Summary: The 9th message of 13 in an expository series on the book of Colossians.
The Sufficiency of Christ – Part 3
16Therefore 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. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18Do 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. 19He 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. 20Since 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: 21“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such 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.
Trans: Therefore – Since Christ died for your sins and has given you a complete salvation, a complete forgiveness, and a complete victory over sin and the Devil…
I The Two Threats of a Complete Faith
Idea: Within the framework of religion there is a humanistic ideology that stands in contempt with biblical theology. Man has a terrible time accepting grace without some effort of his own. Furthermore, man has an instinctive nature that once he has received grace he must possess enough religion to retain his salvation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nonetheless, throughout the ages, whether Christian or non-Christian, man has conjured up numerous rules, regulations, and standards to hold others captive to a system of religious thought and activity.
This is not to say that authentic faith does not have a guide or that salvation is without parameters. At the very heart of biblical Christianity there is an essential premise that Christ died to set us free from sin and death and from those things which hold us under the rule of pseudo-religion. And while there may be a fine line between religion and relationship, there is a distinguishing difference. A relationship is founded upon love and grace, where as religion is secured upon rules and regulations. In other words, the intention of religion is to suppress an individual while the intention of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to release an individual into an intimate relationship with God.
A Do Not Let Anyone Judge You
Word: judge – to take one to task; to condemn another w/ unfounded criticism.
Note: This is not the same kind of judgment that God requires of believers. A Christian is asked to judge not to condemn but to challenge, encourage, and relate to others. But in no way is a Christian ever allowed to judge another unto condemnation. When a Christian assesses a situation, it is to warn another, to rebuke another toward righteousness, or to separate them selves from sin unto God.
Quote: If I long to improve my brother, the first step toward doing so is to improve myself. Christina Rossetti
Idea: Do not let someone convince you that your faith is not genuine b/c you do not practice rituals.
Question: What are some rituals or standards employed by well-meaning believers and churches which are really nothing more than modern day Pharisee-ism?
Idea: Do not fall prey to the notion that salvation is based upon the things you do or don’t do or that your spirituality is less than that of others b/c you do not rigidly hold to their man-made liturgy.
B Do Not Let Anyone Disqualify You
Word: disqualify (katabraboo) to be ruled out by an umpire; to be deprived of the prize and have your joy stolen.
Truth: The ultimate goal of the one who judges with criticism is to cause another to stumble and be eliminated from the Christian race. While this motivation finds its roots sunk deep into the pits of Hell, the goal is to steal another’s joy in an attempt to have it for self.
Note: This is exactly what the Pharisee did. They went to great lengths to suppress the people, to steal their joy and to control their actions. The Pharisees enjoyed the benefits of forcing others to live within their rules and regulations. But this was more than a power trip, it was a pattern of misplaced conviction aimed at manipulating the masses in order to esteem self. And all false religion does this.
II The Three Amigos of Pseudo-Religion