“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.”
King James Version (KJV)
2:23 Not sparing the body - Denying it many gratifications, and putting it to many inconveniences. Yet they are not of any real value before God, nor do they, upon the whole, mortify, but satisfy, the flesh. They indulge our corrupt nature, our self - will, pride, and desire of being distinguished from others.
Col 2:23 Which things. The doctrines just condemned. See Col 2:21,22. A show of wisdom. But only a show. In will-worship. Self-imposed, arbitrary worship. And humility. Ostentatious humility. And neglecting of the body. "And severity to the body" (Revised Version). By starving it and refusing proper food. This implies that these teachers demanded mortifications of the flesh, such as have been always commended in the Romanish church. Not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. "But are not of any value" (Revised Version). They have no efficacy in overcoming the lusts of the flesh. In Col 3:1 we are told the only way of overcoming the flesh. In this chapter can be discovered traces of the ascetic spirit which a few centuries later became so dominant in the church. It is well to note that it is placed under the condemnation of the Holy Spirit.