Nailed to the Cross

Spiritual Junk Food

Text: Colossians 2:8-23


I.         There are always those who will try to destroy the work of God, offering up human derived philosophies to override God given truth - Colossians 2:3-4, 8

            A.        While sounding plausible, they are in fact empty - Ephesians 5:6

            B.        Yet, these ideas, empty of benefits can lead the unsuspecting away into captivity.

            C.        Why? Some don’t love the truth - II Thessalonians 2:9-12

            D.        Some prefer myths - II Timothy 4:3-4; Jewish fables - Titus 1:14

II.        Jesus is both man and God

            A.        Yet it is only in Christ that we are complete - Colossians 2:8-10

                        1.         It is in Christ that we truly see God - John 1:14-17

                        2.         This is by the Father’s design - Colossians 1:16-20

                        3.         We partake of Christ’s nature - II Peter 1:4

            B.        Christ is deity in human form

III.       Baptism is necessary

            A.        In Christ we enter a covenant - Colossians 2:11-13

            B.        The entrance is different from the Old Law, which required physical circumcision - Genesis 17:13-14

                        1.         Without physical circumcision, an Israel could not be a part of the covenant of Moses

                        2.         Without spiritual circumcision, we cannot be a part of the covenant of Christ

            C.        This one is spiritual - made without hands

                        1.         What is removed is not physical flesh, but sins - Romans 6:3-7

                        2.         It is work, not of man, but of God - Ephesians 2:1-10

            D.        The implication is that the physical circumcision was no longer necessary - Galatians 5:1-4

            E.        Instead it is the death, burial and resurrection that now holds meaning

                        1.         Baptism represents Christ’s death, burial and resurrection

                        2.         Baptism represents the Christians death to sin, burial with Christ, and resurrection to a new life.

            F.        Paul reiterates that we were dead in sin, Gentiles in the flesh, but we were made alive with him, having been forgive of all our sins

                        1.         Just as Jesus said - Mark 16:16

                        2.         Just as Peter said - Acts 2:38

                        3.         It isn’t the physical act, but the obedience demonstrating in the physical act the faith in the working of God - I Peter 3:21

IV.      The Old Law Removed - Colossians 2:13-14

            A.        Notice that this is directed to the Gentiles who were uncircumcised.

            B.        Such statements by Paul would upset his Jewish brethren - Acts 15:5

            C.        How can this be possible without becoming a part of the law? - Ephesians 2:11-16

            D.        Notice the firmness in which Paul states the ending: Wiped out, Taken out of the way, Nailed to the Cross

            E.        What was removed?

                        1.         The handwritten ordinances - Colossians 2:14

                                    a.         It cannot be oral traditions, because it was written down.

                                    b.         God wrote the ten commandments on stone - Deuteronomy 4:13

                                    c.         A ministry of death, written and engraved on stone - II Corinthians 3:5-8

                                    d.         Moses also wrote all the words of the Lord - Exodus 24:4

                        2.         The law of commandments contained in ordinances - Ephesians 2:15

                        3.         Both verses use the word dogma (decrees or law).

                        4.         Ephesians 2:15 also calls it nomos (law) and entole (commandments)

                        5.         Law and commandment are used to talk about “you shall not covet” (the last of the ten commandments) - Romans 7:6-8

            F.        It was necessary to remove the Old to establish the New - Romans 7:1-4

            G.        Why was it removed? It was against us, it was contrary to us, it was in the way.

                        1.         The Old Law alienated the Gentiles keeping them outside of the covenant of promise - Ephesians 2:11-12

                        2.         But it was also against the Jews - Deuteronomy 31:26

                        3.         That is why Paul pointed out that the Law condemned all - Romans 3:19

V.        Christ disarmed principalities and powers - Colossians 2:15

            A.        Recall Colossians 2:8, “let no one spoil you”? Christ has plundered enemy territory completely - II Corinthians 2:14

            B.        Christ has given us life, forgiven us of all our trespasses, removed the ordinances contrary to us, and triumphed over his foes

            C.        Ephesians 1:21 - Far above all principalities and powers

VI.      Let no one judge you - Colossians 2:16-17

            A.        Because of Christ’s triumph, we should not let anyone judge us in regards to food, drink, festival, new moon, or Sabbaths

                        1.         Food and drink refers to the laws dietary regulations

                        2.         Festivals or holy days refers to the feast days of the Law of Moses

                        3.         Moses’ law had special offerings on the new moon - Numbers 10:10

                        4.         Sabbaths – the weekly observances.

                                    a.         Cannot refer to the special Sabbaths or feast days as they were already mentioned.

                                    b.         Some say it is different because it is in the plural, but it is used in the plural in Gospels at times also

                        5.         Paul called the observing of special times a bondage - Galatians 4:9-11

            B.        Who was making judgments in regards to these matters?

                        1.         Were fellow Gentiles condemning Christians for following the Law? If so, where is the evidence?

                        2.         Were Jews condemning Christians for not following the Law? Definitely - Acts 15:1-2, 5, 10, 19, 24

            C.        Was Paul saying they should be keeping these things?

                        1.         He just asserted that the Law was removed

                        2.         He calls these things shadows in contrast to the reality in Christ

                                    a.         Same argument given about sacrifices - Hebrews 10:1

                                    b.         Literally the body as in contrast to the shadow cast by the body

                        3.         Why seek shadows when we have the real thing?

            D.        Those who claim that not keeping the Sabbath is sinful are doing the very thing Paul forbade. They are judging based on keeping the Law of Moses.

VII.     Let no one cheat you of your reward - Colossians 2:17-18

            A.        How? By desiring ...

                        1.         Humility - A false one because later accused of being puffed up - Colossians 2:23

                        2.         Worship of Angels

                                    a.         The law came by angels - Hebrews 2:2-4

                                    b.         But angels cannot change what came from the Son - Galatians 1:8

                        3.         Investigating things not seen

                                    a.         Giving emphasis to things that cannot be known or verified by men

                                    b.         I Timothy 1:6-7

                        4.         Puffed up in his own ideas - Ezekiel 13:3

            B.        Such are not staying with Christ - Galatians 1:10; Galatians 5:1-4

VIII.    Why subject yourself to useless regulations? - Colossians 2:20-23

            A.        If you died with Christ - referring back to baptism in Colossians 2:12

            B.        Having left the sinful world - referring back to Colossians 2:8 - Colossians 3:1-2

            C.        Why live like you are still in the world? - Galatians 6:14; I Peter 4:1-2

            D.        And subject yourself to ordinances - referring back to Colossians 2:14 and the argument that they were removed

            E.        “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle” is an allusion back to the laws of uncleanness, all of which referred to physical things that perish - refers back to Colossians 2:16 about the meat and drink. - Romans 14:17; I Corinthians 8:8

            F.        Since the law has ended, these regulations are self-imposed by men and not by God - Isaiah 29:13

            G.        The reason for doing them is lost and so they have no value today in avoiding sin.

                        1.         People continue to do this, giving up things with the idea that it will somehow make them more holy or will cause them to avoid sin; yet, it does not work

IX.      This one section of Colossians hits on a number of false teachings that we see being promoted today.