I wrote this three years ago, very early on in my discovery of the eternal righteousness of EVERY word of God. I was just looking around my blog, hoping to find a link to this study, when I realized I had never shared it. So here it is, in all it’s underdeveloped beauty. I say beauty because it exhibits more humility than what you will generally find in my posts. Unfortunately, I am usually much more sure of myself. Sorry about that, guys. One thing I AM sure of though is that every Word of God is true forever, so that’s where my confidence comes from and why I seem arrogant sometimes. Anyway, introduction/apology/defense over. Here’s the study:
Colossians 2:16, 17: Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
These are the verses that keep surfacing in response to what I have been talking about. I am trying to figure out if they mean what everyone says they mean, or if they mean something else. They obviously mean we shouldn’t judge each other. I am not judging anyone just because I would interpret the laws concerning the feast days differently, but I expect the same in return. If I think I should still be keeping feast days, then I have to do it, even if I’m wrong. It would be a sin to rebel against my own conscience. Also, Paul keeps bringing up the subject of love. Personally, this book convicted me because I have to remember that our journey is not about being right about everything; rather it is about Christ (who is our Head) and His body (who are my brothers and sisters).
Ok, so I just read the book of Colossians, and here’s what I have come up with. I need help with this though, so any input would be appreciated. First of all, I read the whole book without looking to see what anyone else’s opinion may be. However, I have 37 years of bias behind me, and a new direction I am leaning, so I don’t know how much good that actually did me.
4-6 These are new believers.
9&10 They are still learning.
11 A verse for me. I need to be patient and long-suffering towards those with different beliefs.
26 The mystery. Of prophecies? Of the feast days? Either way, all were and are fulfilled in Christ.
2 Love each other regardless.
8 Traditions of men – this could NOT be referring to feast days or the Law, which were ordained of God. Also, beware traditions of men.
8-14 There is nothing lacking for our salvation. Jesus Christ has taken care of everything. Don’t believe the traditions which say you must do this or that in order to obtain salvation. Don’t fall into following the ordinances of the Pharisees and Sadducees, because their ordinances were nailed to the cross, and Jesus exposed them for what they really were.
16-17 “Are” not “were.” Are they still a shadow of things to come? What things, specifically? Or is that still a mystery?
16 Not required for salvation. Don’t judge the Gentiles, whether they participate with the Jews in their feast days or not.
19 Keep Christ at the head.
20 Rudiments of the world – again referring to the extra laws of Pharisees and Sadducees? The wording here prevents me from thinking that he is referring to God’s perfect Law. It is not something to be despised, but a blessing. If anyone thinks the law is burdensome, just read Joshua 1:8 or Psalm 119. His Law is life – it is liberty. The ordinances were burdensome and not profitable.
22 Commandments and doctrines of men.
23 They denied themselves pleasures and freedoms because they thought they had to. They worshipped their own will-power over the flesh. “Shew of wisdom” – seeming to be wise. “Neglecting of the body.” “Not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh.” I didn’t understand this part, but I am reading a dual-language Bible, and the Spanish says “Pero no tienen valor alguno contra los apetitos de la carne.” I am taking that to mean that these things (will-power, humility -as referred to here, neglect) do nothing to actually help us overcome the desires of the flesh. In an effort to be concise, I will only post my thoughts, and not copy and paste the actual verses. (Although the verses themselves are far more important than anything I happen to think about them.)
Rant: I figure these new baby Christians, Gentiles, it seems, had probably just heard about the feast days and sabbaths and how they relate to their “new” religion (Christianity). Perhaps they were being told that they had to observe them in order to obtain salvation, or perhaps they were trying to observe them like the Jews and were being ridiculed for it. Maybe the Jews didn’t want to share their heritage with barbarians. Or perhaps the Jews were saying, “You have no inheritance with us unless you do the following things: _____, ______, ______. Or were these believers perhaps being ostracized by society because they wanted to lay aside their own traditions and follow God’s? I am afraid that will happen to me, but I am speaking up anyway. I didn’t talk about it for the first 6 months or a year because I was afraid, – afraid of being ostracized, but more afraid of leading others astray if I am wrong. However, after having read almost the entire Bible again with this new perspective, I am more persuaded than ever. That doesn’t make me right, and I realize that, but I still feel pretty certain. The whole Bible makes more sense than ever before. Rant over.
5-9 Mortify evil desires, etc. The law also tells us this. How could it be passed away? Paul is saying, don’t mortify your flesh (as in physically harming yourself), but evil. Not your body, but sin. He calls sin out, so we cannot say that it is impossible to sin, only that our sins are covered. The law still points out sin in our lives. “Sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4.
3:11 Christianity is not a separate religion from that of the believing Jews. He is the fulfillment of their religion. We are saved under the same Christ. He is the head of us all.
3:14 Love each other above all.
I feel like this whole chapter is speaking expressly to me.
From Rose Publications Bible Overview:
“Jesus Christ is sufficient in all things. No power, philosophy, or practice is effective in forgiving us and redeeming us other than Jesus…It is important to be on guard and aware of false teachings, heresies, and idle promises from other religions and philosophies that claim salvation can be found in something or someone else besides Jesus. Unlike Gnosticism that claims to have ‘hidden knowledge,’ God has revealed in the Scriptures everything we need to know…”