Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The freedom you have should never be lost in the Traditions of men

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Col 2:8-10)

Have you ever felt a certain feeling of lack, as if something was incomplete in you? The solution is often presented as "you need to do more of ________ and you will be fine". This could a solitary activity, like more prayer, more reading, or a communal activity, more church, more services, more even rituals. Somehow, we are taught there is a way of doing things that must be done and because you are not doing them you are... well missing out. Pity you, tsk tsk they shake their head.

Paul was writing to the Colossians precisely against that. They were facing criticism from their kinsmen that they were being disloyal to their people by failing to obey tradition and were disobeying God as a result and displeasing Him. On the one hand these people were also pressuring the saints to obey the Torah as a way to be righteous and to obey the traditions for the same reason. This still operates and pressures the children of God whatever background they might find themselves and this thinking permeates churches of all flavors as well. It may not be the Torah and may instead take on the form of a philosophy were people use the New and Old Testaments. Or it could very well be traditions here and there.

But you see, when you understand who you are in Christ, you will need none of that. You ARE already complete in Him - He is the Fullness of the Infinite One and if our completeness is by Him, you lack nothing. There is nothing more you can do or not do to add to it. Those who put these guilty feelings on you, may not be doing so to make you feel miserable but rather do so because they either do not have Christ or if they do they have not yet come to realize who they are. They can't comprehend completeness, this peace which surpasses understanding because their spiritual eyes are not open to this truth.

When one is made a new creation in our Beautiful Lord Jesus, he or she is made whole, anew, fresh, pure, blameless, righteous and holy. You are all those things and it is only when you come to grasp these truths and live comfortably in them do you begin to experience the other-worldly freedom that Christ brings.

All of these philosophies and teachings and traditions - if they are in the Bible they are only shadows of something greater, Paul went on to say, of something with a deeper and more powerful meaning (e.g. circumcision).

So today, don't waste time feeling incomplete - spiritually, materially, physically, bodily, emotionally, even provisionally - when you see lack in yourself it is only because you are not seeing who you truly are in Him. So open your eyes, look upon Him and let Him lead you to truly see.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:1-3)

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