Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Don't Lose Your Connection with the Head

"Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes to great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the Head, from Whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 'Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!'?" Colossians 2:18-21
- The description depicts an athletic competition in which the athlete is disqualified or deprived of reward because of some impediment. "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the One who calls you." (Galatians 5:7-8) The false teachers either hindered the Colossians in their Christian race or intimidated them by declaring them disqualified if they did not follow the prescribed rules. Don't allow any false teachers to deny the reality of your salvation or make you doubt your salvation.
- False humility--When you are proud of your humility, that's false humility. When you try to appear humble so that others think you're humble, that's false humility. False humility is self-centered; true humility is God-centered.
- Angels are God's servants/messengers. "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14) We're forbidden to worship them. "I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, 'Don't do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!'" (Revelation 22:8-9) We are to worship God alone. Worship of angels displaced the centrality of Christ.
- The false teachers get puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual/worldly mind. The basis of the error is the fleshly mind that spends its time going into great detail about the visions they have seen. They fail to stay connected to Christ, the Head, from Whom the Body (the Church) is nourished in spiritual growth/health. The main error of the Colossian heresy is a defective view of Christ.
- We died with Christ and are raised with Christ to a newness of life. We die to sin and now are alive to God in Christ. "We were therefore buried with Him (Christ) through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life...For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--because anyone who has died has been set free from sin." (Romans 6:4, 6-7) Therefore, we must not live as though the world and its spiritual forces still had a claim on us. We belong to Christ, no longer to the world. The elemental spiritual forces of this world refer to the worldly pagan ritualism that stands against the freedom of the Spirit. These prohibitions do not apply to us. Live in the freedom of God's grace and don't become burdened by "this yoke of slavery".

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