< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Colossians 2:16-23

Friday, December 21, 2007

Colossians 2:16-23

Colossians 2:16-23 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. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has 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.

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 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.

Our worship practice and traditions can bring us closer to God, but we should never criticize fellow Christians whose traditions or ceremonies differ from ours. More important then how we worship, is that we worship and whom we worship: Christ. Man-made religions focus on man’s efforts. Christianity focuses on Christ’s work.

Jesus Himself said it made no difference what a man ate or drank. (Matthew 15:10-20) Paul said in different words what Jesus did, “things that will perish as they are used.” Food and drink are so unimportant that they are destined for decomposition and decay as soon as they are eaten.

Often rituals will lead to a false humility, which is really just pride. A man who does all this runs the risk of puffing himself up and looking down on people. We should never look down on anyone. Paul says elsewhere in the Bible that we are saved by grace lest we have reason to boast.

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