Q. Can you please help me understand Colossians 2:20 – 23? I would love for you to share with me your teaching on it.
A. Colossians 2:20-23 is the summary statement of Paul’s teaching on our freedom from human regulations that began in Colossians 2: 8. which says,
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
He confirmed that Jesus was God in human form (Colossians 2:9) and that He forgave all our sins at the cross (Col. 2:13-14). Therefore, we should not let anyone judge us by what we eat or drink or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16).
In conclusion, he asked why, if we’ve died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, do we act if we still belonged to it by submitting to its rules? (Colossians 2:20).
He said although these rules have an appearance of wisdom, with their self imposed worship and false humility, they’re based on human commands and teachings and as such lack any value in making us more Christ like (Colossians 2:22-23).
All the Father requires of us is to believe in the one He sent (John 6:28-29). This belief changes us. From His perspective it makes us a different person from the one we were before (2 Cor. 5:17). He doesn’t need our obedience to human regulations to see how we’ve changed, and He’s the only one who matters.