“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
Read this verse over and over. What is the Holy Spirit whispering to you?
This morning the whisper I hear is “Christ alone.” I can’t help but think about how lost the world is today, especially here in the U.S. I see elements of spirituality but then there is such hatred and anger and evil all around. The sad part is you can’t distinguish the church from the world in all of this. There is as much anger and hatred being pushed by churches as anyone. It upsets me to see this. The church is supposed to be Christ to people. When did Christ spew hatred?
What I see is churches that worship tradition instead of Christ. Our verse comes from a letter to the Colossians. Paul is reminding them that they have been set free by Christ. That through their baptism they died with Christ and then also rose with him. They are not bound by law any more. “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (vs 16,17)
When we judge people according to the law we bring condemnation on them and us. We forget that no one can keep the law. Christ has fulfilled the law meaning in Christ we are free. In Christ we are forgiven. The law should only be used to show our need for a Savior not to condemn or put down or subdue people. It is not to make ourselves feel better because we keep more of the law than others. The biggest problem is when we make our own laws as in the rituals or rights of the church and then expect those outside the church to adhere to them. We are judging according to human tradition and hollow deceptive philosophy. To expect those who don’t know Christ to live as if they know Christ is false doctrine. They must first know Christ before they can possibly live like Him.
Instead of judging, instead of spewing hatred, we need to be modeling Christ. We need to preach the Gospel every day and if necessary use words. In other words, we need to be different. People need to look at us and see a calm, a peace, a joy that they don’t know but want. They don’t need more rules that they can’t keep. They need inspiration that there is hope. They need to know that there is a better way to live. That this peace and joy that we have can be theirs if they accept Christ. That is hard to do if you don’t know that peace and joy. So instead of pushing your rules on others, Allow Christ to transform your heart and mind and soul. Focus on Christ alone and we will know love. We will know peace. We will know joy. We will have hope. Then we will want to share that with everyone we meet. That is how this world will be saved.
Don’t read what I’m not saying. I’m not saying to do away with the law. I’m not saying we shouldn’t live according to it. The law is a guide to help us discern what is from God and what is from man, or ourselves. It is very useful in understanding where we are in our faith journey. What I’m saying is if we want to change the world then we must first change ourselves. We must give our whole life to Christ. We must stop trying to control people and situations. When we focus on keeping the law we are placing our faith and salvation on our own ability. Instead we are to live in Grace. This isn’t a freedom to do what we want. It is a freedom that we don’t have to live in fear of sin. It means we can do what is necessary to love others without fear of judgement. We don’t have to continually be on guard to make sure everyone is doing everything according to the book. Instead we are free from that worry. We are free from that exhaustion. We are free from that burden. Stop judging and love as Christ loves. If you focus on Christ alone this will be natural.