Tuesday, February 6th, 2024
Scripture: Col. 2:20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,
Col. 2:21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”
Teaching: Paul, in verses 20-23, is continuing his argument against the false teaching of legalism and works based salvation that were being forced upon believers in Colossae. Here he essentially rouses them with a stern call to wake up! He calls back to his points in 2:9-15 on how they complete in Christ, raised to life in Christ by saying, “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world...” He wants them to see that the old spirit that they lived with that sought righteousness by works and satisfaction of the flesh is now dead – it died with Christ; and now, they are raised to life with a new spirit as a new creation. Because they now have new life in a new spirit, why are they continuing to live like they are still dead in their trespasses?
When believers, who are new creations, having died with Christ and were raised to life in Christ, submit themselves to new laws as a term of their salvation – they err. Paul is calling the Colossians to remember whose they are and submit to Christ and Christ alone, not their old ways of feeling good about themselves or trying to please God on their own terms.
Takeaway: The call of Christianity is not to repent from sin, but to believe and submit to Christ as Lord and Savior. Repentance is the natural response of a heart of faith and Holy Spirit indwelling, and we do well to obey the Word of God and the urging of the Holy Spirit within us. But none of this happens until we believe, and what happens next is not a submission to the letter of the law but a submission to Christ.