Colossians 2:11-17

Talks for Growing Christians

Paul Warns Against the Dangers of Religious Legalism

Colossians 2:11-17

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Lesson Number 12

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Legalism is a distortion of biblical Christianity.
    a. Legalism forgets our position in Christ.
    b. Legalism forgets that the Law ended in Christ.
    c. Legalism forgets that the enemy was conquered in Christ.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s not get hung up with legalism.


  1. Judaism put an emphasis on Old Testament laws. What happens when this emphasis is mixed with Christianity?
  2. Why does legalism look so good?
  3. What is the worst form of legalism?
  4. How does Paul argue against legalism?
  5. What happens when we keep a list of “don’ts”?
  6. What does Romans 14 tell us about legalistic judgment of others?


  1. The emphasis on laws was a form of legalism, and legalism distorts Christianity.
  2. Because the legalists seem to be very religious.
  3. Legalism that says salvation comes by keeping the rules.
  4. He argues that legalism forgets our position in Christ, that the law ended with Christ, and that the enemy was conquered by Christ.
  5. Any form of running your life by a list of don’ts rather than by a burning love for Christ is legalism.
  6. Do not judge other Christians in non-moral areas.


  1. Review the argument against legalism, and take it to heart.
  2. Beware of judging others by your spiritual lists. Do you find yourself doing this? Do you sometimes feel that you are being judged by others?
  3. Are you sure of your position in Christ? What is it? Could you explain it to someone?


  1. Are you under the law, or in love with Christ? Do you ever use your liberty in Christ for self-indulgence?

Key Verses

  • “…you, being dead in your trespasses…He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” Colossians 2:13

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