- Colossians: Christ > Everything
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Devotion by Newspring Church
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— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 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.
When’s the last time you read a self-help book or watched a do-it-yourself video? Revenue from such items reveals millions of people are searching for ways to “lose 20 pounds,” “become a better cook,” “be more organized” or “stop smoking.”
But let’s be real honest: How many of us who read that self-help book and tried to do it ourselves actually succeeded? Some things can’t be accomplished on our own.
In Colossians 2, Paul reminds Christians in Colossae of this. They died with Christ to the spiritual forces of this world. So why were they continuing to submit themselves to the old way of doing things? Rather than putting their full trust in Jesus for salvation, they did what a lot of us do. They hedged their bets. They confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior but continued to follow the old religious systems — just in case.
Some rules appeared helpful, as many church regulations do. But self-imposed restrictions are no match for sin (Colossians 2:23).
Sin affects all of us (Romans 3:23). The desires of our flesh are too strong to fight through rules and restrictions alone. That’s why we need Jesus. The law showed us we cannot overcome sin on our own. We needed Jesus to wipe the slate clean, to give us a new nature and a new identity.
Religion will always try to legislate morality with rules. Religion will always ask you to clean yourself up before you can be accepted. Galatians 5:18 says “if you are led by the Spirit, then you are not under the law.” No law, rule, or regulation ever changed a person’s heart. Only Jesus has the power to defeat sin in our lives.
• Do you struggle with a recurring sin? How are you fighting it now — by yourself or in the Spirit?
• Are there any rules you’ve put on yourself that aren’t from Jesus?
• What’s one thing you know you need to do in light of what you read today?