In yesterday’s study of the Sabbath, I referred to Paul’s mention of the Sabbath in Colossians 2.
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day-- - Colossians 2:16
The problem with this verse is that it starts with “Therefore” and ends with dashes. How can I just leave that alone? In good conscience I can’t simply ignore the wherefore to its therefore, or leave out what it is dashing toward, can I?
I suppose I could yank it out of context and just say – “Don’t judge me” and be satisfied, yeah – no – can’t do it. So let’s dig a bit, shall we?
Here’s a bit of context, but I warn you, you better get on your shoutin’ shoes cuz it’s ‘bout to get fun.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day-- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. - Colossians 2:8-17
What is it there for?
I know that is a pretty big passage of scripture, and with the way Paul packs his writing with meaning, you could no doubt write volumes on this passage, but let’s see if we can’t glean the gist here.
- It is a warning – don’t let anyone take you captive by deception.
- Jesus is fully God – all that is God dwells in Him.
- You (Christian) have been made complete in Him.
- Your sin nature has been cut away from you, it is no longer a part of you – like the piece of flesh that is cut off in circumcision and disposed of, so it is with your sin nature.
- The bill (wages) for the actual sins you have committed was nailed to the cross (Jesus became sin.)
- Your enemy has been disarmed. This bill – this listing of your sin – was his ammunition against you, as he went before God to accuse you. He no longer has any weapon to use against you.
This is the ten-thousand foot view of what Paul is pointing back to with his “therefore,” and let me tell you, it’s got me happy!
This therefore points back to his warning – If you are in a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ - don’t be deceived.
- Don’t be deceived by someone telling you about some rituals you must follow in order to keep your Christianity.
- Don’t be deceived into believing that if you keep the Sabbath on a Saturday, you are denying Christ’s resurrection.
- Don’t be deceived into believing that you are offending God by eating meat on a Friday.
- Don’t be deceived into believing that you are still in your sins if you are not participating in some religious observance – what ever it is.
Your sin has been violently cut away from you – it was a bloody mess – and there is no putting it back. It has been cast into the trash, and cannot be reattached to you. You have been circumcised!
I have gone longer than I intended, and I am only half way there. I am so blessed though by this discovery of circumcision today. Come back tomorrow for what comes after Paul’s mention of the Sabbath. I think it will be eye opening.
Shine where you’re screwed in today.
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