For Kingdom Folk this week, we studied Colossians 2: 8-23. There are some real gems in this chapter that bring great hope to all who believe and the lost.
- Paul warns the early church not to get caught up in philosophy, empty deceit, and human traditions. Instead we are to find In Christ the fullness of the indwelling deity in a living man and God who is to be both leader and authority in our lives.
- We also read that in Christ, those who were dead in their trespasses are made alive together with Jesus, as all of our sins are forgiven. God cancels our debt and the righteous demands of the Law through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and his substitutionary atonement.
- We are told not to let anyone pass judgment on our behavior and life based on food and drink, festival celebrations, or the Sabbath because each of these Old Testament functions of the faith were but foreshadows of what was coming in Jesus. In Jesus we are free.
- Some may tell us to live without or to even worship the created things of God, but we are urged to rely solely on Jesus. For with Jesus, we died to the world while still alive, so we do not need to stumble over human teachings and traditions.
- Following traditions and/or living as an ascetic often appear to us as religiously sound thinking, but Paul writes they are of no value in stopping the indulgences of the flesh. Prohibition does not work, but Jesus does.
This brings to mind our human inclination to pursue that which we are told to avoid. Adam and Eve in the garden consumed fruit they were forbidden to eat. The men of Israel during the times of the Judges constantly went after what their eyes saw, but was not for their benefit and even our children can rarely help themselves when told, “No,” from keeping their hands off of it.
The answer is Jesus. When tempted, look to Jesus. When hurting and pursuing something, look to Jesus. When in doubt about what we should or ought to do in life, look to Jesus. In all things, look to Jesus as the head of the church and our faith. As we read in chapter three, this is Paul’s message. Put all these things to death for Jesus is all and in all.