Thursday, 22 April 2021
“…but the substance is of Christ.” -Colossians 2:17
Colossians 1:27 speaks of “…Christ in you, the hope of glory!” –the central theme of Colossians, written to people who were trying to reach for some mystical experiences and something far-fetching than what the Apostles had taught them. Paul was trying to reiterate to them that they needn’t go beyond what Christ offered— for in Christ “…dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him…” (Col.2:9-10).
Paul states the believer has been made alive in Christ, cutting of his sinful nature, being baptized with Him and raised to a new life. Christ has cancelled the record of charges against every believer, having won the victory for him on the Cross. Hence he need not be entangled in the requirements of the stipulations of the Law of Moses or in the traditions of the past. In Christ, he can enjoy freedom from that which tries to bind him by man-made rules of “don’t do this/ don’t do that…” etc. It’s the one Royal Law as mentioned in James 2:8 [“If you really fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you do well;”] that is applicable for the believer.
Friend, are you being weighed down by the burden of keeping the rules and regulations of religion?—even the well-meaning “believer”/ “full gospel” churches, have become legalistic with their own protocols of behaviour, way of attire, observances, etc. We need to examine ourselves to see if we have moved away from the freedom we enjoy in Christ to being yoked by such laws instead of being yoked to Christ and learning from Him (Matt.11:29). As Paul clearly states in Col.2:23[NLT]: “These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.”
Since our focus should be Christ in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28), remember that the SUBSTANCE IS OF CHRIST!—how we respond to Him and live pleasing to Him rather than our adherence to external rules and regulations. Let us therefore align our lives to:
Live through Him (1 John 4:9-10)-we can choose to DIRECT the course of our life in His purpose and plan so that He has the central place in our lives. We get to become “moulded” into His image when we live through Him!
Live for Him (2 Cor.5:15)-our lives become meaningful when we live for something purposeful! He who designed us for a special purpose can bring out something beautiful of the life He intended you and me to be. Just think of the joy of spending your life to bring a smile to the One who gave His very life for you, instead of pursuing your selfish ambitions!
Live with Him (1 Thess.5:10)- It's living with Him on a day to day basis, enjoying His companionship and learning from Him and then living eternally with Him! As a man of God has beautifully put it— Enoch walked with God and one day, God took him home!
Friend, would Jesus Christ become the reality- the SUBSTANCE in your life? If you still haven’t given Him the first place, would you today? Accept Him as your Saviour and Lord and let Him teach you to live through, for and with Him!
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…” - Colossians 2:6-7
Listen: ‘Jesus be the centre’