I’ve been drawn to this verse the last few days.

“These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”

Colossians 2:17

It’s surrounded by verses about human regulations.  Paul is revolutionizing the way they think, behave, and receive.  Because Christ “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross”. (Col 2:14)

All of this was a foreign concept to a society governed by following rules, making sacrifices, and trying to measure up.

He is giving them {and us!} permission to retire from this way of thinking.  He is defining freedom in the person of Christ, rather than behavior.

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”  (Colossians 2:9-10)

One translation says you have been “given fullness in Christ”.  The new covenant is more about receiving what He’s already done for us than about following a set of rules.

These verses are a reality check for me.

Am I more concerned about rules, regulations, and behaviors, or am I aware that the fullness has already been given to me?

Is my attention more on my disciplines than what He already accomplished on the cross?

The real zinger is in verse 23-

“Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

As I retire from the old mindsets based on works and performance, my focus should be-

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1-2)

He came to set us free and that we might have life and life abundantly.  Let’s not get entangled by human regulations.  May it be said of us that, whatever we do, whether in word or deed, has been done in the name of Christ. (Colossians 3:17)

Let’s retire these old mindsets, and walk into the promised land that the cross has already purchased.


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