You can hear Paul’s concern and love for this church at Colossae.
It’s really not rocket science. I love how Paul puts it simply:
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (vs 6-7)
And, just like with Paul’s letters to other churches, this letter warns against false teaching and religious rules.
If God’s word says it once, we need to obey. But this whole idea of freedom in Christ is preached over and over and over again – especially by Paul. Afterall, he was once one of the most highly regarded of the religious establishment. Perhaps thats why he is so adamant about it.
Bottom line is: don’t waste time and effort following what man says – but rather focus on what God is telling you to do/not do. It’s not about looking righteous, it’s about spiritual battle. We need to focus on what will help us in conquering our evil desires and building our lives on Christ.
So what do we do that makes us feel righteous? Do we do things in order to appear religious? Do our thoughts during worship include “I wonder what people will think if I raise my hands during worship” or “look at that person over there, thinking they are so righteous by raising their hands during worship”? Do we care more about what others will think before we start to talk about Jesus or church with someone at work or in the grocery line? What things do we do hoping someone is watching so we will appear religious?
Do we have complete freedom or do we still try to follow socially or politically correct human rules? I like what Paul says in verses 20 – 23:
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 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.
He has set us free from the powers of this world. That’s something to focus on today.