Colossians 2:16–23 (ESV)
Let No One Disqualify You
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These
are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous
mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do
not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of
wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.
The Christian faith will not be replaced by man-made religion. Over the centuries, many have claimed to have found a substitute for Christ and His forgiveness: e.g., rationalism, evolutionism,
socialism, and postmodernism. Sometimes these ideas are very impressive, and the lifestyles they conceive become extremely popular. But St Paul wrote, “Let God be true though every one were a liar” (Rm 3:4). These waves of man-made religion always end up breaking apart upon God’s truth in Jesus, who “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8).
I pray: Thank You, Lord, for granting me faith and preserving my faith with the wisdom and substance of Christ. Amen.
Colossians 2:6–15 (ESV)
Alive in Christ
as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells
bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of
the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And
you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.
This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
Let no one lead you astray. It is so easy to get distracted and to have people, interests, or the ways of the world… to derail your faith. This is Paul’s warning… even roughly 2,000 years ago. Paul states: “8 See
to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” We have been circumcised through Christ. It has been replaced
by baptism. Our sins have been forgiven. An interesting point is that baptism is a gift from God, not something we do for God. When were you to circumcise an infant? On the 8th day! Not at the “age of accountability”.
The infant had no choice. In today’s passage, we see that circumcision has been replace with baptism.
pray: O Lord, help me to keep my focus on you and to not be taken captive by philosophy and empty deceit, human traditions, or elemental spirits of the world… but on Jesus Christ. Amen.
Colossians 2:1-5 (ESV)
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea
and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in
whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good
order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Whatever this false teaching is that has infiltrated the Colossian Church, it is not the teaching of
Jesus Christ. We, too, can be drawn away from Christ by all sorts of attractive thoughts and words. Eventually, Christless or Christ-lite teachings will separate us from God and from one another. But the treasures of His wisdom and knowledge overcome all temptation
and defeat all deception. His words will always encourage us and strengthen us in faith and love. • Grant, O Lord, that Your Word would be taught in its truth and purity in Christ, and protect us from those who would do otherwise. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran
Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2045.
Colossians 1:24–29 (ESV)
Paul’s Ministry to the Church
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which
I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To
them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and
teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
All people suffer because of the fallen nature of the world. But Christians are called to a special form of suffering for the sake of Christ: rejection, ridicule, and persecution. No one likes suffering. Nevertheless, the
tears of Christian suffering reflect the glory of the cross of Christ. Remember how God used Christ’s sufferings to save us. He will also use our sufferings to bring Christ’s saving work to others who have no hope.
I pray: “In suff’ring be Thy love my peace, In weakness be Thy love my pow’r; And when the storms of life
shall cease, O Jesus, in that final hour, Be Thou my rod and staff and guide, And draw me safely to Thy side!” Amen. (LSB 683:4)
Colossians 1:21–23 (ESV)
The Preeminence of Christ (Part 2)
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above
reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became
The “he” in the beginning of verse 22 is not Paul, but Jesus Christ. It is Christ who has reconciled us to the Lord. We fall
short, but Christ stepped in and substituted his perfect life for our sinful bodies, and reconciled us! It is Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection that has set us free.
I pray: O Lord, how can I ever thank you? I am humbled by what you have done for me. I repent and give thanks to you. Amen.