Apr 25, 2021. Colossians 2:16-23

Please click here for link to the audio and click here for the link to the video portions of this message. Please click here for the link to this week’s bulletin.

FALSE RELIGION.  Colossians 2:16-23.  4/25/2021.  #07.

Colossians 2:16-23 [New King James Version]

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

  1. The false piety of ritual
    1. The Colossians were influenced by a mixture of pagan and Jewish rituals (special offerings, days, observances…)
      1. If one did not follow the proper rituals, he was considered irreverent
      1. Each ritual was considered an act of devotion and a way of gaining special favor with God
      1. The more fervent the devotee, the more spiritual
    1. The Jews had many prescribed rituals (sacrifices, feast days, fasting, Sabbath observances, prohibitions, etc.)
      1. These observances did not make the adherent holy (Amos 5:21-24 “I hate your feast days…”)
      1. I Samuel 15:23 only obedience of the faithful is acceptable by the Lord
    1. Romans 14-15 (Hebrews 6:1-6) Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, doing away with the necessity of feast days, offerings, and rituals (they add no grace or blessing to us)
      1. Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox churches are full of rituals, icons, mandates, and observances
      1. Religious ritual produces the pride of having done something to earn God’s favor
    1. As with the Pharisees, many more rules are added to list
  2. The shadow yields to the substance
    1. Paul states that all the OT rituals were shadows of reality
      1. No offering or observance could impart grace
      1. All the Levitical law practices were place holders
        1. Shadows of what Christ would do
        1. Anticipated the complete work of Jesus
      1. Once Christ finished his work, the ordinances of the Law were no longer needed
        1. They no longer had any spiritual value
        1. The sign was dropped at the cross
    1. The shadow becomes a hindrance to real spiritual life
      1. By continuing with rituals and observances, the believer misses living by the Spirit (John 4:13-26)
      1. The outward show of religious piety is the pride of self-righteousness (as the Pharisees praying long prayers in the marketplace or giving in the Temple so everyone could see and praise them)
    1. Pretending to humbly do holy things (self-denial, long prayers, harming self, ceremonials, etc.) deceives self
  3. Do not cheat yourself of your own blessings
    1. By holding onto religious traditions, one stays a spiritual infant, not moving on to greater spiritual truth (Hebrews 5)
    1. Spiritual life is in Christ, not festivals, fasting, and fetishes
    1. By caving into traditions, one misses relationship ẅ Lord
    1. Gal. 5:1-6 either live by Law or Christ—not both!
      1. Living by rules is going backwards (infancy)
      1. A checklist of righteous dos and don’ts stunts spiritual growth (keeps one from advancing)
    1. Many believers don’t know how to walk in the Spirit
      1. More comfortable being told what to do
      1. II Peter 3:18 advancing in Bible understanding, the knowledge of God, faith, prayer, worship,
      1. and service frightens many (how do I do this?)
    1. Rm. 8:4 the adventure of biblical discovery, growing in relationship with Christ, and being led by Spirit is the apex
    1. II Timothy 2:5 spiritual growth is intentional; not regimented

Key verse: John 4:13-26 [New King James Version]13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” 15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”