Presentation on theme: "Expositional Study – Part 8. Freedom from Tradition and Rules Text: Colossians 2:16-23 Sub Series: Colossians Expositional Study part 8 Series: Truth,"— Presentation transcript:
Freedom from Tradition and Rules Text: Colossians 2:16-23 Sub Series: Colossians Expositional Study part 8 Series: Truth, Judgment and Eternity
Breakdown of Verses 9-15 2:23 Worldly Rules will never restrain mans basest animal desires 2:22 Worldly Rules are made up by men not God 2:20-21 Do not submit to the Worlds Rules against handling, tasting and touching 2:19 These people are not part of the Body of Christ 2:18 Dont let others deceive you 2:17 The Reality is in Christ 2:16 Let no one judge you by traditions and Ceremonial Laws
Be Not Judged Colossians 2:16 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. (NIV) Paul is here advising the Christians to reject those who enforce a legalistic/ritualistic approach to the Christian life. Keep in mind that the reason Paul wrote this letter to the Colossians was to debunk the Gnostic teachings as well as eastern mysticism, Jewish legalism and even worldly philosophy that had crept in to the church. He confronted dietary restrictions.
Sabbath Hebrews 4:9-11 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters Gods rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no-one will fall by following their example of disobedience. Ken Chant of Vision Bible College tells us, The context in Hebrews shows that the apostle could not have been burdening the church with a literal observance of a weekly sabbath. Everywhere he strives to show how the physical rituals of ancient Israel have now, through Christ, found a higher and better reality in the spiritual dimension. This better dimension has also changed the old weekly sabbath, which was simply a rest from physical labour. Instead, we now find in Christ a far more glorious sabbatos – that is, a true rest from all labouring to secure the salvation of God.
Sabbath Ken Chant continues: Our new spiritual rest is not just one day a week, but all day, every day. Nor does it point to some future rest in heaven, rather it is ours NOW, fully and wholly in Christ. All who believe in Christ can, and should, cease from their own efforts, and rest content in the grace of God. As Paul many times says in his letters, we are justified by faith apart from ANY work of ours, and by faith, and faith alone, we should enter into the fulness God has given us in Christ. As for Israels ancient law, and specifically the Fourth Commandment, for us it has been entirely abrogated, and we no longer live by its mandate nor under its rule (2 Cor 3:7-11). A dozen times Hebrews uses the word better to describe the gospel in contrast with Jewish law. In every way the new covenant is better than the old. I cannot imagine how the apostle could call our sabbath better than Israels if in the end it means nothing more than it did to them, that is, one day a week resting from physical toil. No! We have a far more glorious and continual rest available to us in Christ, so that in every situation, no matter what tasks each day demands of us, nor what crises or challenges we may face, we are able to maintain an inner serenity and confidence, and untroubled spiritual rest. In Christ we are more than conquerors. In Christ we are seated in the heavenlies. In Christ we have ceased from our own labours, and now we trust only in his eternal grace.
Sabbath Jesus tells us that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. Actually many times the Jews tried to condemn Jesus by claiming He was working on the Sabbath. John 5:16-18 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working. For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (NIV) However, it is good to remember the reasoning behind God causing men to take a day off from all labour once a week. It really is for our own well being. A mans body was not created to work 7 days a week without bringing harm to it.
The Reality is Found in Christ Colossians 2:17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. (NIV) Paul makes clear here that all of those religious festivals and sabbath days are a shadow of things to come, and not the reality themselves. Just as your shadow when you stand in the sun is not you, the person, but rather a dark outline of you, so these religious festivals, months and days are God leaving an outline of what is to come in the future, but now Christ has come we have beheld the reality Himself, and now live under that reality.
Be Not Disqualified Colossians 2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. (NIV) Paul then confronts the Gnostic, mystic, philosophers of that day and tells the Colossians not to let themselves be disqualified by giving ear to their teaching. Today, we have all those same teachings with us but countless more teachings designed to get our eyes off Christ: Cults like JWs and Christadelphians, Islam, Hinduism, New Age etc. etc.
New Age Deception 1Timothy 4:1-2 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by Demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics. The term New Age refers to the coming astrological Age of Aquarius. A selection of new age themes: Astral projection, Astrology, Aura, Necromancy, Channelling, Crystal healing, Environmentalism, Feng shui, Goddess worship, Karma, Law of Attraction, Magick, Meditation, Mediumship, Parapsychology, Pantheism, Quantum mysticism, Qi, Reincarnation, Spiritual Healing, Tantra, Yoga
Disconnected Christians Colossians 2:19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. (NIV) These teachers who Paul confronted were once Devoted Christians but they lost connection with the Head (which is Christ Ephesians 4:15) If we follow these strange unbiblical teachings, we to will lose connection with the Head, without the Head, we will die in our sins.
You Have Died With Christ Colossians 2:20-21 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!? (NIV) We are dead with Christ to this world, so Paul asks, why do you submit to its ceremonial rules. Warren Wiersbe said, Ascetic practices were popular during the Middle Ages: wearing hair shirts next to the skin, sleeping on hard beds, whipping oneself, not speaking for days (maybe years) going without food or sleep. If we punish ourselves in an effort to gain holiness, then we have missed the whole point of the Cross.
Human Rules That Will Perish Colossians 2:22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. (NIV) A simple rule of thumb is: If God does not tell us to do it as revealed in Scripture, then dont do it. Men, love to gain control over other men by subjecting them to rules and regulations in an effort to control them. But Christ has set us free from mere human commands and teachings.
Rules With No Power Colossians 2:23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (NIV) No matter how wise these rules and disciplines sound, they lack the power to restrain sensual desire. However, Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, and by walking in the Spirit and crucifying the flesh daily, we will overcome all sensual desires.