to verse 23?

1) It is self-made religion. cf. Acts 17:23

2) It is self-abasement. We saw this before as a false humility we force upon ourselves for the purpose of being seen by others. cf. Mathew 6:5

3) It involves severe treatment of the body. Taking man made religion to a painful level, it is still exulting the creature rather than the Creator. cf. 1Kings 18:27-28

** How valuable is all of this man made effort to be religious, when applied to the war against fleshly indulgence?

It has "no value", in fact it actually makes matters worse by indulging the flesh with spiritual pride.

EXTRICATE

** Let's review Paul's pattern and see if we too can learn how to be "Strengthening the Flock". What is the first thing he asks them to do?

Therefore (based upon all that we have in Christ), do not let men act as your religious judge. (V.16)

** While taking our stand on Christ alone, what should we keep in mind when someone comes along with their new revelation or own personal vision?

They have been "inflated without cause" by their fleshly mind. (V.18)

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