June 17, 1984
Scripture tells Christians to seek moral clarity and holiness. Some, however, interpret these commands as calls to asceticism. Alistair Begg explores how the apostle Paul rebukes this philosophy—the habit of severely denying ordinary pleasures as a way to attain holy living. Whether explicitly or implicitly, ascetics accept several false beliefs, including the gnostic notion that souls are good and bodies are evil. Christians must reject these unbiblical teachings, which are ultimately powerless to restrain human sin.
20If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22(referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23These 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.
Copyright © 2023, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.