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--Colossians 2:16(NASB)
Paul often lays the foundation and fundamentals of faith early in his writings. He then identifies anything that has caused his readers to stray from the truth, or has diverted their attention away from Christ. Finally, he explains how these truths should be applied to our individual, everyday lives.
Here, Paul has come to the conclusion that we should, "let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days." Having been freed from the restrictions of the Law, through faith in Christ, Paul's earnest desire was to instil in us the higher life that we have in Him. He wanted to get across that we are no longer bound by law, but are under grace - and Paul spent many verses outlining who we are in Christ and the privileges we have in Him.
He rejoiced in our reconciliation with God, through the shed blood of Christ, which was not by works of the law but by faith in Him. He revealed the mystery of Christ... that there is neither Jew nor Gentile but one new man in Him who are members together of the mystic Body of Christ. And He exhorted us to live in Him and not to be sidelined by false teachings, heretical doctrines, or an incorrect interpretation of Scripture.
He refuted Gnosticism, which belies Christ's deity and His equality with the Father. He disavowed legalism, which enslaves believers to religious rules and legalistic regulations, by placing us back under the curse of the Law and enslaving believers to the law of sin and death.
Paul's desire was to get across that we are no longer a member of the first, fallen creation, which was placed under a curse by sin and resulted in death and condemnation. His emphasis was that in Christ, we have been born into a second creation - by grace through faith! We are members of a new creation that is not impeded by food laws, Sabbath day rules, or the keeping of set feasts days. We are to live as Christ lived and to love as Christ loved - for love is the fulfilment of the law.
As part of the new creation in Christ, we are no longer slaves of our old sinful nature, nor are we bound by its restrictions. We are part of a new creation in Christ which has been delivered from the curse of the Law. Our old nature has been put in the place of death - freeing us to live through our new, born-again life in Christ.
Under the old creation, we were dead in sin and under the curse of the Law, but as part of the new creation in Christ, we have been freed from its restrictions, rules, regulations, and rituals. And so, Paul explains how this affects our daily living. We are no longer bound by the limitation of the law, and are reminded, "let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days."
Christ fulfilled the impossible demands of the Law on our behalf, and God was satisfied. He dismantled the principalities and powers that held humanity captive in its icy grip. God was satisfied with Christ's sacrifice for sin, and because we are in HIM, God is satisfied with us as well! Christ dismantled the principalities and powers that held us captive - and because we are identified with Him by faith, we are also identified with His victory over sin and death. Because we are in Christ, we have been raised up into newness of life in Him, and because we are identified with Christ - we are no longer bound by food laws, religious feasts or keeping the Sabbath.
As guilty members of the old creation we were under God's condemnation, but by faith in Christ's redeeming work, we are part of a new creation, which has been set free from the requirements of the Law and have been declared forgiven saints. There is now no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus; "let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days."
Heavenly Father, thank You that Christ died for me and paid the full price that was required of a guilty sinner. Thank You that in Him I am no longer under the curse of the Law and required to follow any religious rule and ritual, but have become part of a new creation that is identified with Christ and His righteousness. Thank You that I am no longer under the old cursed creation, but am part of the new creation in Christ. Help me to live as Christ lived, to love as Christ loved, and to do only those things that are pleasing in Your sight. Thank You, in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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