Originally posted October 14, 2015
Colossians 2:6-17 … Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
What if the Lord required us to pierce our tongues to prove our devotion?
If He commanded us to cut off our fingers at the last knuckle, would we do it?
These are among many religious traditions that people observe throughout the world. Those who honor these traditions believe that their god wants them to do this, and that by so doing they will be blessed.
We may find these attempts at pleasing God ridiculous, but according to scripture, nothing we do will bring us closer to God.
Isaiah 64:6 … All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Colossians 2 mentions circumcision, eating (or not eating) certain foods, celebrating the Sabbath (Saturday v. Sunday) as ways people try to appease God. All these rituals, however, cannot bridge the divide between God and ourselves.
God’s standard is for us to live perfect, sinless lives. Seeing as no one, except Jesus, has ever lived a perfect life, we fail in reaching God. The ONLY way to “reach” Him is by trading our sinful lives for Jesus perfect life. He died on the cross as punishment for our sins. We can claim His sacrifice by turning from our sinful lives and asking Him to be our Savior and Lord.
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