Saturday, March 18, 2017

Colossians 2:16 part 1

Paul continues his discourse on true freedom in this section by teaching that Christ is the answer to rituals. He starts this verse by tying it back to what he had just established in relation to Christ being the answer to man’s philosophies. Because Jesus had triumphed victoriously over that which would seek to hold us captive, we have been set free.

He says that the Colossian believers, and by reference us also, should not be concerned with those who wish to pronounce censure or judgment upon our beliefs (Greek krino). There appears to be those who had set themselves up as the arbiters to separate and divide the people. They sought to do this in the areas of rituals and traditions. Today, there are still many who are too focused on the outward actions and miss the truth.

Some believe that Paul is speaking strictly of the Old Testament laws. There were Judaizers who constantly tried to bring the Gentile believers under all the restrictions, regulations, and rituals they had imposed upon themselves. He makes reference to dietary stipulations placed upon the nation of Israel. Jesus spoke and declared that all foodstuff was clean (see Mark 7:19 - This he said, making all meats clean”). He also spoke about the “Holydays” of the nation in his reference to “a festival.” These were the observances in the sacred calendar of Israel that was an obligation for all of the Jews. He refers to the “new moon,” this was important to establish the monthly calendar so that they could be sure to observe all the obligatory rites and rituals. 

Some even today try to place all believers under the laws of the Old Testament. They seek to insist that all of the Commandments are for everyone. To see more on this, look at the Bible Difficulty that will be covered shortly.

Prayer: Father, help me to correctly interpret the Scriptures that You have provided for us. May I look past the shadows and focus on the reality - Jesus Christ the Lord. May I be free from ritual and regulations that are not designed to hold me down but to lead me to the reality. I thank You for Your provision of all that I need. Amen.

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