Living Under Grace-Colossians 2:13-18

Colossians 2:13-18 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” 16 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. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

Colossesi 2:13-18 Voi, che eravate morti nei peccati e nella incirconcisione della vostra carne, voi, dico, Dio ha vivificati con lui, perdonandoci tutti i peccati, 14 avendo cancellato il documento a noi ostile, i cui comandamenti ci condannavano, e l’ha tolto di mezzo, inchiodandolo sulla croce; 15 e avendo spogliato i principati e le potestà, ne ha fatto un pubblico spettacolo, trionfando su di loro per mezzo della croce. 16 Nessuno dunque vi giudichi quanto al mangiare o al bere, o rispetto a feste, a noviluni, a sabati, 17 che sono l’ombra di cose che dovevano avvenire; ma il corpo è di Cristo.”

      Last week we looked at two deceptions that confused the new believers in the Colossian church. They were “fine-sounding arguments” (v. 4) and “hallow and empty philosophy” (v. 8). These deceptions had become present in some form in all of the churches that Paul started. Paul addresses two others deceptions in verse 16: legalism as to what could be eaten and ceremonialism (in tradition or religion). 

     First, the phrase “do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink” called into question the legalistic requirements of the Law found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In the Old Testament, these dietary laws were given for a reason but in the New Testament covenant under Christ, they were no longer required. Our spirituality is not governed by legalism but the freedom we have in Christ. In Romans 14:1-4 and 1 Timothy 4:3, God does not condemn those who eat (what is edible) because God created all things. We are simply reminded to give thanks to God for whatever we eat.

     Second, Paul refers to the ceremonialism that had captivated many people: “a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” We are never called to worship creation. We are only called to worship our Creator. These ceremonies had taken on a life of their own and caused the believers to follow ceremonial laws instead of the path to spirituality found only in Christ. 

     Therefore, in Christ, His work is complete and there is no competition. No form of legalism or ceremonialism then or now can give true freedom. Let us rejoice in the concluding response from Paul: “the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

Pray with me: Lord, the enemy is always trying ways to deceive believers from the completeness that is found in Christ. Help me to remember that I don’t live under the Law, but under grace where I have been set free.

 



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