PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

Colossians 2

SUMMARY.--Paul's Conflict for the Churches. Present with Them in Spirit. Exhortation to be Rooted and Grounded in Christ. Warning Against Vain Philosophy. The True Circumcision. The Baptismal Burial. The Handwriting of Ordinances Removed. Keeping Sabbath Days. Angel Worship Forbidden.

      13-15. Being dead in your sins. He that is dead in sins is without spiritual or eternal life. To be dead to sin is to be delivered from its power. The uncircumcision of your flesh. "The body of the sins of the flesh" not having been put off. See verse 11 . Hath he quickened. By the power of the gospel. We are buried with Christ, quickened with him, rise with him. Having forgiven. The gospel comes with the offer of forgiveness. See Acts 2:38 . 14. Blotting out the handwriting. The Revision says, "The bond." That is, the written law of ordinances; the law of Jewish rites. This was "blotted out," erased, removed. Against us. Especially in the sense that they made Gentiles aliens and strangers to the covenant, and without God and hope. Nailing it to his cross. When the Jews nailed Jesus to the cross they drove the nails into their own law. The old dispensation was ended; the blood of the new covenant was shed from the wounds of the nails. 15. Having put off from himself the principalities (Revision). Christ overcame and disarmed the spirits of darkness, the evil angels. He triumphed over Satan and all his powers. Made a show of them. Put them to an open shame by triumphing over them in his resurrection and ascension.

      16-19. Let no man therefore judge you. As the law was nailed to the cross ( verse 14 ), let no man compel you to keep its ordinances. In meat, or in drink. By requiring you to eat only what the Jewish law prescribes ( Lev. 7:10-27 ). See Romans 14:17 Romans 14:1 1 Cor. 8:8 Heb. 9:10 . Compare 1 Tim. 4:3 . Or in respect of a holy day. Such as the Passover, Pentecost, etc. Or of the new moon. The monthly observances ( Num. 28:11 ). Or of the Sabbath day. The Jewish Sabbath had passed away with the law. 17. Which are a shadow of things to come. The body, or substance, which casts the shadow is Christ. We are to pay no attention to the shadows since Christ has come, but to observe what we find in him and the gospel. 18. Let no man beguile you. Rob you of your reward by his guile. He will do so if you become unworthy of it by a voluntary humility. By a humility that is willed, and therefore is affected rather than real. It is probable that the false teachers made a great pretence of humility, and taught a self-abasement, like that of monks clad in sackcloth, or who go barefoot. And worshiping of angels. One feature of the heresy against which Paul warned them was angel worship. See Rev. 19:10 . Angel worship, the worship of saints, dead or living, of pope, or any created thing, is forbidden. "Worship God," said the angel before whom John bowed. Church history states that at a later period Michael the archangel was worshiped. Dwelling in the things which he hath seen (Revision). Claiming special revelations. He refers to "no man." 19. Not holding the Head. Not clinging to Christ the Head, from whence the whole body, the church, derives its nourishment and increase.

      20-23. Wherefore. Ye died with Christ, died to the world, and to its rudiments, or fleshly ordinances. See note on verses 8 and 12. Why, then, as though belonging to the world, should you be subject to obsolete Jewish ordinances? 21. Touch not, etc. Why are you subject to prohibitions of food and drink which command you to "touch not?" etc. 22. Which all are to perish. The prohibition applies to "things all of which perishing in the using;" i. e., to food and drink. After the commandments. These ordinances, whether Jewish traditions, or those of ascetics, are dependent upon the commands and teachings of men. 23. Which things. The doctrines just condemned. Have a show of wisdom. But only a show. In will-worship. Self-imposed, arbitrary worship. And humility. Ostentatious humility. And severity to the body. By starving it and refusing proper food. This implies that these teachers demanded mortifications of the flesh, such as have been always commended in the Romish church. But are not of any value. They have no efficacy in overcoming the lusts of the flesh. In the first verse of the next chapter we are told the only way of overcoming the flesh. In this chapter can be discovered traces of the ascetic spirit which a few centuries later became so dominant in the church. It is well to note that it is placed under the condemnation of the Holy Spirit.

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