Matthew Henry on Colossians Chapter 2…
“He takes occasion hence to warn them again: “Wherefore, if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances? Colossians 2:20. If as Christians you are dead to the observances of the ceremonial law, why are you subject to them? Such observances as, Touch not, taste not, handle not,” Colossians 2:21,22. Under the law there was a ceremonial pollution contracted by touching a dead body, or any thing offered to an idol or by tasting any forbidden meats, &c., which all are to perish with the using, having no intrinsic worth in themselves to support them, and those who used them saw them perishing and passing away or, which tend to corrupt the Christian faith, having no other authority than the traditions and injunctions of men.–Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship and humility. They thought themselves wiser than their neighbours, in observing the law of Moses together with the gospel of Christ, that they might be sure in the one, at least, to be in the right but, alas! it was but a show of wisdom, a mere invention and pretence. So they seem to neglect the body, by abstaining from such and such meats, and mortifying their bodily pleasures and appetites but there is nothing of true devotion in these things, for the gospel teaches us to worship God in spirit and truth and not by ritual observances, and through the mediation of Christ alone and not of any angels. Observe,
1. Christians are freed by Christ from the ritual observances of Moses’s law, and delivered from that yoke of bondage which God himself had laid upon them.
2. Subjection to ordinances, or human appointments in the worship of God, is highly blamable, and contrary to the freedom and liberty of the gospel. The apostle requires Christians to stand fast in the liberty with which Christ hath made them free, and not to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage, Galatians 5:1. And the imposition of them is invading the authority of Christ, the head of the church, and introducing another law of commandments contained in ordinances, when Christ has abolished the old one, Ephesians 2:15.
3. Such things have only a show of wisdom, but are really folly. It is true wisdom to keep close to the appointments of the gospel, and an entire subjection to Christ, the only head of the church.”