Putting Christ First: The Root of Righteousness, Colossians 2:16-23

March 20th, 2017

Putting Christ First: The Root of Righteousness

Colossians 2:16-23

Wrong Judgments (v. 16-17)

  • Because of the spiritual fullness that we have in Christ alone

    • Paul urges us not let anyone impose a means of spiritual growth that does not have Christ at its heart
  • This false judgment is based in:
    • What we eat/drink

      • Or refrain from

        • “A real Christian doesn’t…”
      • This could be a reference to the dietary law
        • But that does not prohibit the drinking of anything
      • What we celebrate
        • Or refrain from

          • “Christians shouldn’t celebrate…”
        • This included the OT holidays
          • Sabbath & new moons
          • “Shadows of things to come”: They were meant to point to Jesus
        • But also pagan-based celebrations

 

Wrong Priorities (v. 18-19)

  • Paul warns against ‘false humility

    • Which can mean self-deprecation for the purpose of actually drawing attention to oneself
    • Or, extreme asceticism
      • Prolonged fasting, abject poverty, etc.
    • To gain some sense of self-righteousness
  • Paul warns against ‘the worship of angels
    • Which can mean worshipping angels

      • Rather than God Himself
    • Or worshipping with angels
      • Claiming some sort of ‘greater’ worship experience
    • Paul warns against those who claim special spiritual experiences
      • Including visions
    • All of these things lead to a false sense of spiritual importance
    • This line of thinking is the result of not being rooted in Jesus
      • We cannot add to the work of Jesus with anything expect more of Jesuswork in us

Wrong Logic (v. 20-23)

  • Paul points out that this way of thinking is illogical
  • Since we are no longer to find understanding from the ‘basic elements of this world’ (see v. 8)
    • Then we should also not use those elements to gain righteousness
  • These ascetic rules which some would put upon Christians:
    • Are man-made
    • Appear wise
    • But have no spiritual value
      • Because they cannot help us overcome our sinful desires
    • Only Jesus can do that!

 

So What?

  • What guides us?

    • Human rules and regulations
    • Or the Spirit of Jesus
  • Are we known for what we avoid?
    • Or the good we do

Meditation Verse: Colossians 2:16

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