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A human being lives, but he is given life.

Colossians 2:11-23

Colossians 2:11-23

New King James Version (NKJV)


Not Legalism but Christ

11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

My Thoughts:

  1. So let’s start with (v. 15) we read “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
    1. Evil powers are always at work, trying to threaten us. We as Christians must understand that Satan has no power over us as long as we walk with Christ.
    2. Hanging on the cross Christ appeared to have been beaten but the truth is that was not the case. Christ disarmed these powers and put them on display as His conquered enemies (Matt. 12:29; Luke 10:18; Rom. 16:20).
  2. In (v. 16) we read “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,”
    1. Paul is warning may mean that Christians should not be drawn in to the ceremonies and festivals and any other traditions that may be upheld for the sake of upholding them. Salvation cannot be achieved by works only through Christ can we be saved.
    2. These ceremonies and festivals looked forward (Lev. 23) but in contrast the weekly Sabbath looks back towards the creation event (Gen. 2:1; Ex. 20:8-11) it is possible, though, that the term “sabbaths” could the weekly Sabbath.
    3. As a Seventh-day Adventist I believe that the 7th day Sabbath is still the day of worship but, for me the it comes down to one question; how do you observe your Sabbath? I try to spend it focused on God and all the things he has done for me. This could be staying at home and just reading a book that focuses on bettering my understanding of Him or it may be going out and hiking in the mountains focusing on Him. Or do you go shopping, play golf or just kick back with a cold beer and watch a football game.
  3. Let’s finish with (v.23) “These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”
    1.  Again my question comes back in to play. Going to church every week or doing things to win favor with God is not the reason we should be doing these things. When and only when we put our own desires on the back burner and place Christ in the lead do we achieve any real blessing for these activates.

Thought of the Day

“Salvation can change the worst sinners into the most honored saints.”


More than four hundred years before Jesus’ birth, the Greek poet Agathon said, “Even God cannot change the past.” Historically speak­ing, he was right. What happens cannot be undone. Yet when God sent His Son to die on the cross, He provided a way to erase our sinful past.

Here is how Donald Grey Barnhouse described what Jesus did for us: “Just as a hole in the ocean floor would let sea water into the volcanic fires, creating force that could blow the world apart, so the Lord Jesus Christ by dying and rising again broke through the past and allowed eternity to pour in, shattering, turning and overturning, changing, and altering all things. He took the past of all believers and cleansed it by His blood and transformed the life in such a way that the time-rooted life gave way to life eternal.”

The poet said, “I wish there were a land of beginning again.” There is. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1John 1:7). And the hymn writer said, “Calvary covers it all, my past with its sin and stain; my guilt and despair Jesus took on Him there, and Calvary covers it all.”

This is the wonder of the gospel. For those who have accepted Christ’s offer of forgiveness, He “wiped out the handwriting of require­ments that was against us, . . . having nailed it to the cross” (Col. 2:14-note). God has completely cleansed our sin-stained past. —P. R. Van Gorder.


Personal Reflection and Discussion

  1. What do think Paul meant in (vv. 20-21)?
  2. What do you think Paul meant in (v. 22)?
  3. What other things do you see in the text?

Prayer Activities

  1. Call your Partner and discuss this devotional.
  2. Continue to have a prayer list and continue to praying for them.
  3. Pray with them and ask for the following;
    1. For God to help you take a good look at how spend your Sabbath.
    2. For God to strengthen stop looking at man-made religion and focus on Him.
    3. For the individuals on your pray list.
  4. Let’s use (Job 42:5) for today’s prayer verse.

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

4 comments on “Colossians 2:11-23

  1. Rosi
    September 13, 2011

    When Paul is talking about regulations in verse 20, he is talking about the ritualistic observances. I know some think that he was talking about the ten commandments. Some say this is where it says the ten commandmets were nailed to the cross. This is not so. It is the ritual observances, the man made rules that were done away with. Paul wants to know why then would they lead others to bind themselves down with these rituals. The legalistic cammands are a self-imposed religion and are of no value to any ones salvation. Paul says why are we making it so hard when Jesus has already done the work, all we have to do is accept what Jesus is offering.

  2. Amalia
    September 13, 2011

    Paul, and actually Jesus, calls us to the bigger picture….Chrisit in us. We easily get caught up with following rules and role models. We tend to think coping is going to get us to pass this test and get us rewarded with eternal life in Heaven, but God is after a deeper higher knowledge. Yes they’re really are lessons to learn while we live here, but the biggest is understanding Jesus did it all.

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This entry was posted on September 13, 2011 by in Colossians, Paul's letters and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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September 2011
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