Colossians 2:23


Dear Fastidious Memorizers,

This is it for another chapter! You did it. As I reviewed this chapter this morning, it was as if I was basking in the sunlight. I m amazes that I have read Colossians hundreds of times in my life but I didn’t see so much of what is there.

I would encourage all of you in this group to consider taking on Colossians 3 with all of us. Remember that though I may post something next Saturday, we will be taking a break just to shore up chapter two. So this week is verse 23 and the following week will be no new verses to memorize - only review and take in what you stored in your heart.

So here it is team:

Colossians 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (KJV)

Colossians 2:23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (ESV)

Just an observation that I’ve made; In memorizing, some of the verses leap out at me immediately and others hang back. Then other verses dawn on me much later. The beauty of God’s Word is that there is always a right Word for the moment.

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Please excuse me for shooting you with a double barrelled post (meaning I shot you on earlier and I’m firing another one off now!)

My biking is the time that I think that I thunk of something! As I was going along, learning my new verse, something appeared to me that is critical. Posting these thoughts are kind of humbling because what may be obvious to you,is just poking its head out to me.

Paul says in verse 23 that the mistaken are putting their emphasis on disciplining the body. You become an ascetic or maybe you do the iron man to be a godly individual. Robbing your body feeds the soul. But Paul doesn’t agree. Paul is making a distinction between the body and the flesh. They are, in fact, different Greek words.

What I feel that Paul is saying is that you can beat your body into subjection but you’ve missed the point. The flesh is the self aspect of the body. Verse 11 of this chapter says that we are to put off the body of flesh. What the confused folks in verse 23 are doing is they are putting off the body without putting off the flesh. 1John 2:16 calls it the lust of the flesh. The flesh says “Gimme, gimme.” So they miss the point. The body is beaten but the flesh lives on. We are to stop the indulgence of the flesh.

Do you think that becoming more Christlike involves not bodily discipline as much as obedience to the Holy Spirit without regard to our self, our flesh?


Hi Tim, my understanding is to become Christ like starts with your prayer life and time with God through which it then affects how we behave. For instance in the past when in our marriage the physical aspect has been lacking I found I was looking at women in an unhealthy manner, when I brought this to the Lord The started to notice that I stopped doing it, I can’t say when or how this change came but it did. Hope this is what you were looking for in an answer.

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David, thanks ever so much for your input. I so much appreciate it when the group puts in their 2 cents because we all have something to contribute.

I wasn’t looking for anything in an answer. I just want feedback as maybe I’m way off. So to all of you out there, when I ask a question, I’m not seeing if you give me the right answer. I’m asking the question genuinely and value what you have to say.

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Any other thoughts on the difference between the body and the flesh?

@Tim_Ramey — I maybe have an illustration of body/flesh difference. One of the guys coming to our church and Bible Study (but not a Christian) is a chronic alcoholic. He did stop drinking, so he has brought his body under control. Now, instead, he is verbally abusive to others, even aggressive, as the issues causing the drinking have not been dealt with. I think Jesus addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount, where it is not enough to never have had an extra-marital affair: “everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28) The flesh still holds him prisoner even if the body never did a thing.

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Carol,very good illustration. Do you feel that the word “flesh” is always meant in a negative sense?

Hi sister. I would like to give my thoughts on this subject. For me flesh is different from body . Body can be lead by flesh and spirit. Flesh is kind of mindset that wants to be God in all area of my life. Few months ago i started to fasting very first time of my life. I felt i was free from lust and temptations. So i decided to fasting oftentimes. I was thinking if I’m weak in body i can be free from lust and temptations. I thought I could achieve spiritual position because of grieving my body. But one day God had revealed me that it’s also flesh. It wants to control me.
I became to understand that this is not right way to control my thoughts. I must start it from my heart. This is what JESUS said, every repentance should truly start from heart. If any ungodly things or thoughts control our life, if anything turns me from JESUS, it’s flesh. Thank you.


Saravanan, you really have some insight there that I wish everyone could read. The Lord is so gracious to us and if we want to know the truth, He shows it to us. It is so encouraging for me to see how faithful that He is to you. Keep going brother!

By the way, you are a seeker of truth so I need to lay a little more on you - I’m a male so I am your brother, not your sister.

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I’m sorry brother. Forgive me for it. I think more than 2 times i called like that. Thanks for your reply sir. God bless you

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Praise the Lord JESUS!!! Brother @Tim_Ramey and Family, God speaks through US and you never know who you might be helping and edifying when you share. I really thank God for these discussions.

So this is amazing because I have been fasting, today is day 6 with no food, and I am 100% sure that God called me to this fast. Why? Because I absolutely did not want to. Since I’ve been a believer(2+ years) I’ve done 3 day fasts, water only, with ease, excited about it really. I’ve done 40 day Daniel fasts (no meats and no sweets) I’ve spent more of these 2 years in some type of “fast” than not. But I still wasn’t hearing from God clearly. I was still struggling with the lusts of my flesh, sometimes my past drug addictions would creep into my mind or I would whole-heartedly think I was hearing from God only to find that I was once again totally deceived by the enemy(he uses the Word of God, he poses as an angel of light and he appeals to the heart, it is the wellspring of life and it’s also wicked)
Jeremiah 17:9
“The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

So I wrote this above response quite some time ago yet I never posted it. We are so busy I completely forgot. What better time than now.

The conclusion was that this post about fasting was so completely on time. I was committed to fasting until I heard clearly from God anything, I was questioning my connectedness at the time, and when I read this post and this verse I was suddenly so aware of God’s Truth and how misguided I was about fasting. I gained clarity, understanding, a new sensitivity in the Spirit and deeper revelation of God’s love for us as His children.