Colossians 2:21-23
Col 2:21 (KJB)
(Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Here is what the unbeliever sees as a way of salvation. It is normally a long list of negative things which they think impresses God but does not. Some unbelievers think by abstaining from certain things that they will earn salvation. That is one of the greatest deceptions that Satan has ever fostered upon the human race and this is evidenced by the fact that all world religions are based upon works. Christianity is the only one which is based upon Faith in Christ. Roman Catholicism is not Christian because they require works with faith and that is normally more works than faith.
Col 2:22 (KJB)
Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Perish - Corruption
It will not matter what worldly methods are employed, the reality is that everything wears out and eventually perishes. This includes all the doctrines and commandments which have come from the mind of man. All of these ordinances are tied to the world and have to do with the physical. It is those things which have to do with the spiritual nature that will continue on for eternity. Paul is not condemning the Christians in controlling their bodies, because if we do not control them and their appetites, they can get out of control and cause us much consternation plus they could cause us to drift from Christ and the truth. When methods are employed which do not deal with the real problem, that is, the Adamic nature, that is when we get into trouble because we deal with symptoms and not the real heart of the problem.
Col 2:23 (KJV)
Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
A show - An Appearance
Will worship - Voluntary Worship
Neglecting - Severe or harsh treatment
One of the false teachings which had surfaced at Colossae seemed to be asceticism. That is the teaching of the buffeting of the body for the purpose of spiritual gain. There is a difference between treating your body with discipline and treating it harshly. We discipline ourselves in the area of over-eating but ascetics would starve themselves to the detriment of their body. In the middle ages the ascetics would even flog themselves to attempt to keep the body under control. Nowhere in Scripture does God ever tell us to hurt our bodies for spiritual gain. These Christians in Colossae who were partaking of it, would make themselves like Pharisees, believing they were better than other Christians because of their buffeting actions. These things were not honorable in any fashion since they did not satisfy God because it was in their own efforts. It does not matter type of works a person does, they cannot please God to the point of earning salvation. Works are just a showcase of manís pride when it is coupled with false religion and that pride honors the flesh but it wars against the Spirit.