This week we will study Colossians 2. There are five errors that endanger the Colossian church. The five errors are enticing words (4-7), philosophy (8-13), legality (14-17), mysticism (18-19), and asceticism (20-23). Today we will look at legality. Verses 14-15 explain to us why Satan is a defeated foe.
4. Legality (14-17)
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Verse 14 refers to the Mosaic Law, which the Jews had contracted to obey, and to which the gentiles by conscience were obligated. Owing to man’s inability to fulfill this obligation of obedience, he was therefore indebted to God. But through Christ this debt was graciously blotted out. Our sins were nailed to HIS cross.
Verse 15, by the cross God disarmed or deprived Satan and all his demonic horde of the power and sway with which they formally gripped the Colossians. By this statement Paul might well have asked the Colossians, How can you give ear to any doctrine advocating angel worship (v18), when they are all subject to God?
Verse 16, since Christ had annulled the law (v14), the Colossians are to let no man…judge you regarding dietary matters or religious calendar observations. A believer is not to observe ordinances that are only ritual and liturgical, as they have no present value.
Verse 17, “Shadow” is picture: photograph. All of the rituals of the law were pictures of Christ. Now that Christ has come, we have the reality, the person of Christ, we no longer need pictures. We worship Christ not ritual!
These verses confirm that we do indeed have VICTORY in Jesus. Satan has been defeated; Christ has come and blotted out our sin, and the pictures of Christ have become reality. What a blessing.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001