In The Word
Read: Colossians 2:8-23
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
I believe that all true Christians have a desire to live victoriously over fleshly indulgences. However, many times they end up not being victorious because they try to do it through some means other than Christ. Christ destroyed sin in our lives on the cross. Sin no longer has power over us. When we put our faith in Christ, the hand of God reached into our hearts and cut away the sinful nature from us. No doubt this sinful nature seeks to cover our lives again, but it cannot as long as we hold on to Christ. The Bible is clear on how to stay victorious over the flesh: walk by the Spirit of Christ. Where Christians make a mistake is when we allow others to persuade us to trust in philosophy, empty promises, and manmade tradition for victory instead of Christ. They believe in these empty things instead of in the work done on the cross and in the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead. When people begin to try and draw us back in to food laws, Biblical festivals, Sabbath observances, self-abasement (wearing drab clothing, specific washing, and harming of the body), or worship of anything other than Christ (in angels, saints, or statues) to get victory over the flesh, know that it is a lie. Self-made religion piecemealed together by people who may mean well, but are still deceived, can never help you live victoriously. Our victory is found in our faith in Christ and in what He has done inside of us. If we follow His Spirit, we will be victorious. His way is the only way. 1 John 5:4 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”