There are many religious organizations out there that like to take and modify what Christ did on the Cross. They seem to feel that what He did was not good enough. That somehow His blood and sacrifice only did part of the job to get us to Heaven. Like maybe He opened the door, but we now have to climb the stairs to Heaven. They somehow forget that He is God almighty. They forget that He was powerful enough to get the job done all by Himself. They forget that that we are just men and that we are nothing compared to God. They forget that God created us and that there is nothing that we can do in our own strength to get us to Heaven. They put rules and regulations in to place that they have created or that they take from God’s old covenant to help man climb up those stairs to Heaven. Did they not catch the fact that man failed at obeying the laws of the old covenant and that God gave Christ as the new covenant? Paul ran in to groups like this all the time in his day. He addressed this subject of legalism in Colossians 2: 16 – 23.
16 Therefore don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his fleshly mind. 19 He doesn’t hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God. 20 If you died with Christ to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: 21 “Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch”? 22 All these [regulations] refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are human commands and doctrines. 23 Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value against fleshly indulgence.
We need to know our Bibles. We need to know it from one end to the other, so we get a good whole picture of God. We need to test what people are saying to us and compare it to what God says in His Word. We learned yesterday that we have truth living in us and that all wisdom is in Christ. He will clarify things for us, when we ask Him. He will let us know if a religious group is on track or off track with what they are teaching. Paul was well educated in the law and He was well educated by Christ. He had a good grip on what was right. He clearly says in this passage that regulations should not be our focus. They may serve as some helpful guidelines to keep us out of trouble, but they should never be used to judge others or cause us to doubt our salvation. If we believed that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins and was raised from the dead, then that is all we need to have our entrance in to Heaven. We do not need to fulfill any laws or regulations. We only need to follow Christ and obey Him. Listen to these instructions to not be involved in legalism, but to rely on Christ to live our new lives in Him in this world.