March 8, 2021

What Does Colossians 2:16 Mean?

What Does Colossians 2:16 Mean?

Colossians 2:16 (NIV) Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

Julie Carruth

Ready to make your Bible study super simple?

Yes?  Hallelujah! The Simple Truth is created just for you.
Each Sunday you can receive an email quickly recapping what we learned this past week on The Simple Truth 2-Minute Podcast.

It's a great way to:

  • refresh your memory
  • have notes to save and look back on, and
  • get ready for this week's podcast!

Sign up now at 


Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth. 

 We’ve been studying Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae.  Last week, we learned we are fully alive, fully forgiven, and fully victorious. 

 Paul gives us a warning by saying now that you’re fully alive be careful because there are going to be others that come along and try to set legalistic boundaries on you. The first thing he warns us of is judgmental criticism. He writes in Colossians chapter 2 the first part of verse 16, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink.”

 In the time of this writing, there were legalistic Judaizers that said, “You know what, Jesus is cool and all, but you really need to follow the Old Testament dietary rules.” But Jesus comes and says that it’s not what you eat that makes you unclean. It’s what goes into your heart that makes you unclean. 

 Paul warns the same judgmental criticism applied to religious celebrations as well. He writes “do not let anyone judge you with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.”  Now, this doesn’t really apply much to us here in the 21 Century, but in the 1st Century church there were Messianic Jews, that is Jews that are now followers of Christ that still felt pressure to celebrate these festivals and holidays.   

 But all of those laws were for the people of the Old covenant, and to force those rules on Gentile Christians would be going backward. You would be mixing faith with works. And Paul says you’re fully alive, forgiven, and victorious in Christ simply because of your faith in Jesus Christ alone. 

 So, your Simple Truth for today:  In Christ, you are free to eat and drink whatever you’d like. Don’t let anyone judge you for what you choose AND don’t you judge anyone else for what they choose. 

 Hey, thanks for joining us today. Have a blessed day. I’ll see you again tomorrow.