Colossians Bible Study The Truth about Religion
Proving the Lie –of Worldly Rituals Part Two
Proving the Lie – of Worldly Rituals
Colossians 2:14 (KJB) “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;”
Ceremonialism – What is demolished
The Cross deals with not only the question of “self” (v13) but also the question of sin (v14) and even the question of Satan (v15). Paul mentions forgiveness in verse 13 now he is going to show us why we need forgiveness and where to find forgiveness.
Paul says here that ordinances are a hinderance meaning they are not for us but against us. All the animal sacrifices of the Mosaic Law did not cancel sin. It merely covered sin. For an overview of the elaborate rituals see Leviticus 16:1-31.
The handwriting of ordinances was elaborate and detailed but unsatisfactory because it had to be repeated year after year. The same was true of daily offerings. None of the ordinances or offerings meant anything apart from Jesus Christ. All of this “handwriting” in the Mosaic Law had been “blotted out” by Jesus Christ. The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross makes all of the Old Testament types and pictures obsolete. The shadows of the Cross have been swallowed up by the Cross itself.
The Jewish people from the time that God gave the Law at Sinai through the entire Old Testament was one long period of failure to keep their promise. They couldn’t keep these ordinances and neither can anyone else. So Jesus Christ came, and He fulfilled the letter of all requirements of the moral law in His sinless life, and then He fulfilled all the needs of the ritual law in His death. He demolished the “handwriting” of ordinances and nailed it to His Cross. Jesus has demolished the foolishness of rituals and canceled it all by His Cross.
Colossians 2:15 (KJB) “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Jesus Christ has triumphed over Satan and all his principalities and powers. I can imagine that Satan and all his principalities were there at Calvary, adding to the torment of our Lord. But He arose and the Cross was their greatest mistake!
1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (KJB) “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Jesus Christ made a show them openly Paul says. Satan and all his minions sought to put the Lord to shame by driving the people’s emotions and thoughts to the point that they ended nailing Him to a Cross. Now that Cross has triumphed! Satan had his host fiercely attacked Jesus Christ as He hung on that tree, as He knew they would.
Luke 22:53 (KJB) “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
They attacked Him, but now He has spoiled them. The preaching of the cross is terrifying to some.
1 Corinthians 1:18-19 (KJB) “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
What has been demolished by Jesus Christ
Colossians 2:16-17 (KJB) “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: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
From the start, the church has had to cope with those who would yoke it with Jewish ideas about diets and days, and rituals, rules, regulations all that made up the Jewish religion.
Confusion exists trying to distinguish between the Mosaic Law as a standard and as a system. As a standard, the Law proclaims binding and deathless rules of conduct. But it is all summed up in the commandment to love one’s neighbors as oneself (Rom. 13:8-10). As a system, the Law represents God’s ordained religion distorted by Rabbis and their traditions. This system we see in the gospels and the book of Acts was abolished by Calvary.
The Catholic Church has always been lured by the rules and rituals of mere religion, some Jewish in nature, others of her creation, and many of them entirely pagan. The Papacy has always confused the church with the Kingdom, and as a result, over the centuries it has appropriated secular power to itself and sought to subdue the nations of the earth by diplomacy and force.
The Reformers never did throw off some of Rome’s devices. Luther was fascinated with the Mass. Many retained the errors of infant baptism, a priestly caste, prayers to the Virgin Mary, the burning of candles, etc. Many still believe that the church is “spiritual Israel,” that it, the church, is now heir to all of God’s Old Testament promises to His earthly people and that it, the church, has permanently replaced the nation of Israel in the plans and purposes of God. To maintain this idea Calvinists must spiritualize much of the Old Testament. In the process of “Christianizing” Judaism, many churches have accepted infant baptism and denied the truth concerning the Lord’s coming millennial kingdom.
Christianity is not a matter of diets. Let no man, therefore, judge you. The New Age, witchcraft and occultism promote diets that supposedly are conducive to helping your spiritualism. Paul says that diets have nothing to do with New Testament doctrine. Paul also tells us not to be brought into the bondage of holydays, or special days. Paul gives us his reason from not paying attention to those who judge in meat, drink or days. They are only a shadow of things to come. A man and his shadow are very different. Judaism was a religion of shadows. The substance of those shadows is Jesus Christ. Paul has demolished the idea that Judaism can add anything to Christianity. If the God-ordained rituals, of Judaism, could add nothing to Christianity, how much less do the man-made rituals help?
Conclusion – Paul has demolished the idea that Judaism can add anything to Christianity. If the God-ordained rituals, of Judaism, could add nothing to Christianity, how much less do the man-made rituals help?
1 Timothy 3:16 KJV — 1 Timothy 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. — 1 Timothy 3:16 KJV