This series has been examining some Christian tenets that assert that those saved under the New Testament period have and were exempted from following the Laws of God. But is that truly so?
There is a passage in the book of Colossians that needs to be covered before going any further and it is Colossians 2:19-23. In this passage, these verses are used as a sort of proof-text to show incontrovertible proof, if you will, that they as Christians are exempt from God’s Laws. How do they do this? They conveniently skip over the words that keenly contradict their assertions. There are three verses that they usually uphold and these are
Colossians 2:16, 20-21
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: Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;)
So let us look now at the entire passage
16. 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:
17. Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
This writer finds it incredibly interesting to note that the Apostle Paul in his writings has announced that the “holydays, new moon and Sabbath days” are “a shadow of things to come…But the body is of Christ.” So how are these things ended when Paul says that they are a shadow of things to come? It’s a real brain teaser, isn’t it?
18. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Apparently, in Paul’s day and even still today, there are many varied doctrines, or “winds of doctrines” that float about the church of the Lord Jesus Christ beckoning Christians to stray from the true and right paths of Scriptural Truths. Angelology was popular in Paul’s day, so let us take a look about us in today’s society shall we? There are plenty of merchandisers who sell statues, pictures, necklaces, earrings, headbands, clothing, bumper stickers of angels and anything else that may be perceived as “spiritual.”
There were two sides of the early church. There were those that had come from Judaism and then there were those that had come into the church from paganism. On the side of the Jews, they of course had the Ten Commandments given to them from Mt. Sinai, even the voice of God as He gave them to Moses. In short simple terms, the Mosaic Law was started and built up as Moses sat on the judgment seat, judging the Jews that had legal arguments with one another. This is why Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, finally told Moses to assign others to do the lesser judging and that Moses should only take the difficult cases before God.
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
It was and still is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Head of the church and through Him we have freedom. Yes, to keep the Laws of God, namely the Ten Commandments, then those that He communicates to us through His Holy Spirit into our spirits. But let us look at verses 20-22 shall we? This reference to ordinances is not the Ten Commandments, nor even the Mosaic Laws, but rather to those unwritten and traditional laws that the Jewish leaders constructed. In fact there were 613 extra laws and ordinances that had been built up as a wall around the Commandments of God; for the purpose of keeping people from actually breaking God’s laws.
Sadly, today there are very few “Bereans” in the church and all too many Christians only surface read when they are studying the Scriptures, rather than asking the Holy Spirit to teach and to guide them in their studies. So let us look at verses 20-23: because most people that have been indoctrinated to believe that they are exempt from the commandments of God have been so indoctrinated to “hear” this portion of Scripture in this manner, even as this writer was taught at one time:
“If you are dead in Christ from the rudiments of the world and as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances [God’s Ten Commandments], (Touch not; taste not; handle not; [Jewish food laws] which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men [Mosaic Law].”
Once you have been indoctrinated into a particular view of Scripture [right or wrong], you will forever view the Word of God with those particular lenses attached to your glasses of understanding. If the indoctrination was wrong, it truly takes the Lord Jesus Christ to set you free in your spirit of understanding. As in Paul’s day, the Jews and the pagans both had unwritten rules and regulations, i.e. for example, “the correct way to enter into a temple or The Temple.” Since I was raised Roman Catholic, there is a correct way to enter into a church. One enters into the church and comes into a foyer, whereupon there are usually a row of double doors that lead into the sanctuary proper. Upon entering the door of your choice there are marble lavers that are affixed to the walls between each set of double doors. The proper etiquette before going any further is to dip your index finger into the water and to make the sign of the cross, touching your forehead, your chest and then your left and right shoulders. To enter without doing this is totally gauche and totally improper behavior and is probably a sign that the person entering in has not been indoctrinated into the proper etiquette of the church. These are the commandments and doctrines of men.
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.?
This is why the Lord Jesus said in
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
The Lord Jesus was not referring to his Father’s Ten Commandments, but to those man-made laws and rules that had come from people. These are the burdensome laws that the Lord Jesus was offering to people; that if they came to Him, He would give them the easy Commandments from His Father.
Now let us look at
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
The following is a rough translation from the Greek Scriptures
Beware lest any one making you victims of fraud through philosophy [man’s wisdom] and empty deceitfulness after man’s way of teaching the Scriptures, after the principles of the world [or age] and not after Christ [letting the Holy Spirit lead].
In verse 20, the same word is used as in verse 8, which connects these two verses and it was translated as “rudiments” or ‘first principles’ and in both verses it was aligned with “the world or age” therefore, “the popular teachings of the world or this age.” As in Truth, look back at
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
These verses with “the full assurance of understanding” and that God and Christ have hidden within them “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Now let’s go to
And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who is administering the “nourishment” and “knitting together” the people who make up His Body and the “increase” is the increase of the correct doctrines that have been taught by Jesus Christ. This is the “manna” or the Bread from Heaven that feeds His sheep.
When the Lord Jesus Christ is teaching His people, He is either personally teaching, or He instructs His Holy Spirit to administer the correct doctrines to His church or He leads seasoned and steadfast Teachers of the Word of God to correctly administer the Truth to His people. This is why James said in
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
“Masters” can also be translated as “Teachers.” Those who take upon themselves the title of Teacher, but have not truly been called by the Lord Jesus Christ and subsequently teach false doctrines either through tainted glasses of their own false indoctrination or they (as wolves in sheep’s clothing) deliberately practice “text-proofing” and “eisegesis” after the teachings of mankind, rather than with “exegesis” from the Lord Jesus Christ; these shall receive the “greater condemnation.” So now that this writer has cleared up another passage that has been used to substantiate that we do not have to obey God’s Commandments…
Therefore, Amen and Amen. Stay tuned for Part 12b
I wish to thank all of the brothers and sisters who prayed for my healing and interceded for me before the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ when I was hospitalized over the Memorial Day weekend. God Bless you.