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Q4. Legalism and the Sinful Nature

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Q4. (Colossians 2:20-23) Why are legalism and asceticism unable to restrain the sinful nature? What alternative to legalism does Paul offer in Colossians 2? 


Legalism and asceticism are  unable to restrain the sinful nature of people because as Paul writes "Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules." (notes) We are not of this world- We are in the spiritual Kingdom of God with Jesus. As such the rules of legalism and asceticism do not apply to the spiritual role. In this kingdom, in  the in between times, the rules of God are written upon our hearts by the Holy spirit and we respond to them and live to them because of our loving personal relationship with God the Father, His son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. 


The alternate that Paul teaches is paraphrased by Luther "Through faith in Christ we are justified , and not through the works of the law.

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