Colossians 2:16-23

Do not obey human ideas

16 Some people may tell you that it is wrong for you to eat or to drink certain things. Or they make rules about special festival days, about new moons, or about the Jewish days for rest. Do not agree with people like that. 17 Rules like that are only like shadows of real things that would happen later. But now we have what is real, Christ himself!

18 Some people may tell you that you must always serve other people like a slave. They may tell you that you must worship angels. Do not let those people speak bad things against you. They like to talk a lot about the special things that God has shown them. They think that they are very clever. But their ideas only come from human minds. 19 False teachers like that do not receive their message from Christ. As God's people, we are like a body and Christ is like our head. He is the one who causes the whole body to be strong. He helps us to work well together, like the different parts of a body. Then we can all grow properly, because it is God who is helping us to grow.

20 Remember that your old nature has died with Christ. So the powerful spirits that rule this world no longer have any authority over you. You do not need to serve them, because you do not belong to this world now. You do not need to obey their rules. 21 They teach, ‘Do not touch things like that!’ Or, ‘Do not eat that kind of food!’ Or, ‘Keep away from that thing!’ 22 Rules like that are only about things that spoil when you use them. They are rules that come from human ideas. 23 They teach you ideas about what you must do to worship God. They teach you to serve other people like a slave. They say that you must hurt yourself. You must show that you control your body. Rules like that may seem to be wise, but really they are not worth anything. They cannot stop our weak human nature from doing the bad things that we want to do.

2:22Many of these rules were about what kinds of food people could eat. When we have eaten food, it is no longer there. These kinds of rules do not help us with the really important things. The important things are always there and they never finish. Our new life with God will never finish.