x496.......Collosians says it All........
1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Be fully assured of what it is to be a Christian. To be a Christian is to be hid in Christ--to be cloaked in His glory. To have Him in you and to have Him in His proper place in your life, as your Head.
4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
You need to know this, since it is possible for you to be fooled.
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
This church is doing things correctly according to the New Covenant.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Live out your life in the same way as Christ--in the same way you have received Him--by faith, in the Spirit. Do what Jesus did--minister!
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Wrong teaching (philosophy) deception which comes from the vanity of man, and man's traditions could possibly set you on the wrong path.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
The right path is reiterated--to be ruled by Christ--to function and operate under His direct authority and power.
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
You are dead to the world and alive unto Christ--this is your salvation. Which has produced a specific result with regard to the law--the Old Testament law of Moses.....
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;
The law which was held against us in now annulled in Christ. We are no longer under the curse of law--we are no longer under the authority of the law--we are under the direct authority of God through Christ.
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 an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Specific areas of the law are here mentioned as the places where you as a Christian body, can be fooled or beguiled:
1. sabbath days--This means specifically that the Jewish sabbaths--all sabbaths of the law (including weekly sabbath observance) are no longer held as law over Christians. But remember, these are the specific areas which can possibly be used to beguile, or pull you away from grace and into law--to pull you away from Christ as your authority ---and come under the tradition of men. Christians have a 7-day-a week rest in Christ, and a 7-day a week ministry in Him!
2. meat---This does not simply mean that a Christian can eat any kind of meat and disregard whether it is ceremonially unclean by the OT law (although it certainly does mean this). "Meat" is the tithe. A Jew brought 1/10 of the herd, the ceremonial clean animals they owned, and offered them for sin. The book of Hebrews clearly states that there is a change in the law in this area, (Hebrews 10:18) and that there is no more need for offering for sin (since we have the one-time offering of the blood of Christ--amen). This offering was the tithe--the meat. The word of God is speaking here to a group of Christians who are operating properly in the new covenant. Paul is saying "do not let any judge you since you do not celebrate the Sabbath days--follow after the laws of OT holy days and drink laws--and since you do not tithe--since you do not offer meat as sacrifice for your sin."
This verse is saying then, that these particular areas are places where it is possible for Christians to be tricked--and lead astray from the authority of Christ. Tithing, and sabbath observance are spoken of here as being 2 of the places where it is possible to be lead astray, and taken away from Christ as your Head, and from you ministry.....
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
These OT laws were but a shadow of what has come, which is the church (the body)--the group of believers, which are "of Christ". The glorious thing which has come is that now any people can be saved-healed, delivered and set at liberty to freely serve God as a group--this is the church. (Luke 4:18)
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
These things, tithing, sabbath celebration,--can beguile you of your reward. A Christians reward is his or her ministry. We shall receive crowns of glory--we are told to lay up eternal treasure. Eternal treasure is simply all those whom you reach with the Gospel or with healing or deliverance or those whom you have fed who were hungry or naked and clothed--A Christian's reward comes from the service we have done for God, in the name of Jesus, by His power and authority, to serve others--in the same way He did.
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
But again, these vanities, the deceitful practice of turning New Covenant Christian backward to OT laws of tithing and sabbath celebration, are said here to bring about the result that you would no longer be holding to the Head. They would bring you under the authority of man, and away from the direct authority of Christ. This verse is the often repeated description of the church. A body of believers, with Christ as the Head, each operating and functioning together, on a common level, all operating in their ministry. Ministry flowing thoughout the body of believers, is the description of the glorious church found in the book of Ephesians. The gifts of ministry, which are spoken of in Ephesians 4, Romans 12 and 1Corinthians 12, are all prefaced with this same concept--the body in ministry--working together, with the result that the body increases ("And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:"----Ephesians 4:11-13, KJV).
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Again it is warned to Christians--do not be under "dogma" (the Greek word used here). Specifically which dogma--tithing and Sabbath!
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
To set your affectionn on things above means to fully set your thoughts and feelings on Christ as ruler and Head of you and your church. But specifically seek after His authority--the place where He sits at the right hand of God. Seek His rule in your lives as a church--do not accept mans' rule and authority--which will lead you to ordinances of sabbath observance and tithing.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
You are dead and Christ will now operate and live through you. This does not just mean at the end-times. It means that you as a church are His manifestation in the earth today--if you stay in Him--with Him as your Head, and avoid the possible pitfalls of turning back to ordinances and traditions of the law.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
The new man that you are is built up in the correct knowledge being related here, and thus made into the image of Christ--which is to allow Him to operate His ministry through each of you.
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
There is now no more boundaries of class or any type of human authority to be exercised one over another. ("And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." Luke 22:25-26, KJV). Amongst Christians, there is to be no hierarchy of authority, no class distinctions, no 'ranks' to work up through. Since, it is Christ Himself who works His ministry through all of you, any of you, anytime He wishes. "Christ is all, and in all."
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Therfore all the people of the church are to operate in humblness, with love as a garment. You are all called--in one body.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Within the church any should teach--all ought to be teachers (Hebrews 5:12)--all have the right to speak in the Spirit--(1Corinthians 14:26). The ministry of the church is for all the church.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
All of you should speak what the Lord tells you and act out on it. The word "deed" is the Greek "ergon" meaning energy--the gifts of Ephesians chapter 4 are for the "working (ergon) of the ministry". The ministry is the acts of God coming through the believers--the ministry of Christ in the earth, brought back to life in a body of believers.
18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
Why suddenly advice about marriage and children and servants in the home? Because the meeting place for the church is the home of every Christian. The "house of God" in the New Covenant is the home--not one centralized meeting place owned by one leader. The pattern of first speaking about the ministry gifts and the church as a body is found in the books of Ephesians, 1Timothy, and 1Corinthians. The pattern is that first, the church is described as a body of beleivers, with Christ as the Head with all authority, The "body" is to be a group of servants to His will---bound together by love--operating in the gifts of the Holy spirit and the gifts of Christ (ministry). Directly after this is the teaching directed to husbands and wives and family or people of the household. The church operated out of the Christian home. This perfectly fits the "apostolic method" by which Jesus and the church in the Bible operated. "Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst"--this was the operational plan of the church in the Bible. A large church (3,000 saved in Jerusalem the first day!) did not often assemble all it's members together at once or by regular law meetings. Rather they met daily, oftne, breaking bread together in their homes--in the streets--wherever 2 or 3 could gather. They had the result that the church grew daily--don't we all desire this?
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Again it is repeated not to follow after man's rules and ordinances, though they seem to come from God's laws.
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
And the thing you are to do heartily as unto he Lord is your ministry--you are servants--"ye serve the Lord Christ"--All of you in the church have a ministry, a service to do for the Lord--do it heartily--for you shall receive the reward of a servant.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. (Colossians 3:1-25, KJV).
Ministry under Christ's authority operating in all the members of the body is the right way. There is a wrong way--following after old covenant laws which can beguile--specifically sabbath celebration and tithing. The right way to operate as a church is with "no respect of persons"--this means no partiality--no favoritism. The right way is with no one exercising any authority in the church but Christ--Christ the Head--all of you as brothers and sisters in Him.
This area of scripture tells us good Christians can be cheated of their reward (their ministry), That good Christians can be beguiled--tricked--gotten off course--get taken away from the direct rulership and authority of Christ. This is possible in a very specific way, by being turned back to certain specific Old covenant laws, laws which were just a shadow of the better things which the New Covenant and the blood of Jesus has brought to us.
Among these specific things which can beguile a Christian church, are sabbath celebrations, and tithing (meat). New Covenant Christians need to know that we are not under the authority of the law, as was true in the OT, rather we are all to be under the direct authority of Christ. In these chapters, the word of God tells us that if we begin to operate by the OT laws of tithing and sabbath celebration, we can loose our ministry--loose our reward, we can loose the direct authority of Christ in our lives, not just as individuals, but as churches.
When we speak of OT laws which are revoked in the New covenant, many will shirk away--it is still commonly not understood that the New Covenant has taken us as Christian out from under the authority of the law, and put us under the authority of Christ--we are all made priests to His high priesthood. But the point is clearly made that certain OT laws will beguile us--will trick us--will make us loose our ministry and not operate the church in the new covenant way--in the proper order (as described in 1Corinthians 12-14--and other places). Tithing and sabbath--as laws held over us--will do this--will have us operate the church in the incorrect way--and limit ministry--and limit Christ's authority within the church. We will not be functioning by the gifts of ministry--which are the functional action plan of the church--instead we will be operating in an OT way which is done away with for Christians.
Revoking OT laws make some respond by saying "well then can we do anything we want?"--But notice, that where the Bible tells us that we are not under the authority of the law--it then tells us---
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: These verse which follow are quick to state that all the laws are not revoked--or rather that these laws of God will not beguile you--and in fact should be followed after--Notice that it is speaking of the basic commandments (thou shalt not lie--thou shalt not commit adultery--covet)--we are not under the authority of these laws, however we are told as Gods children to be obedient in these areas. The legalistic mind will say that Jesus said that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees--but that Bible says our righteousness will surpass that of Pharisees (who did not have the direct authority of God in their lives--but were held under the law--remember--righteousness is not of the law)--if we have Christ as our head and specifically do not operate together by sabbath rules--tithing--food ordinances--worshipping angles--and a Levitical priesthood (see Hebrew 7) within the church. Yet these are the specific things which tradition in times past has turned the church toward.
Notice--that bible does not say that praying in the Spirit-or the Spirit gifts are what will be hindered by these rules and laws. There are many churches which make great spiritual progress in God--they are filled with people who can prophecy and operate in the Spirit. This is great--but it seems to me that these churches are always quickly and specifically held under the authority of leadership--sabbath rules and tithing! The enemy is totally interested in hindering the ministry gifts within the body of Christ--why? because it is these gifts which the Bible says will edify the body--build it up--add to it--get people saved. We can be in the Spirit every Sunday (and this is absolutely correct--it is the functional starting place for God to operate--and He is meant to speak to us and give us commands when we are operating the Spirit)--however, if we put these gift strictly under the authority of earthly leadership (instead of that of Christ)--and we make Sunday church attendance mandatory--or used as a judgment toward someone's ministry--and we invoke tithing over the church--we are effectively hindering the ministry of the church. The Bible says this--and when we read and understand what the Bible says about the gifts of ministry--the operation of the church and authority--we see how these are hindered by these specific OT laws.