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Summary: The problem and solution to Legalism & Self-Imposed Religion

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I. PROBLEM OF JEWISH LEADERS IMPOSING RULES OF CONFORMITY ON COLOSIANS

A. New Gentile Christians – struggling to wrap their brains around new-found faith

B. Warning About Jewish Leaders

1. “Let no one judge you…” “Let no one cheat you…” (v. 16,18)

2. They are intrusive into things they have not a clue about (v. 18)

3. They are vainly puffed up / It’s a “false humility” (Paul said this twice)

4. Read Matthew 23:25-28 “Woe to you Pharisees…”

5. It’s a “self-imposed religion”

6. Such religion is no match against the flesh that will battle against you

II. SAME PROBLEM TODAY – SELF-IMPOSED RELIGION

A. Has All The “Appearance Of Wisdom” – Appears very godly / legitimate / right

B. Is Self-Imposed (2 symptoms of self-imposed religion)

1. False humility – meaning – no appearance of humility – but not humble

a. self-centered – look at me – self-pride in it’s holiness

b. very evil & self-deceived

2. Neglect of the body – deprivation – what I don’t do

a. focus on external behavior

b. all the while, the lion inside still untamed

c. for the unconscientious person – condemned

d. for the conscientious person – condemned (and frustrated)

C. Most Religious Person I Know = Devil – Lucifer

1. Doesn’t fight religion – wants people to be religious

- Matthew 26:41 “Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”

- Can’t use flesh to battle flesh

- Ephesians 6:12 – “We wrestle not against flesh & blood”

- absolve myself from myself by punishing myself

2. It is the devil who says “don’t cuss, don’t gamble, don’t smoke, don’t chew, and don’t go with girls who do…”

3. More religious (self-imposed religion) more poisoned you become

III. THE SOLUTION – WHAT TO DO INSTEAD? “HOLD FAST TO THE HEAD…”

A. (verse 19) “Hold Fast To The Head”

1. Died with Christ (2:20); raised with Christ (3:1)

2. Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth (3:2)

3. Life hidden with Christ in God (3:3)

4. Put on the new man, renewed in knowledge (3:10)

(Romans 12:1 – “do not be conformed to the world [secular or religious] but be transformed by the renewing of your mind)

B. Therefore (based on this) Put To Death…Fornication, Evil Desires, Etc

1. Based on this “Holding Fast To The Head” you can put to death…

2. Real wisdom, not just “appearance of wisdom”

3. True renewal, not just “self-imposed” religion

4. True submission & humility, not “false arrogant humility”

5. True victory – inside & out – not just a vain black-hold neglect of body

C. How Is This Possible?

1. Hold fast to the Head – “from whom all the body (entire you) is nourished and knit together…grows with the increase…that is from God” (trickle down spiritual economics – economy of your spirit)

2. Head to toe / inside & out

3. Real growth – sustainable, lasting, authentic

4. That is from God, not from yourself!

5. Romans 12:1 – do not be conformed, but be transformed, then the will of God in your life will be proved out – manifest – perfected

6. Galatians 5:22 – Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience…

7. First Corinthians 13 – Agape love – patient, kind, never jealous, envious…

IV. INVITATION


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